I’m sure it’s a lovely place and all, but when I think of major, eco-progressive American cities, Dallas, Texas, usually doesn’t come to mind. Like many of my MTV Generation peers who have never spent a substantial amount of time in Dallas, I usually associate the city with two things: cheerleaders, capitalism and the Ewing family. In fact, as I write this I have the Dallas theme running through my head, not visions of green.

Every so often, I like to be proven wrong and my misconception that Dallas doesn’t have a whole lot of green to offer is a great example of me being off-track and finding the truth to be quite easy to swallow. Turns out, Dallas is indeed invested in the green movement and the city’s partnership with San Francisco-based Urban Re:Vision to build America’s first completely green city block (yes block) in a downtown Dallas parking lot smack dab across from city hall is the proof in the pudding.

The Re:Vision Dallas project’s high visibility location was announced this past December but just recently three winning finalists emerged from an extensive, international design competition. Which one of the three proposed designs will be chosen?  Ultimately, it’s up to the Central Dallas Community Development Center to choose the one that’s actually constructed. Take a look at each one below. 

Entangled Bank (Little, Charlotte, N.C.) 

Use: Mixed residential/retail; 500 residential units. 

Eco features: Vertical farm, rooftop livestock pasture, slow food restaurant, organic farming institute, green roofs, photovoltaic panels, glass ponds for rainwater collection. 

Forwarding Dallas (Atelier Data and MOOV; Lisbon, Portugal)

Use: Residential; 854-resident capacity. 

Eco features: Prefab straw bale construction; rooftop solar thermal, photovoltaic, and wind power generation; public greenhouses, lush vegetation.

Greenways Xero Energy (David Baker + Partners and Fletcher Studio; San Francisco, CA)

Use: Mixed residential/retail. 

Eco features: Vertical farms, community gardens, solar thermal and photovoltaic energy, rainwater collection.

Have a personal favorite? All sound amazing to me but going from looks alone, I'm quite impressed with the Texas Hill Country-inspired "Forwarding Dallas." I'm not sure when the final design will be chosen/announced (construction is projected to begin next year) but like all things Dallas, expect a cliffhanger ending. 

Via [Jetson Green]

Images: Re:Vision Dallas

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Who greened J.R.?
Three designs have been selected in the quest to erect America's first fully sustainable city block in Dallas. Stay tuned for the winner...