Dallas is getting an Urban Park 11 times bigger than NY’s Central Park


Dallas is getting a $600 million urban park that’s more than 11 times as large as Central Park

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
A rendering of Trinity River Park in Dallas, Texas.

Dallas, Texas, is getting a lot greener.

The city is building a 10,000-acre nature district – nearly 12 times as large as
Manhattan’s Central Park – along the Trinity River. Featuring
plenty of walkways, sports fields, trees, and other flora, the
site will become one of the largest urban parks in America.

In late October, Annette Simmons, the widow of the billionaire
Harold Simmons, donated $50 million toward 285 acres of the
ongoing project. Set to be complete by 2021 and costing $250
million, this portion will be called the Harold Simmons Park.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said he expects other private
donations to fund the rest of the Harold Simmons Park,
according to Dallas News

It will become part of the larger nature district, called the
Trinity River Project, that began in the early 2000s. As of June
2015, the city had spent
over $609 million
to build trails, a bridge, a horse park, a
golf course, and a community center in a 6,200-acre forested
area. In the future, there are also plans to build shops,
restaurants, housing, and offices near the river.

Check out what the Harold Simmons Park portion, designed by
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, will look like:

Spanning 285 acres, the Harold Simmons Park will be a part of Dallas’ 10,000-acre nature district.

Here’s what the land looks like today.

 Visitors will be able to peer out on a pedestrian overpass. As seen below, a few roads will also run through the park.

Before the Harold Simmons Park breaks ground, the US Army Corps of Engineers will need to approve the plans since it’s in a flood zone.

When it rains, the park will welcome the water, lead architect Michael Van Valkenburgh said at a recent conference. The park will naturally flood in controlled areas, and the water will drain into bioswales, sloped courses that absorb water.

The areas most at risk for flooding, which will include sports fields and paved trails, will be elevated and farthest from the river. Five bridges will connect the park to the city center.
One of the elevated parts, pictured below, will feature a playground, a trail, benches, and grassy lawns.

People will be able to walk along the river, too.

Since it will stretch into the city center, the park could bridge the gap between the city’s poorer southern districts and wealthier northern areas, Rawlings told Dallas News.
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

Dallas News