Ultra-Green Block Coming to Central Dallas

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"Forwarding Dallas" - one of the winning designs.

The folks at San Francisco-based Urban Re:Vision weren't kidding when they announced their intention to build America's first fully sustainable inner city block in Dallas, Texas. After receiving 176 proposals from 26 countries, three winning designs have been chosen. One of them will be selected for implementation later this year, and groundbreaking is scheduled for fall 2010. Featuring affordable housing, extensive food and energy production and a host of other ultra-green features, the project will be built in place of a parking lot across from City Hall. Here are the winning proposals... Forwarding Dallas

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Submitted by Lisbon, Portugal-based Atelier Data & MOOV, "Forwarding Dallas" is modeled on a landscape of hilltops and valleys. On the hills (the roofs of buildings): solar thermal, photovoltaic and wind power generation, providing for 100% of the energy needs of the 850 or so residents. In the valleys: trees and vegetation. Cascading down the sides of buildings: public greenhouses.

Entangled Bank

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Conjured up by Charlotte, NC firm LITTLE, this mixed-use vision includes a vertical farm, glass ponds and a field for grazing livestock. In addition to its 500 apartments, the site would house educational institutions, a slow food restaurant and an organic farming institute.

Greenways Xero Energy


Designed by David Baker and Partners Architects and Fletcher Studio, this proposal emphasizes integration of the project into the surrounding blocks and neighborhoods. Complete with public orchards and greenways, community gardens, vertical farming, food stalls and green roofs, the proposal envisions a 12-story building housing a total of 210 bedrooms.

One of these designs will be selected later this year for implementation by the Central Dallas Community Development Corporation (CDCDC), the non-profit developer who is building the project. Additional funding will come from the city, federal tax credits, foundations and perhaps the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The Central Dallas CDC hopes that the project will change the way people look at Dallas, and are already looking ahead to revitalizing a broader section of the city. Said CDCDC's John Greenan:

There are probably an additional half dozen underutilized blocks in the area of the project, and once we prove up the viability of rebuilding the south central part of Downtown Dallas, I think all those blocks will also be revitalized. What I would love to see is an entire section of downtown notable for innovative, sustainable design.

Images courtesy of Re:Vision Dallas.

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