West Dallas Charrette- Dallas CityDesign Studio

8:38:00 AM


By Lorena Toffer (Corgan Associates)


On Wednesday August 25th, Yesenia Blandon, Jose Martinez, Alfredo Pena, Georgina Sierra, David Trevino and Lorena Toffer, all members of Latinos in Architecture AIA Committee volunteered to attend the West Dallas Charrette and serve as facilitators. Led by Dallas CityDesign Studio director Brent Brown, AIA, this was an intimate and powerful experience with designers, public officials and the community of La Bajada.

The overall intent of the charrette was to keep the community involved and promote them to be an active voice as the Trinity River Project, the Calatrava Bridge and several developments in the area may affect La Bajada residential area, specifically, the western gateway to the Continental Bridge. Amongst the Principles taken by the City Design Studio are: to protect and enhance La Bajada neighborhood, to create north-south connections between Singleton and Commerce streets, and to motivate incremental businesses and organic development throughout the area. This was a great experience that shows how the inhabitants of La Bajada are strongly attached to this community, and want to see it grow and prosper, but keeping with their culturally rich environment.

"The West Dallas Charrette was an intimate experience with the CityDesign Studio designers and the community. Volunteering to serve as mediators and translators of the design and the information being presented, we became very familiar with the design intent and problems or obstacles that are yet to be addressed. It was a great experience to be able to be a part of such a huge project that will be here for many years to come, the "West Dallas Dream". The intent is to tie in the new Calatrava bridge, downtown and La Bajada making it an inviting transition through architecture, engineering and community. The revitalization of La Bajada will attract business and lure people to venture about this culturally rich community. Also to reduce industrial traffic and create new outlets and routes that will benefit this area of Dallas." - Jose Martinez

"A session full of passion, commitment and involvement that shows how a community can be empowered and be an active voice in the design process. The feedback gained from inhabitants of La Bajada also showed how knowledgeable they are of the changes that are coming, their understanding of the impact in their neighborhood, and how strongly they feel about speaking up to protect and enhance the places they live in. As a Spanish native speaker, the opportunity to talk to members of this community in our language, without any barriers and transmit their message to the CityDesign Studio, made the session much more rewarding". - Lorena Toffer

"We wanted to say thank you for letting us participate so actively on the West Dallas Charrette; it was a great experience, one that we felt our committee lives for. We had the opportunity to talk to the community, mostly Hispanic, in our first language, to hear their concerns, and be one of them for a couple of hours, a truly wonderful experience indeed." - Yesenia Blandon

"LiA - Words cannot begin to express how grateful we are to YOU for your support at the West Dallas charrette on Wednesday evening. We were amazed at the support from LiA members, although asked at the last minute, you came out in full force to give of your time and talent. We received numerous comments from the residents praising your efforts. The West Dallas leaders & City Design Studio team thought the evening was a huge success! And, it would not have been possible without your participation. We sincerely thank each of you. Your assistance was greatly appreciated! It's because of wonderful individuals like you, that our city is a wonderful city. Thank you." - Dallas City Design Studio Team

Link to Dallas CityDesign website:
http://www.dallascityhall.com/citydesign_studio/index.html




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