Dallas consistently ranks in the middle in the Trust For Public Land’s ParkScore index, which rates park space. It’s not bad, but it’s not great either. City officials, however, hope to change that. The Belo Foundation last week gave Dallas $30 million to build four parks downtown.
Willis Winters, director of the city’s Park and Recreation department, says there’s several reasons for the interest in downtown parks.
“Part of the reason is as recently as twenty years ago, only a handful of people lived downtown. Over the years, the population has grown. Those people need green space and open space just as people who live in residential neighborhoods. Only in the last 10 years, have we begun to provide green space and recreational space to the people that actually live downtown, so it’s very important from that standpoint.
"Also, from an economic development standpoint, we know and can document the increase in real estate values of properties that are adjacent to parks or fall within a certain walking distance of downtown parks. There’s a huge return on investment.”
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