New York Looks to Dallas for Building Parks

We know that Klyde Warren Park is a success, and we know it’s a bigger success than anyone anticipated. But now, the New York Times is calling Dallas a smart city because of it. The paper did a piece about how New York is looking to revamp some of its less-pleasant, concrete areas. It mentions how Phoenix recently transformed a vacant lot into an urban park and garden and how San Francisco rents out curbside parking spaces for parklets. And, the whole reason for this post, the piece also mentions Dallas.

Nationwide, people moving downtown want to be in on the mix, too; they want pedestrian-friendly streets, parks and plazas. And smart cities are responding, like Dallas, whose Klyde Warren Park opened downtown last year atop the Woodall Rodgers Freeway, where it burrows for a few merciful blocks below ground. The place was buzzing when I passed by one recent weekend.

Let’s keep the momentum going. Let’s do as Zac suggested and build a park on the park.


  • Pegaso

    Is it that far-fetched to build a park on the park? How about a nice wood deck extending on the east and west ends of the park that allow for more seating? They would add to the acreage and help reduce noise from Woodall Rodgers.

  • Susan

    Although the body of this article is great and it is fantastic that the Times gave Dallas kudos for Klyde Warren, I think your title is a bit off. NYC definitely doesn’t need to look to Dallas to know how to build a park. In fact, didn’t Dallas look to NYC when planning Klyde Warren? I’ve heard it was based on Bryant Park (and you can’t deny some of the similarities). NYC already has amazing parks that are very well planned and very well used. From the largest and most famous of them all, Central Park, to a new creation, the High Line….I think NYC knows what they’re doing when it comes to Parks, no help from Dallas necessary.

    • Ailenka

      Native NYer here, and Susan you are totally correct. But they needed us to click on that there link!

  • Jerome Weeks

    The author, Michael Kimmelman, just spoke (and signed books) at the Nasher in early May — on a weekend. Which must have been when, as he writes, he saw the happy krowds in the Klyde. If he put his critic hat on, I suspect Michael might have mentioned how over-stuffed the Klyde is with stuff – and the park’s restaurant and ice rink haven’t even been shoehorned in there yet. Also, in his article, he’s advocating a more community-generated, locally-based generation of small urban parks instead of the more cumbersome, time-consuming, old-school, city-bureacrat method, which, of course, was certainly how the Klyde got built and over-built.

    • Veletta

      @ Jerome. I would certainly agree that the city bureaucracy gets in the way of spontaneous, organic pop-ups. It is hard to be spontaneous if you have to get your spontaneity approved 45 days in advance and are mandated to hire x number of police officers to watch over your parklet. However, the way KWP looks and is programmed has decidedly been driven by the private sector.