BIG D , DALLAS prides itself on its larger than life character.
Dallas is a modern city. With modernization comes problems: large areas of sprawl, carbon intensive development, over dependence on the automobile, a lack of networked connections, a degraded environment, cultural isolation.
While current thinking tends to dismiss the qualities of the modern city, its positive attributes cannot be overlooked. Replacing one paradigm with another can exacerbate a tendency to discard one cultural heritage for an equally problematic model.
Dallas cannot and should not be turned over into a pedestrian scaled traditional city overnight. To ignore the existing urban context, to write off decades of development, or to wish away such important cultural icons like the automobile would dismiss the cultural myth of mobility that is central to the modern metropolis.
BIG D URBANISM looks for latent possibilities of scale inherent in the city while supporting incremental strategies that can make a more integrated, networked and symbiotic urban development pattern for the present rather than some utopian eco-future.
BIG D URBANISM thinks BIG. It supports scales that are meaningful in the contemporary city.
BIG D URBANISM opens itself to the possibilities inherent in scales which recognize complexity and its potential for harnessing systemic changes.
BIG D URBANISM is temporal. Planning processes aggregate over time.
BIG D URBANISM is symbiotic. Building and landscape, older patterns of use and emergent lifestyles can work together.
BIG D URBANISM actualizes virtual conditions in the city rather than the speculating on the possible. We are not interested in pre-conceived urban ideas waiting for their time to come. We are interested in Dallas’s potentials, intensifying existing urban forces.
BIG D URBANISM is against the new tabula rasa of historicist strategies even when they appear to be ethically motivated. Sustainable Urbanism can be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, attacking cultures and cities that have been built up over generations.
BIG D URBANISM shepherds existing forces towards the production of new urban and architectural forms.
BIG D URBANISM is intensive rather than extensive.
BIG D URBANISM is against instrumentalized master planning. We have been fooled once by the promised of better science in planning. Changing to a strict ecological agenda is not always ‘good’ science for our cities.
BIG D URBANISM cannot be tabulated on a spread sheet. Numbers and facts are relevant to a more extensive urban analysis, but the symbiosis of complex systems and the unpredictable nature of any future forecasting renders straightforward calculations unreliable.