Planning & Urban Design

CityDesign Studio


NEA awards CityDesign Studio MICD25 grant

In 2010, the City of Dallas, CityDesign Studio was awarded one of twenty-one grants nationally through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Mayors' Institute on City Design 25th Anniversary Initiative (MICD25). This initiative focuses on supporting creative spaces that contribute toward the livability of communities and help transform sites into lively, beautiful and sustainable places with the arts at their core. Each of the MICD25 projects takes a problem, such as isolated neighborhoods or a neglected waterfront, and uses the arts to solve that problem.

The Studio is using the NEA MICD25 grant on the Connecting the City project, which will utilize design to overcome physical barriers separating Dallas's communities. The Dallas CityDesign Studio is focused on connecting the City of Dallas back to the Trinity River and to the heart of living through programs and design. Through this project, the Studio hopes to better connect the 1.2 million people that live in the 385 square miles that make up the city.


Ross Avenue Gateway
The CityDesign Studio partnered with the Office of Cultural affairs in a community based project to raise awareness about public space and to help improve safety at the Ross Avenue Gateway. Supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts MICD25, the Ross Ave gateway is located at the threshold to the Dallas Arts District and serves as a key access point between the Arts District and the vibrant community of East Dallas. Through the course of Read more

Urban Design Matters

"If all places are designed, why do we linger and enjoy some more than others and why do some places seem uninviting while others encourage you to stay for hours?"

The City of Dallas' CityDesign Studio launched the Urban Design Matters campaign on Monday, May 2, 2011. Supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts NEA MICD25, the Urban Design Matters campaign identifies examples of urban design in Dallas and highlights the components within the spaces. Six areas were identified and chances are, if you visited these spaces, you noticed a large 3ft dot on the pavement with a URL and QR code to a website that outlinedthe design elements in that specific area to make it an inviting place.  The dots were in the areas listed below:

  • Bishop Arts – N. Bishop Ave @ W. 7th St.
  • Deep Ellum – Main St. @N. Walton St.
  • Downtown – Stone Place @ Elm
  • State Thomas – State St. @ Allen St.
  • West End – N. Market St. @ Pacific Ave.
  • West Village – CityPlace West Blvd @ McKinney Ave.

POWER ART Design Competition
Public infrastructure such as power and water utility plants are a much needed part of our society. Yet, most residents don't want the large substation in their community…next to their computers, microwaves and hot water heaters. In communities where they currently exist, how do we begin to integrate art and design into these key infrastructure elements to help enhance the public realm?

Supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts NEA MICD25, the CityDesign Studio and Oncor have partnered on a design completion to begin to explore creative design solutions that will help enhance the external appearance of an Oncor power substation located at the western foot of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in West Dallas. With the MHH Bridge, designed by Santiago Calatrava, scheduled to open in early 2012, thousands of motorists will cross this bridge. How can the arrival experience into West Dallas from the MMH Bridge be enhanced, while also being sensitive to  the engineering and functional requirements?