Saw an infographic earlier today that said Melbourne Australia grew its city population from less than 800 in 1993 to over 100,000 today. Would love to know (time for some Google research) how they accomplished this incredible growth in city living in 20 short years.
From what I’ve heard, Downtown Dallas has approximately 8,000 residents, and I recently heard that our goal is 13,000 by 2020. Really, this is Dallas, and with our can do attitude and growing population base surely we can do better than that? Brings to mind the old adage, “if you don’t shoot for the stars, you’ll never reach them.” If Downtown Dallas grows at that projected rate, we’ll barely be keeping up with the growth of the remainder of DFW (a/k/a the suburbs). With changing demographics and focus on urban living across the US, we need to set our sights higher.
What if we set our goals in stages – 25,000 residents by 2025; 50,000 by 2035; and 100,000 by 2050???
Just think of (i) the obsolete or aging office buildings in the urban core that we could “redeploy” (in city speak, property tax value added); (ii) the street life we could create; (iii) the restaurants and clubs and grocery stores and retail stores needed to service these residents (“sales tax added”), etc. etc.
Of course, this goal does not happen on its own – there is no “build the buildings and they will come.” Before the focus on the structures, we need to focus on the environment at street level – what should we change to make Downtown more livable?
But then that’s a post for another day. For now let’s set audacious goals, then we can set about the tasks of realizing them.