Building on the work of the Winnetka Heights Neighborhood Association, the city of Dallas and Team Better Block led a planning and design process to permanently close an unneeded section of West 7th Street from West Davis to Montclair in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, TX.
The Community began by highlighting potential changes to the area that would make the landscape more appealing for residents and defining elements to remain.
Andrew Howard, AICP led a group to the site to create chalk outlines of amenities that could be incorporated within the existing space. Ultimately, the community decided that the focus of the plaza should be:
- Neighborhood centric
- A trail head or pause park
- Inviting to young families
- Inviting to pet owners
- Mindful of noise conflicts with immediate area residents
- Well shaded
After two community meetings were held, we worked with residents and children from the local elementary school to help illustrate several of the concepts discussed in the meetings.
A plan was developed, based partially on Portland’s successful Intersection Repair project and New York City’s Streets to Plazas initiatives, that incorporated traditional plaza amenities like chairs and tables with repainted concrete surfaces.
A Mondrian inspired theme was used because it was easily understood bu Rosemont Elementary students who would paint most of the project. Local area artists Nicole Horn and Rosemont Elementary Art Teacher Stacy Cianciulli set to work creating a series of renderings based on previous concepts outlined in community meetings. Painting would represent elements such as shade trees, water feature, historical identifier (Texas flag), kids play area, and a bicycle. for clarification the Mondrian style was used because grade school students are familiar with it. It will not be used as the final design style.
Using locally sourced materials, the neighborhood set to work building benches from reclaimed pallets, and tables from reclaimed electrical spools.
Children from Rosemont Elementary school came out on Saturday morning and began filling in the street art.
And to top things off, a Mondrian inspired tire swing was added to the mix.
Over forty nearby residents worked on this project together. Many of them had not attended previous public meetings. This was a great step toward community understanding ownership of the project. Next steps for this project are to complete the construction drawings of agreed upon elements for a permanent plaza. Those will be available in August. Check out the video below of the day for more on the Rosemont Better Plaza project.