Page 1


l l l l l l > INTRODUCTION

IN YOUR HANDS, YOU HOLD A SWISS ARMY KNIFE FOR STRATEGIC URBAN PLANING. Less a rigid to-do list based on a singular agenda, this Workbook is more like the iconic red pocket toolbox—providing a handy assortment of adaptable tools to assist you as you forge a lively urban district out of neighborhood vitality and economic vibrancy. >> Inside you’ll discover useful insights and knowledge based on careful research; unique strategies and ideas to activate and enliven place; and usable methods for implementing ideas. Taken up now and honed over time, these tools will help the West End begin to answer some of the many challenges it now faces as it strives to honor its past, explore its present, and invent its future.


l l l l l l > INTRODUCTION // WORKBOOK CONTENTS

THIS workbook is divided into six sections. Together, they offer a progressive tour through our group’s accumulated insights, future scenarios, grounded ideation, and practical models for stakeholder engagement. Together, they form a basis for imagining, inventing, and investing in positive change.

8–13 > OVERVIEW

This first section sets the stage for the entire Workbook. In it, we present our research processes and preliminary research findings. These findings delineate three key groups of challenges facing the West End. It outlines how these research priorities act within the larger planning context that is the Dallas 360 plan. Situated within this broader landscape but with a narrower district focus, our efforts not only compliment the topdown approach found in the 360 plan, but also extend the thinking found there.

1 4 – 3 7 > F O U N D AT I O N S

The second section of this Workbook highlights the foundations for our research protocol—it is focused on the future but grounded in the now. It is a process that is systematic (mindful), systemic (integrative) and catalytic (actionable). And, as you’ll see, it rests on evidence that supports the view that community enhancement can lead to economic vitality. We believe that this two-stage approach can empower the West End as it works to imagine and shape what comes next.

40–57 > REMEMBERING

Design >> Innovation Studies MA student Sierra Mendez believes the West End could again become Dallas’ “front porch”—an authentic repository and embodiment of the city’s history and character. A place where we can create a living history that locals and visitors can be a part of every day, and a place that offers everyone a small-town Texas welcome to a modern, urban city. In this section, Sierra shares her thinking and then offers a series of ideas that use the West End’s past to shape its present and future.

58–73 > REDISCOVERING

Design >> Innovation Studies MA student Sam Williamson believes the West End could become the “adventure next door.” Novelty, adventure and discovery could arise here from the interaction between a comprehensively active district and the urban adventures it could create and engage. In this section, Sam explains his conceptual model and offers two groups of ideas that could help transform the West End into a district worth rediscovering and that could encourage its visitors to become urban explorers eager to discover a new urban frontier.

74–91 > CONNEC TING

Design >> Innovation Studies MFA student Nicole Hauch envisions a West End future where connections through human social interaction, spatial and temporal transformation, and community building are all empowered by the innovative and inventive use of technology. Like Sierra and Sam, Nicole presents her thinking in this section and offers four groups of ideas that center on the many ways that technology can be used humanistically to positively affect the world in which we live, play, and work.

9 8 – 1 0 8 > M O V I N G F O R WA R D

In this final section, we suggest two ways the West End and its stakeholders could use this Workbook as a tool as they continue to build the district’s future. In one scenario, the ideas found in this Workbook become the direct catalysts for future action. In the other, these same ideas become the spark for more inclusive stakeholder engagement and the creation of new ideas. We also offer resources for future reading and thanks to everyone who has contributed to the evolution of this research project.

92–94 > INTERLUDE // The Value of Ideas 95–97 > REPRISE // Community = Commerce

5


l l l l l l > INTRODUCTION // WORKBOOK STRUCTURE

>SOME TERMS FOUND IN THIS WORKBOOK

> W O R K B O O K O R G A N I Z AT I O N A N D I N T E N T

7

This workbook is divided into six major sections, each with its own color scheme. Although it has been written to be read in sequence, readers can jump around from one section to another, as each of them is fairly self-contained. Typically, each section contains a main narrative supported by ancillary information, primary or secondary research support, or observations and analysis from the researchers. Although representative of a much larger body of research, writing and analysis, the information in this Workbook is presented in summary form. Our intent is for this document to be used as a high-level guide to our research findings, our research methods, our guiding principles, and our suggested solutions to the many challenges facing the West End. It is both a tool for future reference and a means to spark future thinking and action by others.

l l l l l l l > OVERVIEW // PRELIMINARY FINDINGS

Our mixed-methods1 research yielded important insights that, not surprisingly, identified challenges similar to those mentioned in the 360 plan, along with others. Our findings, some which are highlighted below, became the departure point for the analysis and ideation found next in our workbook.

For a variety of reasons, increasing pedestrian engagement is critical to the success of the West End.

>CHALLENGES

>COMMENTS

> S A M P L E R E S E A R C H E R O B S E R VAT I O N S

Among stakeholders, there is no cohesive perception of or conversation about what the West End ‘is’ or what it ‘could be’. Conversely, many West End stakeholders agree on what the West End used to be, i.e., The MarketplaceEntertainment Capital of Dallas. Taken together, this suggest that perceptions held by West End stakeholders are shaped by mixed views of the present and future coupled with a reliance on a past that no longer exits.

“Some think the West End is still and entertainment district, other think is should focus on its history and families. Local, including residents, think the West End is for tourists even while they themselves live there. There is a general lack of communication between all groups – business owners, attraction managers, residents, etc. – that worsens this identity disconnect. A key community leader described people in the West End as ‘we’re each sitting in a corner talking to ourselves’.” – sm

Under Leveraged Resources

Community leaders express frustration with what the West End doesn’t possess, consistently voicing a variety of ‘if only’ comments. There appears to be a focus on specific types of resources (and their lack) while other types of resources are ignored or under utilized.

“When we asked about the identity of the West End, everyone – from community leaders to locals who frequent the West Pub – talked about the Marketplace. Folks, the Marketplace is gone, but the West End is still here. We need to identify what it is about the West End that has enabled the district to keep going and figure out how to use those things to make the West End better. It’s time to move on, and move forward.” – sm

F Ourban U N D A Tdesert IONS // l End l lresembles l l l > an Taken a whole, the West where oases of entertainment, lifestyle and education are surrounded by empty, uninviting spaces. Our team believes this reality encourages an unconnected, ‘drive by’ behavior in stakeholders, especially visitors, a key resource for the West End.

Bracketed Solution Approaches

1

Action Research

Action research involves the process of actively participating in a research project while conducting the research itself. It is often used by design researchers as part of solution finding.

Ethnographic Research Method

“The West End is failing to consider all its resources. They are overlooking what they have because they still focus on what they use to have. Community leaders use a narrow lens when identifying assets.” – sm

R E S E A R C H PAT H > S TA G E S

“If the West End could use prompts to direct their (millions of yearly) visitors through the district, this engaged population could exponentially increase revenues at existing establishments, potentially increase property values and jump-start the move toward a more vital urban neighborhood.” – sw

A they growing understanding of the West End and its unique chal“Community leaders are applying the same ideas and processes to the same resources and are getting the same unremarkable results. But what if we applied different ideas and process to the same resources, or activated till now our analysis and framed a set of principles that lenges informed unrecognized resources? What if we thought more creatively about the West End’s assets, why they are important became the touchstone for our strategic approaches, tactical and how could they be leveraged? For example, the West End thinks ‘visitor’ and they think ‘how can we get more ideation, and solution recommendations. from them?’ But what if we thought ‘visitor’ and thought ‘how can we activate visitors to contribute to the identity and community of the West End.” – sm

Community and business leaders, though successful and intelligent individuals, nonetheless appear rely heavily on traditional, economically driven models or ‘tried-and-true’ development solutions. While these strategies can and have been successful elsewhere and at other times, their implementation in the West End have met with poor or limited success.

* 2

1. These methods included etic and emic observation, surveys, structured and unstructured interviews, videotaping, keyword analysis and historical analysis.

The process of using evidence to reach a wider conclusion. In layman’s terms, imagining what could be based on observations of what is. A great tool for solution-, rather than problem-, based research.

Emic Observation

15

Inconsistent Perceptions & Aspirations

Abductive Thinking

Early Research

3 Current Discovery

4 Analysis

5

6

7

8

Etic Observation Exploratory Research

9

Framing

Analysis and Framing > Guiding Principles

Synthesizing what we learned from our early research with our more recent inquiries, we generated a set of interdependent guiding principles. Collectively they have shaped our strategic approaches and solution ideation. These principles took two forms: A set of values that recognized our limited ability to foster positive change and that guided the nature of the change we were hoping to catalyze. A central belief in the proposition that community building can lead to increased economic vitality.

l l l l l l l > REDISCOVERING //

Authentic

Aspirational

Although the West End is struggling with understanding itself in the present and striving to shape its future, it can never forget its past. The West End is steward to defining facets of Dallas’ history and this responsibility should be honored regardless of the future roles the district will adopt or create for itself.

While we recognize the important history that is woven into the fabric of the West End, we also know change is necessary and welcome for an urban district striving to remain relevant in today’s world. Thus, our ideation sets it sights on the horizon and focuses squarely on the District’s future.

Catalytic

Modest

While our planning encompasses a modest ambit, our ambitions are larger. We hope that by instigating innovative small scale design interventions over time, our efforts will attract the interest of larger groups and institutions. Thereby serving as a catalyst for increased community and development URBAN FRONTIER activity of benefit to the West End.

The Dallas 360 plan considers the needs of and engages with the entire downtown area of Dallas. Necessarily given our resources and our modest ability to function as change agents, we realize that while our ideas are big, their implementation will be smaller scale and more incremental.

Data collection methods that are meant to capture the ordinary activities of people in naturally occurring settings. The goal is to collect data in such a way that the researcher does not impose any of his or her own bias on the data. The etic approach is the study of a phenomenon by an unbiased “outsider.” Early stage research that is often completed to gain a more informed general understanding of the problem situation, culture, social dynamic, or phenomenon being investigated.

Operationalization

Involves the cyclic testing of ideas that have been synthesized from from various types of ideation methods into temporarily functional, limited-scope, real-world, real-time scenarios.

Inductive Reasoning

A way of arriving at a general conclusion by observing specific examples. That is inferring more broadly from specific patterns found in multiple particular instances.

Community = Commerce Based on our research and the current realities facing the West End, we believe that some efforts to revive the district should focus first on community building because success in this area can begin to help catalyze economic vitality. For evident supporting this decision, read on.

The emic approach is understanding a phenomenon from the perspective of an “insider.”

Iterative Working Methods

An approach to problem-solving that entails arriving at a decision or desired outcome by repeating rounds of real-world trials, reflection, and analysis. Early failures fuel later successes.

* Considered together here because of their theoretical and conceptual interdependency

Mixed-Methods Research

2

vi s

ion

MOST PEOPLE THINK THAT ADVENTURE ONLY EXISTS IN LANDS FAR AWAY. That it takes a plane ticket or a pirate’s ship to help us find the excitement that calls from beyond the cubicles and chain link fences of every day life. But what if we discovered

The use of differing research methods as a means to construct a clearer picture of the world and more adequate solutions to the complex problems found there.

57

Personas

In the word’s everyday usage, it is the social role played and represented by an individual. Design researchers often employ personas when thinking about user-centric solutions.

QR Codes

QR Code – abbreviated from Quick Response Code – is a type of matrix barcode now popular because of its fast readability by mobile computing devices and large storage capacity .

that adventure wasn’t so remote? That we, in fact, have a golden ticket to excitement and intrigue hidden in plain sight, stashed in the nooks and crannies of the streets we walk everyday? >> The West End is that golden ticket – a pass to adventures we had no idea were right here waiting. The West End is a place where you can go nose to nose with a dinosaur, investigate a president’s mysterious assassination, and plan a heist in the same place as Bonnie and Clyde. It’s a place where you can watch a Maverick defend his crown against Warriors and Celtics and talk with a shark and some fish before you eat them for dinner. By capitalizing on the untapped resources in this urban land, we can enhance this district’s allure as a place were local history comes alive and fun waits around every corner.

Qualitative Methods

These seek to understand the “why” of things by analyzing unstructured information such as interview transcripts, open-ended survey responses, e-mails, photos, and videos.


l l l l l l > OVERVIEW

FOLKS WHO KNOW THE WEST END KNOW THAT IT ROUTINELY GRAPPLES WITH REAL CHALLENGES. They would also say that the district possesses some of the vital resources necessary to overcome signiďŹ cant obstacles. What is open for discussion now is how the district might best leverage these resources, and secure new ones, to invent solutions that are authentic, economically viable, and sustainable. This Workbook offers many ways to initiate, guide, and support this process within the context of the larger Dallas 360 plan. In the following pages, we will discuss how what we are proposing fits within the 360 framework, offer our take on the issues the West End faces based on our research, and recommend ways the district could begin to weave a successful future out of stakeholder driven community vibrancy and economic vitality.

9


l l l l l l > OVERVIEW // CONTEXT

IN 2010, the DRC joined forces with Downtown Dallas, Inc. and the Historic West End to confront the challenges it now faces and to develop effective and sustainable modes for revitalization. Though self-guided, this research initiative recognizes and operates in concert with this larger planning context.

In October 2010, the University of North Texas (UNT) and its College of Visual Arts and Design’s (CVAD’s) Design Research Center (DRC) entered into a working relationship with Downtown Dallas, Inc.—an organization focused on sparking and sustaining the economic and social wellbeing of the city’s central districts. The goal of this collaboration was to have the DRC partner with one of them to assist its stakeholders as they struggle along their unique path to sustainable urban development. The district selected for this design-led, participatory action research1 initiative was the West End Historic District. The choice of the West End as a site for DRC design research and intervention was based on the following rationales: > > > > >

The district is struggling to recapture past vitality and shape its future value The district has groups of identifiable stakeholders A working relationship exists between the district and Downtown Dallas, Inc. Not all of the many challenges facing the district appear intractable The district could benefit from solutions powered by design-led action research and co-creation

Taken together, these variables suggested that—with thoughtful, concerted and collaborative design research and intervention—some level of positive change is possible within the district. Another impetus for undertaking a district-level initiative was the larger planning context involving all of the

central districts. In the summer of 2009, the city of Dallas, Downtown Dallas, Inc. and private stakeholders began a larger, trans-district planning program focused on creating ‘a strategic, action-oriented development plan to provide a blueprint for the next phase of downtown revitalization.’ This effort, led by MIG, Inc., culminated in the Downtown Dallas 360 plan (see sidebar) which was finalized and adopted by the Dallas City Council in April 2011. The 360 plan identified assets held by the city’s central districts along with challenges and opportunities that stakeholders believe would shape their common future. Downtown Dallas assets included: historic prominence, location, corporate presence, and transportation networks, among others. Challenges included: deficits such as unfriendly streets, fortress-like building stock, a multi-level pedestrian system, and poorly planned parking. Moreover, the 360 plan identified challenges specific to the West End—one of seven core districts—as it moves forward: "... To remain competitive in a large multidestination urban core, however, the West End will need to embrace new uses and build on its unique architectural heritage. Building on a burgeoning creative economic sector and historic buildings suited to adaptive re-use, the West End should foster greater interaction with El Centro students and leverage nearby corporate and public capital to grow beyond its singular image as a tourist-oriented entertainment district.” 2

About the Downtown Dallas 360 Plan “Downtown Dallas 360 (or simply “the 360 plan”) was born out of the need to bolster and support development and investment in the core city, identified as the area within the existing freeway “loop” (also referred

to as the Central Business District, or CBD). The plan’s main purpose is to cultivate a shared vision for Downtown Dallas’ future and provide strategic implementation actions for achieving that vision. While the plan is a

Based on these challenges, the 360 plan went on to recommend the following actions for the Historic West End:4 1. Develop the northwest corner of Lamar and Ross with a mixed use building with ground-floor, entertainmentoriented use to serve convention visitors and others at this critical gateway to the West End. 2. Re-tenant the West End Marketplace with complementary venues such a museum, hotel, or as a business incubator with strong ties to El Centro Community College, Bank of America, and the nearby Environmental Protection Agency office in Fountain Place to encourage innovative, creative/green economy business start-ups and partnerships. 3. Complete the proposed West End Square at the northwest corner of Market and Corbin as a central gathering and event space for the district. Design features should include hardscape and landscape areas for events, as well as passive areas for outdoor dining, seating and trees. 4. Integrate proposed streetcars on Lamar and Ross with enhanced paving, extending the West End image and brand. 5. Encourage special events, festivals and semi-permanent destination uses to add year-round activity. 6. Collaborate with the West End Historic District and other private partners to update West End’s image, marketing and branded identity.

1. For a definition, see the glossary on page 7 2. “Downtown Dallas 360: A Pathway to the Future”. Page 32. Available at www.downtowndallas360.com/docs. php?oid=1000000059&ogid=9999

long-term, strategic vision for how to ensure that Downtown Dallas is a vibrant, urban center, it also provides clear, targeted recommendations that can be implemented over a relatively short time frame.”3

The DRC research team is cognizant of the trans-district challenges, recommendations and opportunities forwarded by the Dallas 360 Plan. Moreover, the report’s assessment of the West End directly informed our thinking. With this larger planning context in mind, and recognizing our design-led approach and its capacity to foment change, our efforts build on and add to the Dallas 360/West End action items five and six . In ways similar to the research activity and stakeholder engagement that informs the Dallas 360 Plan, our graduate students and faculty spent considerable time conducting primary exploratory research5 as a means to effectively identify particular challenges facing an urban district. However, our approach in this and subsequent phases differed in two significant ways from those employed by the Dallas 360 consortium. Scope: The 360 Plan employed a comprehensive view of the entire downtown area; our focus was centered on the West End. External factors were considered, but principally in light of how they might eventually or currently affect the district. Conceptual Frame: The thinking that guided the 360 Plan was shaped by theories and practices common to modern urban planning; our approach was informed by multiple perspectives existing outside of this ambit, particularly those that were informed by design thinking and design research.

3. Cited from http://www.downtowndallas360.com/Con- tent/10000/ThePlan.html. ¶2 4. “Downtown Dallas 360: A Pathway to the Future”. Page 32. 5. For a definition, see the glossary on page 7

11


l l l l l l > OVERVIEW // PRELIMINARY FINDINGS

For a variety of reasons, increasing pedestrian engagement is critical to the success of the West End.

OUR mixed-methods2 research yielded important insights that, not surprisingly, identified challenges similar to those identified in the 360 plan, along with others. Our findings, found below, became the starting point for the analysis, framing and ideation found later in this Workbook.

Challenges Identified

Comments

Inconsistent Perceptions & Aspirations

Among stakeholders, there is no cohesive perception of or conversation about what the West End “is,” or what it “could be.” Conversely, many West End stakeholders agree on what the West End used to be, i.e., The Marketplace/ Entertainment Capital of Dallas. Taken together, this suggest that perceptions held by West End stakeholders are shaped by dissenting views of the present and future, coupled with a dependence on a past that no longer exits.

“Many think the West End is still an entertainment district, others think is should focus on its history and on families. Locals, including residents, think the West End is for tourists even though they themselves live there. There is a general lack of communication between all

groups—business owners, attraction managers, and residents alike—and that worsens the identity and directional disconnect. A key community leader described people in the West End as follows: “we’re each sitting in a corner talking to ourselves’ ”. —sm

Under-Leveraged Resources

Community leaders express frustration with what the West End doesn’t possess, consistently voicing a variety of “if only” comments. There appears to be a focus on specific types of resources (and the lack thereof), while other types of resources are ignored or under-utilized.

“When we asked about the identity of the West End, everyone—from community leaders to locals who frequent the West End Pub—talked about the Marketplace. Well, the Marketplace is gone, but the West End is still here.

We need to identify what it is about the West End that has enabled the district to keep going, and figure out how to use those things to make the West End better. It’s time to move on and move forward.” —sm

Taken as a whole, the West End resembles an urban desert where oases of entertainment, lifestyle and education are surrounded by empty, uninviting spaces. Research suggests that empty or under-utilized spaces within an urban setting are a major disincentive to both community and economic development.1

“The West End is failing to consider how all of its existing resources might be used more effectively. They are overlooking what they currently have because they continue to focus on what they use to have. Community leaders use a narrow lens when identifying assets.” —sm

“If the West End could use compelling prompts to direct their [millions of yearly] visitors through the district, this population could increase revenues at existing establishments, increase property values and jumpstart the revitalization of this urban neighborhood.” —sw

Community and business leaders, though successful and intelligent individuals, nonetheless appear to rely heavily on traditional, economically-driven models or “tried-and-true” business development solutions. While these strategies can and have been successful elsewhere and here at other times, their implementation in the West End lately has met with poor or limited success.

“Community leaders are applying the same ideas and processes to the same resources and they are getting the same, unremarkable results. But what if we applied different ideas and process to the same resources, or activated resources that, until now, have been unrecognized? What if we thought more creatively

about the West End’s assets, why they are important and how could they be leveraged? For example, the West End thinks ‘visitor’ and couples this with ‘how can we get more out of them?’ But what if we thought ‘visitor’ and thought ‘how can we activate them to contribute to the identity and community of the West End?” —sm

Bracketed Solution Approaches

1. See the Brookings Institution research report, Leinberger, C. (March 2005) “Turning Around Downtown: Twelve Steps to Revitalization”, referenced in section 2, page xx of this workbook.

Sample Research Observations

2. These methods included etic and emic observation, surveys, structured and unstructured interviews, videotaping, keyword analysis and historical analysis.

13


l l l l l l > F O U N D AT I O N S

VISION GIVES SHAPE TO THE FUTURE—IMAGINING A BETTER ‘YET TO BE’ ENABLES THE CREATION OF ‘WHAT’S TO COME ’. A future also requires foundations: hard work, pragmatism, and the recognition that existing conditions, though challenging, are the building blocks for future hopes and dreams. In this section, we highlight our West End visioning process and its foundations. Focused on the future and grounded in the now, it is a process that’s systematic (mindful), systemic (integrative) and catalytic (actionable). By explaining this process— from early research through scenario building to final assessment—we hope to make our work understandable and repeatable. And as you’ll see, we’re charting a course and powering a change engine for the West End as the district works to envision and then create what comes next.

15


l l l l l l > F O U N D AT I O N S / / S E C T I O N O V E R V I E W > R E S E A R C H PAT H

IN this project, early research discovery phases were guided by inductive1 reasoning. Later, strategy development and ideation phases were guided by thinking of a more abductive2

nature. All phases, however, relied on integration and iteration: each step was progressively shaped by insights gained from prior work and, in turn, informing future actions.

Integrative shaping

1

2

Early Research Historical Groundings

Past

3 Current Discovery > Primary research > Secondary research > Case studies

4 Analysis Development of Understanding

5 Framing Touchstone Principles

6 Scenarios Future Casting

Present

For the West End project, we are employing a multi-phase research protocol. This systematic (rigorous) and systemic (holistic) process enables us to: > learn about our topic of study, > help shape our understanding of its unique challenges and/or problems, > delineate the broader context in which these problems exist, and >

Layered feedback

gather data and evidence that both shapes and supports our approaches and solutions and that provides a relevant metric for assessing the success of these approaches and solutions.

Importantly, because our discovery, ideation, and testing are playing out within an action research model, our working process is collaborative, co-creative and multi-directional, with user input and data from all phases interdependently shaping modes of thinking, decision-making, and action. For more detail, see the following brief review of each research phase.

7 Ideation Realization

8 Engagement Stakeholder Commitment

9 Pilot Iterative Operationalization

Assessment Success Measurement, Setback Understanding

Future

1. Early Research Our initial research and ideation phase yielded insights into the particular challenges facing the West End and generated several solutions that could address them. Our research methods included a geographical review of district assets and problems, a perception audit of local and visitor populations, and direct field observation of individual's engagement levels and behaviors. 2. Current Discovery A comprehensive re-review of all research and ideation to date, coupled with new research that allowed the team to reshape and expand the ambit of their investigation, carry forward existing research methods while employing new ones, and formulate a more robust strategic framework for solution-focused ideation.

1 & 2. For a definition of inductive reasoning and abductive thinking, see the glossary on page 7.

3 & 4. Analysis and Framing Synthesizing early and current stage research and analysis, each team member formulated a set of interdependent guiding principles. Collectively these values and a community-based action strategy have shaped our future scenario building and ideation. 5. Scenario Development Abductive thinking, or imagining what ‘could be’ rather than focusing on what is, guided this phase of our protocol. What has emerged are two possible future scenarios for the West End. These scenarios or conceptual frameworks provide a departure point for the ideation occurring in phase six and a means to understand the merit of the solutions derived from each mode of thinking.

6. Ideation Both experience and research has shown us that positive change occurs when the power of imagination is manifested through active, purposeful use. In this phase of our research, ideation allowed us to generate multiple solutions that could become catalysts for any of the three futures imagined by our group for the West End. 7. Engagement Having ideas is one thing, but knowing how to use and implement them effectively is another. In this section, we demonstrate how to use ideas and combinations of ideas as forcemultipliers for positive change, as well as how ideas for the creation of vibrant communities can be leveraged to generate powerful and sustainable economic vitality.

8. Pilot Projects Synthesizing early- and current-stage research and analysis, we formulated a set of interdependent guiding principles. Collectively, these values and a community-based action strategy have shaped our approach to future scenario-building and ideation. 9. Assessment Assessing reasons for success while simultaneously learning from setbacks will guide our future endeavors to develop products that will create and enhance the experience of visiting, shopping and seeking entertainment in the West End. For pilot projects guided by our research and analysis, our ‘point of view’ as we engage in assessment will be iterative, qualitative and solution-focused.

17


l l l l l l > F O U N D AT I O N S / / R E S E A R C H PAT H > S TA G E S

OUR faculty-supervised, student-driven, DRC-based research on behalf of the West End began in the fall semester of 2010. The student researchers assigned to the project had different disciplinary backgrounds. They were MFA and MA candidates enrolled or taking courses in our graduate programs in Innovation 1

2

3

4

Studies. The group’s members, none of whom had backgrounds in architecture or urban planning, were nonetheless challenged to employ their evolving skills as design researchers and informed thinkers to understand and address the many challenges facing the West End.

5

6

7

8

9

Early Research Early Research > Historical Groundings

The initial discovery and ideation phase of our research yielded insights into the particular challenges facing the West End and yielded ideas that could address them. Our methods included a geographical review of district assets and problems, a perception audit which drew data from both vernacular and official sources, and direct field observations of visitor engagment and interaction. Solutions to the many challenges revealed by this research included persona-based1 wayfinding, virtual data overlays, QR coded2 historical narratives and behavioral scripting . Some of these ideas were adopted by the West End while others remain unrealized. Emerging from this initial two-semester research phase was the collective realization that a more comprehensive research and ideation approach would yield more interesting solutions, framed by atypical strategies for Talking Environments achieving social vibrancy as a means to spark and sustain economic vitality. In turn, this realization was the starting point for the bulk of the content found in this Workbook.

19

review of last semester

perception generators

RS

across three decades. 320 relvant articles

2 Classify each article negative, positive, descriptive, events.

2010

negative - either the author of the article held a negative perception of the West End or the article reported on an event, incident, happening that sheds negative light on the West End and/or its patron

employees

positive - either the author of the article held a positive perception of the West End or the article reported on an event, incident, happening that sheds positive light on the West End and/or its patrons descriptive - the author was reporting factual information about the West End. This information is neither negative or positive. Much of the information pertains to public policy and business happenings.

high articles 29 articles

POSITIVE

reporting services

perception of west end

ewom

events - the author was relaying upcoming events in the West End. If the author editorializes his/her description, the post will be classified as either positive or negative.

official un offcial

3 Convert classifications to numerical data points: negative = -1 | positive = 1 | descriptive/events = 0

pereception by the Numbers tourists

NEGATIVE

93

dfw population

1

high perception 9 perception points

next steps & questions

ARTIC LES

EW rating service

composite score

number of reviews

zagat

3.75

3

N E G AT I V E T H E M E S

low articles 3 articles

economic historic preservation transportion

reviewed Newport Seafood, Palm Restaurant, YO Steakhouse

attraction

city search

4.35

68

safety

N E G AT I V E

reviewed Gators, West End Pub, Westend Market Place

yelp

3.4

396

POSITIVE

67

low perception -7 perception points

ARTICL ES

reviewed Ambit Energy, Atomic Sushi & Grill, Bath Junkie Inc, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Corner Bakery Cafe, Dallas County Tax Office, El Centro College, Fast Signs, Fatal End in the West End, Friday's, Gators, Hoffbrau Steaks, Lower Level Tickets, Morton's of Chicago-the Steakhouse, Old Red Museum, Palm Restaurant, Record Grill, RJ Mexican Cuisine, Sam's Treats & Eats, Sixth Floor Museum At Dealey Plaza, Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse, Spaghetti Warehouse, Starbucks Coffee, Sweet Sensations, Tamaulipeco, Taste of Dallas, TGI Friday's, The Butcher Shop Steakhouse, The Texas Club West End Pub, Westend Market Place, Wild Bill's Western Store, Wild Wild West, YO Ranch Steakhouse

Top 5 Searches Related to Westend in 2010

1. Diagram of a Place-based audit of existing West End experiences, amenities and potential problems.

1

2. Early solution suggestions presented in Spring 2011. These included We creating digitally aware environments, persona-based wayfinding, the People programmatic suggestions, and socially-based loyalty initiatives.

1. & 2. For a definition of personas and QR Codes, see the glossary on page 7.

as told by the dallas morning news

1984

reatial owners

Undead Spaces

3. Perception audit of the West End that included surveying expert, on-line, search and officially sanctioned (newspaper) sentiments attributed to the West End.

PERCEPTION

Pereception Map Process 1 Gathered articles from Dallas Morning News

WE

WE WE WE

WE WE

WE WE

WE

WE WE

WE

2

west end dallas hotels

3

west end dallas hotel

4

west end dallas tx

5

west end dallas restaurants

3

87

88

89

90

91

92

93

94

95

96 97

98

99

00

01

02

03

04

05

06

07

08

09

10

EVENTS Attractions Leave Most Restaurants becoming chain

1 negative link *

Crime Wave

1 negative link *

Boy Murdered , Violence During Red River Shootout, Woman Beaten in Bathroom,

1,600

Skating Rink Marathon Taste of Dallas Planet Hollywood

Awalt Building Rennovation

Dart Opens

Increases Traffic

Marketplace Closes

ARTIC LES

Hopes of Collaboration with Victory Park

VE DES CRIPTI

80

Complaints by business owners —obstructing flow

searches

1,000

1 negative link *

searches

Im Feeling Lucky

80

AA Brings Optimism

Construction of Dart

searches

1,300

Google Search

2

86

Homogenization

searches

searches

85

Rebirth

12,100 1,600

84

* Limited to first page

Google

west end dallas

year

ARTIC LES

GRAPH KEY

PERCEPTION

NUMBER of ARTICLES

TIMELINE of EVENTS

total articles: 320


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BUILDING on its prior discovery, the research team reconvened in the Fall semester of 2011 to continue exploring ways to use secondary research to assist the West End as the district strives to understand, navigate, and address its many challenges.

1

2 Early Research

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Current Discovery

Current Discovery > New Methods, New Resources

Research Method

Research Method Structure

Research Method Value (Generally and to Us)

After a summer hiatus, the research group re-formed in the fall of 2011 to take stock of all the data, methods, and ideation completed to date. They also revisited the feedback they received in the spring of that year from select West End stakeholders, faculty and others with valuable knowledge applicable to this project.

Primary Research

Primary research is intended to collect original data. It is often begun after the researcher has gained some insight into a topic of study by collecting secondary data or by conducting brief, exploratory research. For this project, primary research entailed direct field observations, structured and unstructured interviews with various constituent groups, interviews of convenience with West End visitors, and cartographic and photographic documentation. An example of our field observations was our student researchers visiting locations within the West End at varying times to determine how visitor demographics shifted from day into night by location.

Primary research is an effective way to get a ‘hands-on’ feel for the research topic in real time. It is also one of the best ways to capture nuances that only become evident through direct interaction with human subjects. Primary research also provides researchers with control over how, when and where data is collected and by what means. Primary research methods were especially helpful as the process of identifying and ordering perceptions of the West End held by different individuals and groups evolved.

Secondary Research

Secondary research consists of collecting and analyzing primary research published or presented by others. This data or information is often found in academic texts and journals, but it also exists in the popular press and elsewhere, including online resources.

Secondary research is often the most effective way to determine what is known already and what new data is required, or what new solutions could be employed, or to inform research design. Secondary research helped reveal broader contexts, new opportunities and past failures in other cities and districts. The insight gained also prevented from “reinventing the wheel.”

Comparative Case Studies

Case studies are focused, empirical inquiries that investigate phenomenons within their real-life context. Case study research can be gleaned from single and multiple case studies, and can include quantitative evidence. It can also be informed by multiple sources of evidence, and can benefit from insights gained from researchers’ prior theoretical work or from real-life activities undertaken by others.

Case studies add useful ballast to theoretical analyses because they can provide concrete, practical knowledge. Our researchers used case studies as a way to explore ways other urban communities have answered challenges similar to those faced by the West End. These studies became a platform for new thinking and approaches to research formulation, implementation, analysis and assessment.

This comprehensive review revealed that while the initial research completed in the spring of 2011 yielded important knowledge and concepts, some of which were later adopted by the West End, the thinking that bolstered the solutions derived from their investigations was neither as systematic nor as comprehensive as it could be. Seizing on this lesson to help them find their footing, the research team reshaped the scope of their investigation, so that they could carry forward existing research methods as they simultaneously employed new ones. This also guided individuals in the group to formulate more robust strategic frameworks to guide their solution-focused ideation. The current discovery phase has been shaped by this agenda. It is comprised of three distinct forms of research: primary, secondary and case study. Each of these proven research methodologies alone offers unique research benefits and, together, provides a more synoptic approach to understanding and accounting for the previously identified challenges that plague the West End. Additionally, this phase is also more closely aligned with the over arching priorities articulated in the Dallas 360 plan.

“There’s a tendency for the West End to be painted in sort of a negative light. But in reality, when you look at it, it’s a tremendous success story. I mean, it’s the only self-supporting historic district in the area.” —West End business owner

21


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A growing understanding of the West End and its unique challenges informed our analysis and framed a set of principles that became the touchstone for our strategic approaches, tactical ideation, and the solutions we recommended.

* 1

2 Early Research

3 Current Discovery

4 Analysis

5

6

7

8

9

Framing

Analysis and Framing > Guiding Principles

By synthesizing what we learned from our early research with what we learned during our more recent inquiries, we generated a set of interdependent guiding principles to inform our future work on this project. Collectively they have shaped our strategic approaches and how we have engaged in ideation. These guiding principles manifested themselves in two distinct ways: As a set of values that recognized our limited ability to foster positive change and that guided the nature of the changes we were hoping to catalyze.

Authentic

Aspirational

The West End’s new identity and future purpose must be grounded in its past in order to ensure that it will remain authentic and stay true to its role as a steward to the defining facets of Dallas’ history. This is the West End's unique gift and responsibility and should guide the bulk of its endeavors and undertakings. The West End must remain true to what it is and always has been, lest a trite and manufactured identity be created.

While we recognize the important history that is woven into the fabric of the West End, we also acknowledge that change is necessary and welcome to an urban district striving to remain relevant in today’s world. Thus, our ideation sets it sights on the horizon and focuses squarely on the positive development of the District’s future.

Catalytic While our planning encompasses a modest ambit, our goals are larger. We hope that by instigating innovative, small-scale design interventions over time, our efforts will attract the interest of larger groups and institutions. In turn, we believe this will catalyze increased community and development activity to the benefit to the West End.

As a central belief in the proposition that community building can lead to increased economic vitality.

* Considered together here because of their theoretical and conceptual interdependency

Modest The Dallas 360 plan considers the needs of and engages with the entire downtown area of Dallas. Given our resources and our modest ability to function as change agents, we realize that while our ideas are big, their implementation will be smaller in scale and more incremental in their development.

Community = Commerce Based on our research and our critical examination of the current realities facing the West End, we believe that efforts to revive the district should focus first on community building because success in this area can be transformed into economic vitality. To read more evidence that supports this decision, please proceed.


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OUR secondary research informed and supported our evolving set of values and our strategic decision to pursue a ‘community = commerce’ strategic and ideational approach for increasing the vitality of the West End.

* 1

2 Early Research

3 Current Discovery

Analysis and Framing > Community = Commerce

Our analysis, strategy framing and ideation, and the solutions that emerged from these conceptual models, rest on an evidenced-based belief and subsequent strategic decision that community building can be an effective driver for increased economic vitality. This position sits in contrast with other urban development models that focus first on economic development in the hope that community vibrancy will naturally follow. Neither approach is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ per se. Often they are pursued concurrently and/or interdependently. In this instance, our decision was to focus on a communityfirst approach, and this choice was principally informed by three main factors. 1. Larger Context. Our research project for the West End is playing out within a larger reality and a long history: the Dallas 360 plan and the city’s ongoing economic aspirations. Clearly, a larger focus on economic development was already in place across Dallas’ central downtown districts and beyond. Therefore, a space existed for a more intimate, district-level plan focused on community building. 2. Value Set. As a small, academically-based research team partnering with a single urban district that possessed limited traditional resources to confront a host of challenges, it was important to be clear with the West End and with ourselves about the scope of our collective ability to affect meaningful change. Therefore, values

4 Analysis

5

6

7

8

9

Framing

such as modesty, focus, and catalyzing action shaped our research, approaches to analysis, thinking, and, ultimately, what our expectations would be. We also felt it important to honor the West End’s unique role within Dallas and to retain to a commitment to its authenticity. These aspirations fit well and find secure footing within a community-focused approach. 3. Supporting Evidence. Our secondary research (literature and case study review) identified an array of evidence that supported the viability of enhancing community as a means to not only develop more livable urban neighborhoods but also to power economic vibrancy. This secondary evidence provides ballast for many of the primary observations gathered by our research team, and pointed to a viable path for the West End to follow. In the next few pages, see a sampling of this evidence and read about the ways it supports a community = commerce model for community development.

Research Reports and Key Findings Higher community attachment = Higher GDP growth and higher population growth

M e t r o p o l i t a n Po l i c y P r o g r a m

The Brookings Institution

6.9%

6.7% “Downtown revitalization requires a high

Turning Around Downtown: Twelve Steps to Revitalization Christopher B. Leinberger1

ation and is best achieved when a unique ‘private/ public’ process is used.”

2.6%

Knight Soul of the Community 2010

degree of cooperThough every downtown is different there are still common revitalization lessons that can be applied anywhere. While any approach must be customized based on unique physical conditions, institutional assets, consumer demand, history, and civic intent, this paper lays out the fundamentals of a downtown turnaround plan and the unique “private/public” partnership required to succeed. Beginning with visioning and strategic planning to the reemergence of an office market at the end stages, these 12 steps form a template for returning “walkable urbanity” downtown.

0.3%

O

ver the past 15 years, there has been an amazing renaissance in downtowns across America. From 1990 to 2000 the number of households living in a sample of 45 U.S. downtowns increased 10.6 percent.2 The fact that many downtowns have experienced such growth and development—in spite of zoning laws spurring suburban sprawl and real estate and financial industries that don’t understand how to build and finance alternatives—is testament to the emotional commitment to our urban heritage and the pent-up consumer demand for walkable, vibrant places in which to live and work. The appeal of traditional downtowns—and the defining characteristic that sets those that are successful apart from their suburban competitors—is largely based on what can be summarized as walkable urbanity. Since the rise of cities 8,000 years ago, humans have only wanted to walk about 1500 feet until they begin looking for an alternative means of transport: a horse, a trolley, a bicycle, or a car. This distance translates into about 160 acres—about the size of a super regional mall, including its parking lot. It is also about the size, plus or minus 25 percent, of Lower Manhattan, downtown Albuquerque, the Rittenhouse Square section of Philadelphia, the financial district of San Francisco, downtown Atlanta, and most other major downtowns in the country.

T HE B ROOKINGS I NSTITUTION

R ESEARCH B RIEF

Knight Communities

overall w w w. k n i g h t f o u n d a t i o n . o rg Copyright © 2010 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.

-0.2%

< 3.70 n= 7 comm.

Introduction

M ARCH 2005

2.1%

why People love where they live and why it Matters: a national Perspective

1

< 3.71-3.84 n= 9 comm.

3.85+ n= 7 comm.

GDP Growth (2006–2009) Population Growth (2006–2009)

on twitter: #SotC

1

Urban Communities – More is Better

Community Attachment & GDP Growth

This 2005 Brookings Research Brief offers evidence that higher levels of urban activity—a dense mix of public and private amenities and offerings— increases the number of people on the streets, raises land and property values, and makes the community feel safer. Further, “more activity attracts more people ,which increases rents and property values, creating more business opportunity.” From this report, we learned that there is value in working to create an interdependent cycle of community and economic development.

This study by the Knight Foundation and Gallup provides evidence that a positive correlation exists between community attachment and local GDP growth. This data suggest that highly attached residents—those possessing an emotional connection to a place— are more likely to contribute to its growth. Three key drivers are largely responsible for creating community attachment in individuals.

Brookings Institution research report, Leinberger, C. (March 2005) “Turning Around Downtown: Twelve Steps to Revitalization”. ©The Brookings Institute

Knight Soul of the Community 2010, Knight Communities: Why People Love Where They Live and Why It Matters: A National Perspective. ©The Knight Foundation

social offerings – Places for people to meet and to bolster the feeling that people in the community care about one another.

openness – How welcoming the community is to different types of people, including families with young children, minorities and talented college graduates. aesthetics – The physical beauty of the community, which includes the availability of parks and green spaces.

The report goes on to state, “While the study also measures perceptions of the local economy and basic services, ... these three softer needs should [always] be included in thinking about economic growth and development.”


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* 1

2 Early Research

3 Current Discovery

4 Analysis

5

6

7

8

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Framing

Insight From Select Case Studies

27

Downtown Racine Wisconsin Racine is located on Lake Michigan about 30 miles south of Milwaukee and 75 miles north of Chicago. Racine’s downtown revitalization effort has turned a once neglected and almost lifeless five block area into a thriving business district and tourist destination, now busy with restaurants, specialty shops and an entertainment venue. Their central focus was and still remains community enhancement by projects that foster the movement and meeting of people. Even Racine’s Chief of Police has adopted the mission of delivering community-oriented police services to the people of Racine since its downtown area has been re-vitalized.

The Lafitte Corridor, New Orleans, LA The Lafitte Corridor aims to unite greater numbers of New Orleanians with more of the city they call home. The Corridor was initially intended to be enjoyed by walkers, runners, bikers, families and friends. It has also benefitted businesses by creating a broader means for tourists to access what would have otherwise remained undiscovered gems throughout the city. This catalyst for increased pedestrian traffic serves as a source of excitement for both businesses and patrons along its length.

Clarke Square Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Harlem Children’s Zone Harlem, New York

Clarke Square is one of the most diverse communities in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The community boasts the Milwaukee County Mitchell Park Conservatory—where visitors can enter the world’s only beehive-shaped glass domes—and Cesar Chavez Drive, a commercial strip that draws Milwaukee’s Latino community and others to shop, eat authentic Mexican food, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.

Called “one of the most ambitious social-service experiments of our time” by The New York Times, the Harlem Children’s Zone Project is a unique, holistic approach to rebuilding a community so that its children can stay on track through college, enter the job market, and later bring jobs and business back to Harlem. The Harlem Children’s Zone seems to have gained the confidence of many local stakeholders thanks to its extensive grassroots outreach programs and inclusionary practices.

In 2009, more than 435 residents were asked to share their vision for the community. Then, Clarke Square stakeholders came together to develop and endorse a unified plan for improving the quality of life there. This activity has stimulated a new spirit of neighborliness and commitment to the community. More people now come out to support the efforts of law enforcement to promote neighborhood safety and more Cesar Chavez Drive businesses are improving their streetscapez and growing their companies.

Visit the links below for more information about these case studies http://www.hcz.org www.racinedowntown.com

http://staylocal.org

http://www.znimilwaukee.org


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imagining Abductive thinking > future scenarios > metaphor > ideation

inventing

& investing 1

2 Early Research

3 Current Discovery

4 Analysis

5 Framing

6 Scenarios

7

8

9

Ideation

in positive

Positive Change – Where Does a Future Begin? For many design researchers (and designers), positive change begins with imagination and ideation. Imagination instigates the change process in the form of abductive reasoning, or thinking about what ‘could be’ rather than explaining ‘what is’. Abductive reasoning is how design researchers use new knowledge as a starting point for generating solutions rather than as the ending point of their research. This type of thinking often takes its cue from theories by Simon1 and others who believe design thinking and its focus on ‘futures’ is the first step toward transforming a less desirable present into a more desirable future. Within our research protocol, abductive reasoning allowed us to imagine many possible futures for the West End, three of which are featured in this workbook. Each is a future focused look at a time where increased community vitality will power economic vibrancy. These metaphors guided our 1. Simon, H. (1996). “The Sciences of the Artificial”. (Cambridge: MIT Press)

ideation phase and the solutions that emerged from it. Ideation takes its cue from imagined future scenarios and generates solutions designed to make these futures possible by building a bridge to them from the present. At this stage, multiple ideas are explored in divergent, expansive ways. No types of thinking, however playful or unrealistic, are devalued or discarded. Only after large numbers of ideas are generated are they then vetted for their merit and viability. Out of this convergence emerge the ‘best’ or most innovative and relevant solutions or solution directions. Within our research protocols, ideation allowed us to generate multiple solutions that could become the catalysts for one or more of the three futures we have imagined for the West End.

To learn about three possible futures for the West End and the ideas that could begin to help realize them, please see pages 40 –91.


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THE story of any place and time is not determined by one person or one group. Many different stakeholders should actively contribute to shaping the vision for the West End so that they are invested in its future. To ensure that their voices are heard, we believe participatory engagement is a crucial part of our process. 1

2 Early Research

3 Current Discovery

Participatory Engagement1 > Not Extra—Necessary

The West End is writing a new narrative about its future success. Its story—like those of other thriving 21st century urban districts2—should speak of a setting filled with lively neighborhoods, active businesses, cultural and recreational attractions, a genuine, robust sense of place and deep pride in its local character. To complete its unique narrative for sustained prosperity, the West End must give all of its stakeholders— business and property owners, residents, students, visitors, and people who work in or near the district—a chance to help write the story. The Dallas 360 plan identifies several important goals for the West End and suggests means to achieve them. The thinking it promotes is a welcome addition to the West End story. Nevertheless, a plan cannot substitute for a vision—a common expectation among stakeholders of what a place could possibly be and become. For this vision to emerge and then be effectively nurtured, the West End will have to make and then champion a conscious effort to engage all stakeholders in substantive, meaningful, and sustained ways.

1. Many so-called “co-creative,” or participatory engagements in design-led research actually begin earlier than is depicted in the diagram above—often in the “Current Discovery” phase.

4 Analysis

5 Framing

6 Scenarios

This engagement approach aligns with our action research model’s emphasis on collaborative problem identification and solution finding. It also is an irreplaceable part of any revitalization effort for important reasons. The process:

7 Ideation

Equity

Moreover, the West End needs to invite and account for representation, a crucial element to any participatory engagement. Representation spans two primary modalities: equity of representation and breadth of representation. Equity of representation is concerned with recognizing and working to mitigate the inevitable advantages and disadvantages existing between individuals and groups in a free, pluralistic society. Breadth of representation is concerned with achieving an accurate portrait of the community, so that every interested group or individual is sufficiently aware of and able to participate in public debate.

2. Soji Adelaja, “Regional Placemaking for Prosperity in the New Economy”. Michigan Township News. May 2008.

9

Engagement Representation

Breadth 31

Agency Participatory Demonstration Participation Campaign

> capitalizes on unique local assets to reveal a collective vision of great value to businesses, residents and visitors, > helps generate new ideas and possibilities previously undiscovered or unexplored, and > contributes to understanding the needs and desires of stakeholders, enabling revitalization to realize sustained success, profitability and growth. > In sum, participation leads to engagement, which leads to personal investment and a sense of ownership.

8

Dialogue Dialogic Space Charrette Voice Conflict Analysis Survey Examples of engagement methods that support Representation Equity and Breath


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GIVING engaged stakeholders a real, meaningful voice can yield many types of beneficial returns. Vision Mapping is one way to encourage and shape these conversations, as well as channel shared desires for a brighter future.

1

2 Early Research

3 Current Discovery

Beyond Representation > Vision Mapping After accounting for representation, the West End should structure future stakeholder engagement systematically. Apart from the control that a thoughtful process offers, it also makes sense as an investment the district can make in its future success. Great places happen when people share a love for and interest in them. Through that bond, people work together, bound by their vision of an inspired future. One way to begin to create this shared investment is through an engagement process called Vision Mapping. Vision Mapping is a customized engagement process designed to identify the best solutions for the West End’s future through stakeholder participation. Ultimately, the process will establish equal and comprehensive stakeholder representation IF the major priorities identified acknowledge the priorities of each stakeholder segment. Vision Mapping requires an investment of time, money and energy. Yet the benefits of stakeholder participation far exceed the expenses and will be less costly than failures that might result from a lack of ignorance of resident and visitor preference and lack of community loyalty. It is an endeavor that requires commitment from vested leadership to listen to their stakeholders, to be advocates for participation, and to be stewards of their stakeholders collective vision.

4 Analysis

In addition to its long term benefits, Vision Mapping can also produce desirable short term returns that include: > Analytical data that can be attractive to prospective commercial entities. > Marketing data for updating West End's evolving branding efforts. > Input that can help shape specific details associated with space use.

5 Framing

6 Scenarios

7 Ideation

Even implemented in limited form, Vision Mapping can be a powerful strategic planning tool. The process creates a diverse arrangement of forums designed to harvest and extract opinions and perceptions from all levels of the district’s stakeholders. It can also help establish a means to interactively assemble a common vision for the West End’s future. Vision Mapping can help sustain the most critical priorities already identified in the 360 plan, while simultaneously revealing localized ideas that could help shape the West End’s own future vitality.

9

Engagement Representation

The data gathered through this process can reveal business opportunities that support stakeholder preferences. Specialty retail, entertainment, and neighborhood-centric restaurants and services are possible categories stakeholders will strongly support, which then becomes valuable information that the West End can use to directly court compatible business concepts. Moreover, the Vision Mapping process can demonstrate the competencies and commitment of the district’s leadership and stakeholders, providing proof positive of the West End’s collaborative and development oriented environment. Through this process, or one similar to it, the district stands to gain the substantial leverage and political will necessary to boost efforts to establish tax incentives or other economic development assistance.

8

33

Vision Mapping (Procedural Overview)*

Mobilize

Connect

Participate

Harmonize

Adopt

Establishing the foundation and framework for the Vision Mapping process that includes setting up a management structure, identifying key stakeholders and identifying their priorities.

Engaging stakeholders to actively contribute by expressing their preferences and ranking their priorities.

Motivating stakeholders to interact, offer ideas and solutions, and shape possible future scenarios for the West End’s future.

Reaching consensus, providing responsive interaction, and confirming stakeholders' critical needs to forge a common voice.

Promoting the common vision through one voice. Stakeholders continue to work together to benefit the West End, themselves and each other.

* A comprehensive Vision Mapping resource manual was developed and is available for stakeholders working on this research project.


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PILOTING processes will allow us to evaluate the relative feasibility of enacting select ideas within specific scenarios. These small-scale, short-term experiments will determine how given concepts, methods and systems affect potential costs, scheduling, resource requirements and management structures. 1

2 Early Research

3 Current Discovery

A Means to Verify and Validate > Operationalization Once the West End’s stakeholders and leadership have articulated a common vision for the future of their district, it will be necessary for them to begin to selectively operationalize locally framed ideas. Operationalization involves the cyclic testing of ideas that have been synthesized from the outcomes of prior research, strategic development and ideation phases into temporary, limited, real-world, real-time scenarios. These processes will help us determine how well they might utilize and—hopefully— champion specific West End assets as a means to effect and sustain genuine, substantive and positive economic and cultural change in this unique setting. These processes will also help us begin to formulate ways and means to develop whichever ideas that, once operationalized and tested as pilot concepts, we believe have the greatest potential to marry effectively with select actions proposed in the Dallas 360 plan. Piloting processes will involve the collaborative participation of certain West End stakeholders, community leaders and UNT DRC students and faculty. They will begin by constructing or enacting select methods and ideas—many of which will not be and should not be complete—that the group believes have the potential to instigate and sustain positive change in either specific West End locations, or across the district, or in online environments that support

4 Analysis

5 Framing

The piloting process affords those who utilize it unique opportunities to analyze and evaluate aspects of ideas and methods that don’t satisfy criteria for success. By analyzing and evaluating causal and correlational factors that contribute to “failures,” much can be learned that can prevent failure in a more fully realized idea or method in the future.

6 Scenarios

and promote activities there, or in some combinations of these. These methods and ideas will be operated for limited periods of time according to guidelines that will allow us to document and then analyze how particular groups: > perceive and respond to them, > behave within or because of them, > utilize the resources they make available, and > spend or conserve money as they encounter and interact with them.

The piloting processes that are being proposed here will be iterative in nature. This means that a select array of ideas or methods may be operated, documented and analyzed simultaneously and repetitively so they can be comparatively evaluated. The primary goal is to determine which of the proposed ideas or methods has the greatest potential to be effectively useful, realistically sustainable and most desirable to the West End’s stakeholders, leadership, and visitors. The secondary goal is to ensure that time and money are not wasted in the realization of inadequately designed procedure, structure, technique, system, experience or series of events.

7 Ideation

8

Engagement

9 Pilot Iterative Operationalization

01 Formulation

Entails briefly describing how a given idea, method or systemic endeavor should exist as a singular entity as well as how it should be situated in a given environmental, social, technological and economic context, and what its objectives are.

02 Buildout/ Realization

Involves creating or operating “just enough” of a given idea, method or systemic endeavor for a limited amount of time to allow personas representing specific users or audiences to engage with it.

03 Testing

We will utilize one or more of the qualitative methods and tools described on page 37 to provide us with the data necessary to engage in critical analysis in the next step.

Piloting Processes allow cyclic progressions from Evaluation back to Formulation or Buildout/Realization and forward again, until clear indications emerge about how useful, sustainable and desirable particular ideas and methods for improving the West End have the potential to be.

04 Analysis

35

This is an intellectually disciplined process that requires an active appraisal of information gathered during testing that will be informed by our experiences, what we observe, and, ultimately, how we communicate what we will have learned.

05 Evaluation Each piloting process will necessitate that metrics for assessing its relative success or efficacy be determined by us based on how the given idea or method being examined yielded outcomes that satisfied the objectives during formulation.


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HOW will we recognize our collective successes? A lot depends on the transformative goals the West End sets for itself, coupled with our ability to assess them. We are recommending iterative approaches for the former alongside qualitative1 methods and measures for the latter. run > observe > learn > retool > rerun

1

2 Early Research

3 Current Discovery

4 Analysis

5 Framing

6 Scenarios

7 Ideation

8

Engagement

9 Pilot

Modesty and Multiple Steps to Success

Useful Measures for Real-World Solution Testing

A Brief Overview of Often Used Qualitative Methods and Tools

One of the guiding principles for this research initiative, and for DRC projects generally, is modesty. Because we have limited means to alter circumstances, outcomes and behavior, it is important to be sensitive to and realistic about the type and scope of these changes. As a result of this grounding, we attempt to implement modest, serial successes through iterative approaches during the pilot phase.

Pilot projects will often have two overarching goals: 1) to determine if the planned design intervention (or solution) is effective (worked) in the ways hoped for (or not) and to what extent, and 2) gather enough data to infer why the pilot was or was not successful and use this information to retool the next iteration of the pilot. This iterative run > observe > learn > retool > rerun pilot model allows for informed, on-the-fly adjustment to real world feedback. It also helps to compartmentalize any failings while simultaneously building on successes. Assessment falls within the observe > learn portions of the pilot model.

Ethnography > The ethnographic approach to qualitative research comes from the field of anthropology. The emphasis in ethnography is on studying an entire culture or social network. The most common ethnographic approach is participant observation as a part of field research. The ethnographer becomes immersed in the culture as an active participant and records extensive field notes.

Iterative action frameworks employ methods for arriving at a decision or a desired result by repeating rounds of real-world trials and analysis or cycles of action and reflection. The objective is to bring the desired decision or result closer to discovery or realization with each repetition (iteration). The iterative process is especially useful when: > Decisions and/or changes are not easily revoked. > The ultimate outcome cannot be determined beforehand, or is provisional in nature. > The system being implemented needs to be flexible to account for necessary or inevitable ‘on-the-fly’ changes. > Projects occurring in real-world situations need to make ‘course corrections’ in response to unanticipated outcomes or new information. > Projects need to ‘learn’ and adapt over time as a function of their ultimate effectiveness.

Like many of the social sciences and other forms of inquiry that seek to understand and alter real word experiences of individuals and groups, our research principally employs qualitative forms of data gathering and assessment. Qualitative research seeks out the ‘why’ of things through the analysis of unstructured information—interview transcripts, open ended survey responses, e-mails, notes, feedback forms, photos and videos. Qualitative research is used to gain insight into people’s attitudes, behaviors, value systems, concerns, motivations, aspirations, cultures, or lifestyles. It’s used to inform business decisions, policy formation, communication and research.2 The next page offers a quick overview of some of the many qualitative tools or methods used to measure and learn during a research project, generally, and pilot projects, in particular. 1. For a brief definition of qualitative assessment, see the glossary on page 7. 2. See: http://www.qsrinternational.com/what-is-qualitative-research.aspx 3. Synopsized from: http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/qual.php

Field Research > Field research can also be considered a method of gathering qualitative data. The essential idea is that the researcher goes “into the field” to observe the phenomenon in its natural state. As such, it is probably most related to the method of participant observation. Grounded Theory > Grounded theory is a complex, iterative process. The research begins with the raising of generative questions which help to guide the research. As the researcher begins to gather data, core theoretical concept(s) are identified and links between those concepts and the data are established. This type of research tends to be very open but is always grounded in observation.

Participant Observation > One of the most common and demanding methods for qualitative data collection is participant observation. Participant observation often requires months or years of intensive work because the researcher needs to become accepted as a natural part of the culture in order to assure that the observations are of the natural phenomenon. Direct Observation > Direct observation is distinguished from participant observation in that a direct observer strives to be as unobtrusive as possible. The researcher is watching rather than taking part. Consequently, technology can be a useful part of direct observation. For instance, one can videotape the phenomenon or observe from behind one-way mirrors. Also, the researcher is observing certain sampled situations or people rather than trying to become immersed in the entire context. Unstructured Interviewing > This form of interviewing involves direct interaction between the researcher and a respondent or group. It differs from traditional structured interviewing in that while the researcher may have some initial guiding

Assessment

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questions, there is no formal interview protocol. Also, the interviewer is free to move the conversation in any direction of interest that may come up. Consequently, unstructured interviewing is particularly useful for exploring a topic broadly. Case Studies > A case study is an intensive study of a specific individual, system, event or series of events, or of the specific context within which any of these function. For instance, French psychologist Jean Piaget did case studies of children in the early 20th century to study their developmental phases. There is no single way to conduct a case study, and a combination of methods (e.g., unstructured interviewing, direct observation) can be used. Information and insight resulting from case studies can sometimes be generalized for applied use with categories of problems.3


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l l l l l l > REMEMBERING // DALLAS' FRONT PORCH

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THE FRONT PORCH WAS A PLACE OF MANY THINGS. It was a place for family—to sit after dinner and listen to your grandfather’s stories or watch your brothers play football in the yard. It was a place for community where you shared secrets with your best friend and your neighbors brought casseroles and gossip. It was a place for solitude, for reading in an old rocker; for your first kiss and for waving to your parents when you left for college. The front porch was a place of many things. But above all, it was a place to remember. >> Dallas has forgotten. An economically driven metropolis, Dallas long ago plowed over its roots, its history, and its culture. Constant progress has led away from this city’s authentic self. The West End houses that self. There are the buildings that gave rise to this city. There is the history of pioneers, of prohibition, of presidents. There is the memory of what we come from to create a living history that will carry Dallas into the future. There—in warm red brick and turn-of-the-century block typography—we can come home.

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1 From the beginning, my goal for this project was to develop a feeling of community and identity in the West End. There is a detached sort of incongruence there, heightened by empty lots, empty streets, and attractions that have little to do with one another. People visit the West End to do one or two things and then they leave. There is no place for them to stay, nor is there much incentive. I began thinking about community by asking what it arises from. Physically, it arises from the people, the place, and the resources. Emotionally, it is informed by shared experiences, shared space, shared interest, sharing stories, sharing time, and sharing goals. This idea of community from common-ness arose quickly. But common-ness based on what?

> first interlude // a researcher’s perspective... Sierra Mendez Design Innovation Studies Senior MA Student 4th Semester Researcher and Content Editor, The West End Project

My first inclination was to base the foundation of community on resources. After all, civilizations were founded so that members could share resources to survive. A community’s resources became its identity and source of prosperity; therefore, it dictated what people were. Like a fishing village off the coast of Mexico or a mining town exporting metals in Colorado, Dallas itself is a product of trade economy— of warehouses and train stations. Based on these notions, I developed a framework for how community is a product of people-based, place-based, and time-based resources that was presented to our research group in December. It wasn’t enough, though. It was… well, economic. For me, it lacked true investment in a vision for the West End. It lacked a common goal. So I began again with the West End’s resources and asked “What could you be?” and “What are you really?”

It then occurred to me that one of the West End’s greatest resources is its stories. Its history. Its narrative as the birthplace of Dallas and the stories of all the people—famous or everyday— who have lived or visited there. What is most valuable about the West End is the historic character of its architecture and the human-ness of its buildings. In many ways, the West End has the feeling of a small town right on the edge of Dallas. The personable nature inherent throughout the population of the West End is a gold mine that is waiting to be tapped. This is a resource that appeals to countless audiences and can be expressed in a myriad of forms, all of which would make it a unique and identifiable district. For me, these qualities were embodied in the front porch and the notion of the West End as Dallas’ Front Porch--the place where old stories were shared and new memories were made. The place where people were welcomed into Dallas. The place where people could go to waste time and relax away from their hectic and harried lives spent in generic cubicles in glossy, mundane buildings. A place to be outside and be comfortable being yourself as you meet people. The front porch embodies what the West End is by right. From this notion, I developed a different framework—one based on traits of the front porch—and then experimented with how the West End’s resources and possibilities could be filtered through it to create the vibrant community and identity essential for developing a vital economy. This is my vision for the West End. It’s based on what the West End already has so that it can retain its identity, is authentic rather than manufactured, and seeks to amplify resources already in place to create a community where people can come home and stay awhile.

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l l l l l l > REMEMBERING // DALLAS' FRONT PORCH > IDEAS

WITH these ideas the West End can begin to link its past to its future and remake itself into Dallas’ Front Porch

– a place to remember ...

‘Front Porch’ Ideation by Group and Correlated to Urban Planning Conventions. Idea Group

Idea

Found on Page

1. Meeting – Gettin’ Acquainted

First Sundays

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Chili Cook Off

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Picnic Day

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From Drive Thru’ to Front Porch

Conceptual Framework > Ideas in Context

Farmer’s Market

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Right now, lots of people come to the West End but few stay there. Visitors experience an attraction here and there and they leave without spending time with the district as a place.

On pages 45–47 you’ll find a matrix where we present five groups of ideas, all focused on reshaping the West End into Dallas’ Front Porch. Individual ideas within each group are also correlated to one or more of six typical urban planning conventions or their ability to raise money. This matrix illustrates the conceptual framework that informs the ideation for this particular vision for the West End.

Charity Cake Walk

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Fry-an-Egg Day

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Ultimate Frisbee Day

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Welcome Mats

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No-Talent Show

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Man Versus Food

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Idea descriptions follow on pages 48–57. There you can read about these ideas individually, by groups, or as they relate to the urban development conventions below.

Crawfish Boil

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Charity Walk

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Town Hall

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Adopt-a-Street

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2. Talking – Shootin’ the Breeze

West End Recipe Book

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The Local Biddy

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> BU ILDIN G STOCK

Good Directions

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> SOCIAL O FFE RIN GS

Your Two Cents: Town Meeting 50

> FACILITATIN G TE CHN OLO GIE S

Mailbox 50

Tours 50

Event 50

Mural 51

Google Maps 51

StreetCam 51

We want folks to hang up their hat and stay a spell. We can do this by activating and incorporating typical urban planning amenities/attractions and giving them our own authentic Front Porch spin that will make the West End unique among destinations. We want visitors to help us create a living history that is based on the memories of the West End and the new memories people create everyday when they meet, talk, play, relax and remember.

> E N TR AN CE S & GATE WAYS > PU BLIC AME N ITIE S / SPACE S > GRE E N SPACE S

> FUND R AIS ING POTENTIAL

Urban Planning Convention


l l l l l l > REMEMBERING // DALLAS' FRONT PORCH > IDEAS

‘Front Porch’ Ideation by Group and Correlated to Urban Planning Conventions (continued).

‘Front Porch’ Ideation by Group and Correlated to Urban Planning Conventions (continued).

Idea Group

Idea

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5. Remembering – Recollectin’ the Good Times

Stamp Collection

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Sidewalk Chalk Area

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The Past Projected

55

Drive-In Movie

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Paint by Number Mural

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Homemade Toy Area

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Grandpa Joe's Stories

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Vegetable & Herb Garden

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Vintage Photo Booth

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Sprinkler Parking Lot

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Vintage Live Stream

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Vintage Candid Camera

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Awkward Family Photos

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Giant Checkers

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Historical Maze

56

1950s Playground

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People of the West End

56

Parking Lot Baseball

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Individual Storage Crates

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Street Bowling

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Storage Crate for All

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The Lemonade Stand

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Message in a Bottle

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For Rent: Red Wagons

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The Mailbox

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Bicycles

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Dear Diary

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Family Tree

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Idea Group

Idea

Found on Page

3. Playing – Havin’ a Ball

The Courts

Bicycle for Two

Urban Planning Convention

Found on Page

Horse Buggies

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Conspiracy Exchange

Musical Chairs

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Historical Conspiracy Adventure 57

4. Relaxing – Puttin’ up Your Feet

Town Square

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Yesterday's News (YN)

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The Backyard

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YN Broadcast

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Sit-a-Spell Areas

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YN Broadcast Stations

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Wayside Lawns

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Outdoor Living Room

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The Tree House

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Public Seating Competition

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E N T R A N C E S & G AT E WAY S P U B L I C A M E N I T I E S / S PA C E S G R E E N S PA C E S BUILDING STOCK SOCIAL OFFERINGS FA C I L I TAT I N G T E C H N O LO G I E S FUND RAISING POTENTIAL

Urban Planning Convention


l l l l l l > REMEMBERING // DALLAS' FRONT PORCH > IDEAS E N T R A N C E S & G AT E WAY S P U B L I C A M E N I T I E S / S PA C E S G R E E N S PA C E S BUILDING STOCK SOCIAL OFFERINGS FA C I L I TAT I N G T E C H N O LO G I E S FUND RAISING POTENTIAL

IDEA Group 1 > Gettin’ Acquainted ‘Front Porch’ Ideation > Individual Descriptions

First Sundays – First Sundays Every first Sunday of the month, the West End has a community event that centers around a themed dinner whether it’s spaghetti night or a potluck that could also be used to introduce other things such as bands or community charity events. These First Sunday dinner could be supplied by the community or sponsored by restaurants or a mix of both. It’s an opportunity to develop a feeling of community as well as a chance for restaurants to gain patronage.

Chili Cook Off – Businesses/restaurants/and attractions would present their chili and all in attendance would vote. Winners would receive a designated prize. There’s an opportunity to hire local talent for entertainment and charge attendees a small entry fee to generate funds for community projects.

Picnic Day – Baskets are prepared and auctioned off for low prices and everyone eats their picnic with a friend somewhere outside. Either restaurants could prepare the picnic baskets as a form of advertising or it could be organized so that individuals prepare them and you have to take whoever’s basket you pick to lunch. It’s an opportunity to raise money again for community projects and make new friends!

Farmer’s Market – If people in the West End could get a farmer’s market going, it would bring people to the West End and provide for developing community. Farmer’s Markets are a popular trend right now that is based on old-fashioned practices that align with the West End’s history and people love them. Markets could feature local artists, bakers, etc. and we could search outside the city for farmers to sell their wares.

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Charity Cake Walk – Common causes are excellent ways to generate community and feeling of belonging to a team. Starting small like this would be an excellent way to promote relationships between all the different types of people in the West End. Have people (or restaurants) donate baked goods and sell them to raise money for a local charity like an animal shelter or a homeless shelter or kids hunger program. By choosing a local group, you show that the West End takes care of their own

Fry an Egg Day – Pick the hottest day in summer and try out all those things your grandmother claimed could be done on a hot day. Let people bring water guns and wear their swim trunks and whatnot and see if you can literally fry an egg on the sidewalk. Or start a fire with a mirror and some paper. Every time your grandmother said, “It was so hot, you could boil water on the sidewalk” —now’s your chance to try it.

Ultimate Frisbee Day – A fun way to get people outside in the community and playing together. Form teams based on businesses or apartment complexes. Restaurants could sponsor teams and outfit them in t shirts and water bottles and refreshments. Could become a permanent fixture in the West End.

Welcome Mats – Placed at main entrances into the West End or entrances to parking lots or even on the side of a building so it can be seen from I-35— something that makes people feel they’ve arrived.

No Talent Show – Embarrassing but fun. Set up a show where people draw their “talent” from a hat and they have to do whatever it says. Make it funny and interesting. This could be advertised as a way for businesses in the area to chill out and relax and laugh at their bosses and provide lots of drinks.

Man vs. Food Weekend – Inspired by the glutinous TV show, have a tournament weekend sponsored by the restaurants where people can take food challenges. Advertise it at El Centro and in apartment complexes and perhaps seek out a few “competitors” from around the Dallas area who make a habit of doing things like this. Make t-shirts that can be sold to raise money. Have a local band and have fun.

West End Crawfish Boil – Hire local bands, get a moonbounce, and cook lots of crawfish. These are a Southern tradition and would generate new visitors as well as provide an opportunity for restaurants to advertise themselves and bring the community together.

Charity Walk – Choose a national charity like Breast Cancer or American Heart Association or a local charity and organize a walk-a-thon to raise money

for it. Businesses could set up refreshment booths and promote themselves while supporting the cause.

Town Hall Meetings – A chance for West End Stakeholders to give their opinions, to vote on actions, to meet and work together to create the West End they believe in and want. A needed opportunity for collecting valuable feedback from members of the local community. Could be facilitated in person or on-line.

Adopt-a-Street – Motivate different groups within the West End to adopt specific streets that they are then responsible for keeping clean and improving. That way, the West End has a vehicle through which to make improvements to their street view. For example, you'd have teams to help put up Christmas lights in December.


l l l l l l > REMEMBERING // DALLAS' FRONT PORCH > IDEAS E N T R A N C E S & G AT E WAY S P U B L I C A M E N I T I E S / S PA C E S G R E E N S PA C E S BUILDING STOCK SOCIAL OFFERINGS FA C I L I TAT I N G T E C H N O LO G I E S FUND RAISING POTENTIAL

IDEA Group 2 > Shootin’ The Breeze ‘Front Porch’ Ideation > Individual Descriptions

West End Recipe Book – A collaborative community effort that could be sold at the visitors center and other places to bring the West End into people’s homes and to raise money for community projects. It would feature recipes from restaurants, from residents, from workers, from attraction managers, etc. to create something that can be passed on to family and friends of the West End.

The Local Biddy – An old-fashioned style newsletter that shares events and going-ons in the West End. Its goal is to get the word out about efforts in the West End and raise local awareness. Can run “juicy” profiles on people there. A way to leverage cool things that are already happening to make them have an even greater impact. This newsletter should be used to attract more businesses and greater stakeholder involvement. It should also be made available online.

Good Directions – Consistent, branddriven signage should be incorporated throughout the whole of the West End in order to a) unite its different potions and b) provide people with a sense of where they are and where they could go.

Your Two Cents Town Meetings – Where anyone in the West End—not just members of the business association—can get together and talk about plans or changes they’d like to see. Hold them the first Wednesday of every month or something. That way, ideas that business owners like can be implemented in a way that makes everyone happy and gets everyone involved.

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Your Two Cents Mailbox – Mailboxes set up around the West End with paper attached for people to leave notes about comments, concerns, criticisms. The goal is feedback from people about what they’d like to see change and what they’d like to see stay the same.

Your Two Cents Tour – Displays of ideas for spaces would be set up around the West End next to the space it would be happening in. Let people vote or comment on ideas with stickys and pushpins and stickers.

Your Two Cents Event – Set up the same displays in an empty building or a museum and let people do the same thing. Generate community involvement and common goals. Let people feel involved and important in decision-making.

Your Two Cents Mural – Set up a large mural display of what the West End could be. Again, let people vote on the visions they like. OR put up a blank map and let people draw their own visions. Or cut out visions from an available stack of magazines and paste. Could even have a jar from which people can take, or give, two cents. Adding a price either way gives it more weight even though the price is tiny.

Your Two Cents GoogleMaps – Similar to the previous idea but executed using GoogleMap..

Your Two Cents StreetCam – Let people speak into a camera and tell you what they want. Mount it very securely and preferably somewhere high up. Videos could be streamed or posted somewhere so people could watch themselves and each other. Could also incorporate “Truth or Dare” scenarios to spice things up and make it fun to watch.


l l l l l l > REMEMBERING // DALLAS' FRONT PORCH > IDEAS E N T R A N C E S & G AT E WAY S P U B L I C A M E N I T I E S / S PA C E S G R E E N S PA C E S BUILDING STOCK SOCIAL OFFERINGS FA C I L I TAT I N G T E C H N O LO G I E S FUND RAISING POTENTIAL

IDEA Group 3 > Havin’ a Ball ‘Front Porch’ Ideation > Individual Descriptions

The Courts – Turn a parking lot into a set of courts—basketball, tennis, volleyball, foursquare—with a shady area for people to sit and watch. This could be inexpensive and easy – paint some lines and build a deck –or complicated – bring in sand, bring in that colorful sports foam to lay down.

Sidewalk Chalk Area – Let people create public art and take pictures with it. Or it could be an entire play area for kids with colorful seating and shady areas so that parents could sit. We could use sidewalks, parking lots, or even the sides of buildings as canvases.

Drive In Movie – These could be monthly events or weekend showings. The West End has tons of empty parking lots with convenient buildings. Could make it really old fashioned by playing black and white films and having a concession stand with cotton candy etc.

Use classic films starring Charlie Chaplin, Katherine Hepburn, John Wayne or Fred Astaire. There’s nothing like that anywhere in this area and people would come for dates or with their kids.

Homemade Toy Imagination Area – An inside play area where kids get tools to make their own toys, like kaleidescopes and phones out of string and cups, and spy glasses out of cardboard and mirrors and elaborate pulley systems and rubber band guns and jewelry from noodles and dolls from socks and guitars from paper towel rolls and rubber bands. Marketed as a placed for creativity and imagination.

Vegetable and Herb Garden – A community garden with plots for different groups or individuals. Could even sell what’s grown to visitors. Would be homey and fit current green movements

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and bringing farming to the city. (see also: Urban Food Gardens, p. 91)

Sprinkler Parking Lot – Remember running through the sprinkler as a kid? Yep. An old fashioned water park with sprinklers and colorful mats for sliding. Could be an area with dish soap for bubble making and lathering up to slide.

Live Music Radio – A old-fashioned radio station with glass windows where people can come in and record their song. It's then played in venues throughout the West End or is made available online. Could sell CDs or MP3 files.

Giant Checkers – Or Lincoln Logs or Barrel of Monkeys or Marbles and Jacks or Horse Shoes or Battleship. For Park Venues of mediums or large size.

1950s Playground – By old fashioned, I mean a teeter-totter and a swing set and a jungle gym and the classic merry-go-round.

Parking Lot Baseball Diamond – Same concept as the Courts but adding it some Sandlot or Field of Dreams. “The one constant throughout the years has been baseball.” It’d be pretty awesome too to get a mural painted along the walls with Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio. Old rockstars of baseball.

Street Bowling – Close down the streets in the West End for a weekend and let people bowl. Be creative with the "pins" and make different stations related to different West End attractions and key facts.

The Lemonade Stand – A venue for locals to sell their wares. People have talents like jewelry making and model airplanes and pottery and sewing. Give them a chance to sell it.

Red Wagons for Rent – To let families travel around the West End more easily and without as much whining, parents can rent red wagons to pile their children into and cart them around the West End. Wagons can have tags and there could be several drop off stations around the West End as well as designated parking for them.

Bikes for Rent – Same concept except bicycles. This idea has been implemented in many cities all over the world.

A Bicycle Built for Two or More –Take a load off and let someone cart you to your destinations around the West End.

Horse Buggies –Building on the carriage business already present in the West End, make the whole enterprise smaller and more convenient. Get smaller horses who are strong (like Gypsy Banners) to carry buggies on shorter rides so people can get the experience without paying a ton of money.

Musical Chairs or Duck, Duck, Goose – Chairs that play with you! There are lots of ways to do this but, essentially, the seating would facilitate games. They could be lined up that look like a xylophone and you can “play” them with your weight. Or they could be benches. Or hopscotch that you jump between. Or actual chairs. (see also: Interactive Sidewalk Experience p. 85 )


l l l l l l > REMEMBERING // DALLAS' FRONT PORCH > IDEAS E N T R A N C E S & G AT E WAY S P U B L I C A M E N I T I E S / S PA C E S G R E E N S PA C E S BUILDING STOCK SOCIAL OFFERINGS FA C I L I TAT I N G T E C H N O LO G I E S FUND RAISING POTENTIAL

IDEA Group 4 > Puttin’ Up Your Feet

IDEA Group 5 > Recollectin’ The Good Times

‘Front Porch’ Ideation > Individual Descriptions

Town Square – An old fashioned square with turn of the century lighting and benches and trash receptacles and a promenade and fountains. Cobblestones, grass, arches with flowers.

The Backyard – A place to relax and have fun with rockers, porch swings, etc. including an old fashioned jungle gym, teeter-totter, tire swings, those spinny things that make you feel queasy...

Sit-a-Spell Areas – Various areas around the West End set up for public seating including: spools, whicker chairs, gliders, barrels, storage crates, hammocks, rocking chairs, porch swings.

Wayside Lawns – Transform empty parking lot into vertical green space with panels of grass, places to sit, trees made out of mesh wire.

Outdoor Living Room – Lay out garden carpets (yes that is carpet with leaves and greenery and whatnot on it) around an area. Provide shade with potted plants or screens or covered areas. Set up couches and bean bags and recliners.

The Tree House – Build a massive, tumbling over itself construction of wood that’s shady and has nooks and crannies and pully systems that children can play in and adults can sit in and talk. It'll provide a unique place for people to relax and spend time.

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Public Seating Competition – This is a day or two day event involving the creation of creative public seating from recycled goods. Creations would be set up around the West End for people to vote on their favorites. Get businesses and El Centro and apartment complexes involved to generate ideas. The winning ideas get implemented in the West End.

Marketplace to Community Center – Instead of relying on outsiders for a major source of West End rejuvination, why not activate the massive dead space with a community center that hosts plays and concerts and tae-kwon-do and a climbing wall and kids’ parties and crafts fairs? This would bring life to the area in the same way that an Art Institute would have, inviting families and community members from all over Dallas to come to the West End and have a great time with one another.

Stamp Collection – Every restaurant venue and attraction gets a collection of individualized stamps. Visitors get a booklet when they arrive for a minimal price or for free. Then every place they go, they get a stamp so that they have a record of the places they’ve been and maybe there’s space next to the stamp to log something exciting or paste a photo. Maybe once they fill their stamp collection, its redeemable for certain goodies in the West End. There’s also room for an online venue where people can track their stamps online and click on other people’s to read stories.

The Past Projected –Use outdoor projections to light up the sides of buildings with images of what the street or parking lot looked like a hundred years ago or what it looked like at important points in time like the flood or Pearl Harbor or the JFK assassination. This could be done technologically through building projec-

tions or artistically through paintings. (see also: Building Projections, p. 85).

Paint by Number Public Mural – Use an empty lot or the side of a building or create wall and draw a historical collage on it that people can paint. That way the community generates an image of the historical community.

fee, provide old-fashioned costumes and props like umbrellas and top hats and dusters, and print the images using vintage photo filters so that they look like the photo was taken at the turn of the century. Could also have an old fashioned photographer walking around with a vintage camera. Also give people a venue to post their images on the West End website.

Grandpa Joe’s Stories – This could be online or through QR codes or a boxes that people walk up to and press a button and it talks. Have an old timer’s voice tell fun or interesting things that have happened in the West End. Or it could be a collection like the stamps and as you collect them, it forms a time line or other time-based artifact.

Vintage Live Stream – Same concept as the photo booth but instead it’s a movie reel that’s sped up in black and white to look like a Charlie Chaplin film or something. Give people a box of ideas for scenes related to the West End like a train heist or an arrest and either stream their videos live online or at some public venue within the West End.

Vintage Photo Filters Booth – Potential Fundraiser We all know how much people love taking pictures of themselves. Let them do a reel for a small


l l l l l l > REMEMBERING // DALLAS' FRONT PORCH > IDEAS E N T R A N C E S & G AT E WAY S P U B L I C A M E N I T I E S / S PA C E S G R E E N S PA C E S BUILDING STOCK SOCIAL OFFERINGS FA C I L I TAT I N G T E C H N O LO G I E S FUND RAISING POTENTIAL

IDEA Group 5 > Recollectin’ The Good Times (continued) ‘Front Porch’ Ideation > Individual Descriptions

Awkward Family Photos – Have an ongoing monthly contest online for who can take the most awkward family photo (or who HAS the most awkward family photo) in the West End. Winners get a steak dinner or something.

Historical Maze “Get Lost in History!” – Develop an outdoor (or indoor) maze that has different historical time periods in the West End. Use photos and costumes and leave clues and riddles that you have to solve before you can pass a certain way. Maybe there’s a way to collect gold coins that earn you points and you can get a “prize” at the end. Make parts of it lower so that you have to crawl or higher to climb or have foam pits you have to swing across. Make it fun and exciting and educational at the same time! Maybe the maze changes and ways get blocked off or have different “exhibits” so people can come back.

Storage Crate for Individuals – Buy or automatically receive a miniature storage crate for the West End in which to put mementos and souvenirs and photos. To do this though, the West End would have to ensure that they produced cool, inexpensive thing to put in it—like the photo booth and the stamp collection and the brochures and ticket stubs and other quirky gifts.

Storage Crate for All – Build or buy a massive storage crate to put somewhere in the West End that people can put themselves into through pictures or messages or mementos, stand it sideways or build it so that people can walk into it.

Message in a Bottle – For this, all we’d need is a bunch of paper, pens, markers, glass bottles and a parking lot. Or a cement wall we put the bottles in when we have enough. This is a message to someone you can’t talk to anymore,

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someone you remember. It’s more like PostSecret.1 We should have a way to show the bottles with their messages inside online or in a booklet and let people say the things they need to say.

The Mailbox – More and more society is losing the mailbox. With the advent of email and instant messaging, no one writes letters anymore. This is a chance for people to write letters that will then get posted online and maybe if they want someone special to see it, they can provide an email address so the other person can see it.

Dear Diary – A log that anyone can contribute to of stories that happened in the West End. Could be online or in person. Or something in person that can then be put online.

Family Tree – A public art mural of the West End “Family” including but not limited to: historical figures, former restaurant owners, business owners, famous visitors, characters like Marvin and the carriage drivers, new visitors, residents, new residents. Let people add themselves to the tree.

Conspiracy Exchange – A public detective board like those on C.S.I.TM and Criminal Minds TM where people can post and write theories for the numerous mysteries circulating in the West End’s history such as the location of the first jail, Bonnie & Clyde, Doc Holiday, the FBI headquarters, and JFK. Of course, these will probably branch into other conspiracies. This could have physical, online, or mobile application manifestations.

Historical Conspiracy Adventure – Discover the truth through clues and riddles placed all over the West End! Create a game out of visiting different

1. PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. See: http://www.postsecret.com

attractions in the West End where people can collect “tokens” and figure out riddles. It could also be made interactive where you leave additional clues and challenges for the groups that come after you.

Yesterday’s News (YN) – An oldfashioned newspaper that’s essentially a “this month in history.” Articles should be written as though it’s that time. Example, talking about D-Day or the launch of Apollo 13 in present tense. Could also make smaller ones or “teasers” for restaurant menus and brochures.

YN Broadcast – Could play in attractions or restaurants or on the streets. Actual news recordings from early in history or could be someone from today pretending. Same as the articles just broadcast and/or available online.

YN Broadcast Stations – Historical markers that play a broadcast related to the event in the West End – things related to JFK and his assassination, things related to Bonnie & Clyde, things related to the FBI, the flood, the train station, the destruction of old buildings. In Dallas Alley, the station could play music and bands featured there with brief bios and information connecting them to Dallas and the West End.


l l l l l l > REDISCOVERING // URBAN FRONTIER

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MOST PEOPLE THINK THAT ADVENTURE ONLY EXISTS IN LANDS FAR AWAY. They think it takes a plane ticket or a pirate’s ship to help us find the excitement that calls from beyond the cubicles and chain-link fences of everyday life. But what if we discovered that adventure wasn’t so remote? That we, in fact, have a golden ticket to excitement and intrigue hidden in plain sight, stashed in the nooks and crannies of the streets we walk every day? >> The West End is that golden ticket—a pass to adventures we had no idea were right here waiting. The West End is a place where you can go nose-to-nose with a dinosaur, investigate a president’s mysterious assassination, and plan a heist exactly where Bonnie and Clyde did. It’s a place where you can scooter your way to a Mavs game and see a shark and some fish and then eat them for dinner. By capitalizing on the untapped resources in this unique landscape, we can enhance it’s allure as a place where local history comes alive and fun waits on every street. Discovery and excitement are not always in a land far, far away—sometimes they’re just around the corner.

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2 When challenged to confront with the issue of West End rejuvenation, I was drawn to the idea of novelty. I wanted to look at how the district could provide something new for each return visitor while not abandoning the attractions that are consistent and successful as they currently exist. Though my ideation process and focus has changed many times over the last two years, there has been one constant: I want the solution to be holistic and people-driven. I am rejecting the “if you build it, they will come” mentality and embracing the creation of a symbiotic relationship between people and place, one where pedestrians activate under-utilized space while that same space encourages continued activation through exploration.

> second interlude // a researcher’s perspective... Sam Williamson Design Innovation Studies Senior MA Student 4th Semester Researcher, The West End Project

My focus is on achieving this spirit of exploration, one where visitors are encouraged to take part in adventures and are rewarded for their participation. I want to foster an environment for urban explorers in the city’s historic West End because I think the district is an outstanding setting to facilitate such an engagement process. With the existing attractions, there is a consistent visitor population that the district as a whole could more effectively capitalize. If compelling reasons are created for this population to explore the West End, and their exploration is rewarded with meaningful discovery, then the district can holistically improve socially and economically. As I got my feet on the ground and began to research the district, I formed the analogy that I now refer to as “the island nation.” The West End has a handful of attractions that, regardless of the district’s struggles, have continued to succeed to attract visitors. These “islands” have adapted to survive by concentrating their efforts on themselves, forming imaginary borders around these attractions that represent the threshold beyond which they don’t really care what happens. There is value in expanding the borders of these islands, and then connecting them, which would unite the district as one entity, and help it forge a lasting commitment to its overall health.

The West End is loaded with parking. Though convenient, I believe this is a major factor in the district’s downturn as visitors can come and go without interacting with anything other than the sidewalk between their car and the front door of their destination. I began to develop my ideas on the basis that the West End must keep people out of their cars and tempt them into the district by providing experiences that are not the same every time a visitor encounters them, but are still uniquely “of the West End.” People are naturally curious. If simple cues could be created to prompt them to take a closer look at what's around them, then these kind of cues could be repeated in order to keep the visitors moving through the district and exploring, rather than just jumping back into their cars and leaving. If done effectively, the island borders will start to spread, creeping ever closer to the other island nations in the West End and their visitors. If the West End can encourage this type of island sprawl enough, the borders will meet and subsequently disappear, uniting the attractions and their visitors and increasing mainstay visitor populations. This spread would also activate the currently dead spaces in between the attractions, which in turn would create the foot traffic necessary to lure tenants to vacant store fronts. As of today, the West End merely provides the zip code for each island nation. If the island nations merge, then The West End would become the attraction, the destination—a hotbed for pedestrian activity and adventure. The historic land that Dallas was founded upon could become the setting for its rebirth, bringing smiles to the ghosts of this city as its future is brightened not by rebuilding, but by revisiting. So—grab your gear, adventurers! It's time to explore the West End!

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l l l l l l > REDISCOVERING // URBAN FRONTIER > IDEAS

WITH these ideas, the West End can capitalize on untapped resources to become the adventure next door—an urban frontier calling to explorers from Dallas and beyond.

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5 6 7 8

An Urban Frontier Waiting to be (Re)discovered.

Conceptual Framework > Ideas in Context

Idea Group 1 > Empowering Explorers

For urban adventurers from every point of the compass, the West End presents a mixed opportunity. The district possesses top flight destinations but they're surrounded by empty territory devoid of interest. The district is an urban frontier; an incomplete map waiting to be filled in with mysteries, surprises and wonder; a district ready for (re) discovery and renewal.

On pages 63–65 you’ll find a list of ideas that focus on transforming West End visitors into active explorers and the West End into an Urban frontier adventure.

Explorers are people whose thirst for discovery enliven the worlds, environments and spaces they encounter and explore. The following ideas can prompt all those who visit, work and live in the West End (WE) to become explorers in their own right, empowering them to actively explore the West End and to inject a new sense of adventure into the district. The ideas in this group and the next are departure points for action today, as well as sparks for future thought and implementation tomorrow.

The West End can quicken this revival by working to infuse its entire landscape with the spirit of adventure —activating untapped resources to fill the empty spaces, connecting the isolated islands of district activity, and transforming those who visit, work, and live ther into lively explorers seeking discovery around every corner.

Idea descriptions follow on pages 66–73. There you can read about the ideas individually or by group and also see how they correlate with traditional urban planning activities and amenities.

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Idea

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Treasure Trade

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2.

Path Tracker

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3.

Street Diary

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4.

Play Cues

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5.

WE Passport Program

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6.

Leave Your Flag

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7.

Discover Your Future

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8.

Discover Higher Learning

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9.

Back Alley Hall of Fame

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10.

Marking Your Territory

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11.

American Airlines Drifters

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12.

Travelling Treasure

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13.

Four-legged Adventure

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14.

WEpedia

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15.

Family Bricks

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16.

Secret Spots

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l l l l l l > REDISCOVERING // URBAN FRONTIER > IDEAS

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Idea Group 2 > Opening Frontiers Frontiers are spaces that can transform the merely curious into active explores. Landscapes brimming with opportunities for discovery and adventures. The best frontiers draw people in and hold them enthralled. The following ideas focus on transforming the West End into a frontier where visitors are enticed to explore its length and breath, its public spaces and private corners. They are ways to help urban explorers activate the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dead spaces, connect its island nations and help remake the West End into the place to explore next door.

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Idea

Page

Idea

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West End (WE) Food Trek

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17.

Stow Away Snacks

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2.

That-a-Way to Adventure

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18.

Base Camp

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3.

Frontier Expansion

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19.

Bring Your Buddy to Explore

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4.

Climbing Wall

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20.

Investigation Destination

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5.

The Starting Line

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21.

Nature Landmarks

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Exploring the Past

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Waterin' Hole

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Bike Ports

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Nighttime Light Show

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Discover Urban Disc Golf

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The Get-a-Way

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Dish Discovery

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Monster Search

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10.

Surfing for Discovery

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26.

Cultural Frontier

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11.

A Quick Pick-me-Up

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27.

Data Cache

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Grub-n- Pub Scavenger Crawl

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28.

Active Rest

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13.

Exploration Validation

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29.

Makeshift Market

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14.

Moonlit Urban Adventure

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Clay-Fest

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Power Your Adventure

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Adventure Tailgate

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Inside Out Discovery

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l l l l l l > REDISCOVERING // URBAN FRONTIER > IDEAS E N T R A N C E S & G AT E WAY S P U B L I C A M E N I T I E S / S PA C E S G R E E N S PA C E S BUILDING STOCK SOCIAL OFFERINGS FA C I L I TAT I N G T E C H N O LO G I E S FUND RAISING POTENTIAL

IDEA Group 1 > Empowering Explorers

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'Urban Explorer' Ideation > Individual Descriptions

1. Treasure Trade – A geo-cache1 scavenger hunt where people can post GPS coordinates to a treasure stash of their making. Other explorers would visit the West End to: find the a cache, take what is there, leave something different in it’s place, find a new hiding spot for the new treasure and then post the new coordinates. Many 'trades' could occur at once, even opening the opportunity to find multiple stashes or replacing each new treasure with the treasure from the previous cache. This idea takes very little active participation from the district itself. The West End simply plays host and enjoys the benefit from the added attention, pedestrian population, and spatial activation.

2. Path Tracker – The West End adventurers could use GPS tracking software on their portable devices to map their paths, allowing visitors to compare their exploration routes. The district could even use these path maps as an innovative way finding tool. For instance, a wayfinding sign where the

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paths between destinations change as the sign scrolls through the routes taken by the visitors who were there earlier.

performances, rewarding their search with unique downtown community theatre, music, comedy, or poetry.

3. Street Diary – Imagine if the West End explorers had the means to share a collective voice. A communication channel linking West End visitors, residents, and employees. The street diary would provide just that dialogue. Sidewalk chalk could make the public canvas big and visible and refreshed by mother nature. The only required action from the district would be to refresh the chalk supply and learn about and from the types of adventure being discussed.

5. WE Passport Program – A rewards program for staying in and enjoying the amenities of the district. For example, after you leave your tip for lunch at Sonny Bryan’s the waitress gives you a dated stamp in your passport. This gives you the option to get $5 off at the Aquarium if you go that same day or get a dollar pint at the West End Pub anytime until midnight or half off an appetizer at Gators if you arrive in the next hour…etc. Each establishment decides what they want to offer and for how long after the previous time stamp the offer stands.

4. Play Cues – The district can use the two loading docks behind Gators as stages and thereby provide public community spaces for performances of all types. It could be by appointment or simply as first come first serve. This could be the kind of cue that pulls explorers through the district, getting people to seek out the sound of the

6. Leave your Flag – An Adopt-a-Sign program that allows an organization, business or individual to adopt a spot on a West End street post and, per preset rules, decorate the spot as they see fit. Past explorers can leave their mark and

1. PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people anonymously mail in their secrets on one side of a homemade postcard. See: http://www.postsecret.com

challenge new adventurers to find ways to outshine their predecessors. The program could foster a friendly community of explorers who compete and grow familiar with each other without ever having to actually cross paths.

7. Discover your Future – El Centro Community College could become a more active member of the district if its students were more involved in West End activities. For example, the district could host a career fair featuring businesses and organizations within the district.

8. Discovering Higher Learning – Similar to the idea of a West End career day, Discover Higher Learning is an opportunity for El Centro to go from guest to host and hold a college visitation day for high school students to visit the campus and it’s surrounding attractions, allowing faculty, staff, and current students to model some of courses on

campus (cosmetology, graphic design, art,..ect) developing some interest in the campus and in turn the district.

a spot for an hour and leave your flag behind as an explorer or if you’d rather be part of someone else’s adventure.

9. Back Alley Hall of Fame – The West End alley is home to some sculptures that recognize some famous figures close to the hearts of Downtown Dallas. There are however millions of lesser known figures who hold Downtown Dallas close to their hearts. These people deserve to be remembered (or at least known first) too. The west end alley could play host an open gallery for statues honoring other Dallasites, known or not. Everything from tin foil to cast bronze, if it doesn’t violate rules/laws then it will stay up in the alley for all to see and admire.

11. American Airlines Drifters – The West End could offer up discounts for customers who bring in ticket stubs from AA center events from the same day. Tempting visitors to explore the district before and/or after events at the American Airlines Center. Entrances, social, $

10. Marking your Territory – “adopt a parking spot” allowing an organization, business or individual to adopt a West End parking spot and, per preset rules, decorate the spot as they see fit during the 'adoption period'. You can adopt

12. Traveling Treasure – Team West End bracelets that represent that you explored the West End, a keepsake from the district experience. Spreading the word about the new activities awakening the district.


l l l l l l > REDISCOVERING // URBAN FRONTIER > IDEAS E N T R A N C E S & G AT E WAY S P U B L I C A M E N I T I E S / S PA C E S G R E E N S PA C E S BUILDING STOCK SOCIAL OFFERINGS FA C I L I TAT I N G T E C H N O LO G I E S FUND RAISING POTENTIAL

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IDEA Group 1 > Empowering Explorers (continued)

IDEA Group 2 > Opening Frontiers

'Urban Explorer' Ideation > Individual Descriptions

'Urban Frontier' Ideation > Individual Descriptions

13. Four-Legged Adventure – A district-wide dog walk could awaken the district as a whole, springing every yard and getting feet on the ground through out the historic West End.

1. West End Food Trek – Vendor “buffet” providing choice between variety of cultural foods to delight explorers of all tastes. Buffet could provide an adaptable system where each portion of a meal is gathered at a different station. Like getting Texas toast from the bread vendor, then move on to meats vendor to get some smoked brisket, BBQ, caramelized onions, and freshly shredded longhorn sharp cheddar from the sauces and sides vendor, and then finally some sweet tea from the beverage vendor. Encouraging vendors to cooperate, the District could help ensure that visitors and others stop at multiple locations and thereby explore the West End via routes that can be planned and prepared for. This planning could also enable the district to predict pedestrian foot traffic patterns and leverage that knowledge.

14. WEpedia – A living streaming encyclopedia about the district, updated and maintained by it’s explorers. This website would allow posts of known history, stories, or even future opportunities in the district. Like a cross between twitter and wikipedia this program could foster a living data stream to educate explorers and give them an opportunity to share their expertise and experiences.

15. Family Bricks – Many locations will allow someone with history in a place to purchase a brick so that their heritage in the place can last forever. There are hundreds of thousands of people who have explored with the district in their

lifetimes. Some might love to attach their names to the founding grounds of Dallas. This could also be used to encourage exploration – the district could install the bricks in random places so part of the experience would be finding 'your' family brick.

16. Secret Spots – There is ample space for people to spread out, find and claim their own little corner of the West End. The secret spot program would allow adventurers to claim their spot for the day with a flag or some other marker— the same way early settlers claimed their land. The claimed space exists as long as the flag is in place up to the whole day. Reservations or first come first serve, the opportunity allows explorers to activate West End spaces in new, fresh ways.

2. That-a-way to Adventure! – Install hiking trail style signs that point out destinations using individual signs mounted on a post. The signs would point directions directly towards destination. Signs

pointing through buildings to destinations on the other sides leaves “the way” up to interpretation and encourages pedestrian exploration.

3. Frontier Expansion – There is a small collection of street parking in the district. These spots could be used creatively by people who are willing to pay the meter and their efforts could help foster a unique downtown corridor of unique vendors and boutiques of interest to West End explorers. By repurposing the handful of angular West End street-side parking, the district could open the door to a whole new variety of street level pedestrian interaction within the West End.

4. Climbing Wall – the West End has a handful of windowless walls located throughout the district. They represent an example of how under utilized space is not always on the ground, or even horizontal. The district could create urban rock climbing in these locations.

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Providing visitors with the opportunity to explore the district in a whole new way – vertically!

5. The Starting Line – With the potential to introduce 'adventure' signs in the parking lots, garages, meter spaces, DART stations, and bus stops surrounding the West End, the district has an opportunity to speak in new and compelling ways to everyone entering the district.

6. Exploring the Past – The West End could begin to 'open the door' to exploring it’s past by expanding on the details of the Founders Plaza Cabin and it’s historical significance. This would transform a marooned landmark into a tangible link to early area settlers.


l l l l l l > REDISCOVERING // URBAN FRONTIER > IDEAS E N T R A N C E S & G AT E WAY S P U B L I C A M E N I T I E S / S PA C E S G R E E N S PA C E S BUILDING STOCK SOCIAL OFFERINGS FA C I L I TAT I N G T E C H N O LO G I E S FUND RAISING POTENTIAL

IDEA Group 2 > Opening Frontiers (continued)

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'Urban Frontier' Ideation > Individual Descriptions

7. Bike Ports – The West End has a variety of patio space at its restaurants and bars. If patrons could stop at the patio fence to place an order the establishments throughout the district could increase its clientele in a new way. Bike ports could also allow bicyclists to park and place an order without having to get off their bikes. With the front wheel through the fence and a properly placed table top and foot rests, the bicyclist could sit at a restaurant on their own bike seat.

8. Discover Urban Disc Golf – The game of disc golf has its players constantly on the move. Traversing vast spaces to move onto the next hole in their game. The district could place the holes of a disc golf course throughout the various open spaces in the district making the players travel through district moving from hole to hole exploring every corner the district.

9. Dish Discovery – West End restaurants might open street vendor versions of their establishment to engage pedestrians with new food delivery options. Dallas is coming around to the idea of street vendors and as this trend grows ever more popular, the West End could benefit from this change in the City’s acceptance of such vending operations.

10. Surfing for Discovery – As part of the efforts to unite the West End the district could provide public WiFi or for patrons who has made a purchase anywhere in the West End. Log in info could be listed on the bottom of receipts from businesses though out the district. This service could help to provide a whole new set of amenities and services for West End explorers. Facilitating and encourage technological participation and supporting other ideas presented in this Workbook.

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11. A Quick Pick Me Up – Explorers need fuel to keep the adventure going. If the district could provide quick and easy ways to get snacks and drinks to its visitors then they can continue with their experiences in the West End. While vending machines are not often thought of as innovative, they can be when thought of outside the box or simply outside the buildings.

12. Grub-n-Pub Scavenger Crawl – To encouraging travel from one establishment to the next, the West End could host a scavenger hunt where restaurants and bars play host to district wide exploration. This programming could require participants to purchase food or drinks at one location in order to get their next pointer to the next stop in their adventure. Discounts could be added to each purchase to incentivize patrons to visit more rather than fewer locations.

13. Exploration Validation – Lots of places validate parking for clients. But, this amenity could be used strategically district-wide. For example, a West End visitor can have their parking paid if they show proof of purchase from three locations at the end of their West End adventure. If they show proof of purchase from five locations, they could receive paid parking and a free parking voucher for their next visit. Temp people to travel the district, see lots of places, spend money in of them, and come back to do it all again.

15. Power your Adventure – Provide public power public plugs to encourage district explorers with the opportunity to plug in their cell phones, get online, or charge their camera.

14. Moonlit Urban Adventure – Painted way finding throughout the district with glow in the dark paint so that it charges during the day and shows up through the night. This timebased wayfinding could provide a new experience for West End evening and night patrons.

17. Stow Away Snacks – Dart riders often find themselves waiting at the station, providing an opportunity for some quick transaction commerce. The West End might want to explore how its food vendors might be able to have a presence at the station.

16. Inside-Out Discovery – Have some of the more prominent West End museums find ways to get some of their exhibits on display outside temporarily, using some of the surrounding open space to host such a unique exploration of the past.

18. Base Camp – Explorers need to take a break, gather the troops, get in the shade, refuel, and map their next move. With some fun and engaging furniture positioned strategically throughout the district the West End could offer relaxing staging areas for urban explorers.

19. Bring your Buddy to Explore – The West End could install HOV parking spots, rewarding those who carpool with reduced or free parking. This tactic would encourage explorers to bring along a friend or two.

20. Investigation Destination – Provide a richer experience for visitors to the West End exploring the JFK assassination. This is a substantial visitor population so give the explorers something more to think about.


l l l l l l > REDISCOVERING // URBAN FRONTIER > IDEAS E N T R A N C E S & G AT E WAY S P U B L I C A M E N I T I E S / S PA C E S G R E E N S PA C E S BUILDING STOCK SOCIAL OFFERINGS FA C I L I TAT I N G T E C H N O LO G I E S FUND RAISING POTENTIAL

IDEA Group 2 > Opening Frontiers (continued)

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'Urban Frontier' Ideation > Individual Descriptions

21. Nature Landmarks – Many historical districts have markers and plaques that tell the story about the building that make up the cityscape. One change of pace could be to recognize the trees and what their connection to history is. A plaque next to one of the large oaks outside the Old Red Museum, might talk about a Dallas past when the tree was planted. There are some downtown trees in excess of 50 years old. They could provide innovative ways to talk about the past and become a new landmark for explorers to discover.

22. Waterin’ Hole – Explorers need liquids especially when the adventuring happens under a Texas sun. The West End could benefit from outdoor drinking fountains of various sizes –adults, kids, and even a short one for dogs, keeping any and all visitors out exploring, not retreating home for a quick drink.

23. Nighttime Light Show – The West End could use musical light shows within the district to create after-hours attractions for its nocturnal explorers. Most often seen at Christmas, lights flash along with musical accompaniment but the music is not played aloud on location. Rather, its heard on a local radio station. These lights could be strung in a variety of locations throughout the district and synchronized with different types of music and events.

24. The Get-Away – The West End could create a district-wide valet service, keeping the streets within the district clear while utilizing the available parking on the district's perimeter. When you are ready to leave you call with your location and your car is brought to you. Let visitors not worry about where they parked the car, let them explore far and wide with no 'long walk back'.

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25. Monster Search – The West End could hire a variety of sculptors to create a West End monsters. After being completed, the West End could hide the sculptures throughout the district, in sight but hidden – encouraging people to continue to look for them all after they have spotted a few. The West End would never post monster locations, move them every now and again, and add new monsters to the store over time. It’s a program that could bring a sense of novelty and fun to the district, encouraging exploration with each new discovery.

26. Cultural Frontier – The West End has a variety of empty store fronts. Not surprisingly, these vacancies have had a negative economic and public relations effect on the district. These vacancies do, however, present a unique opportunity. West End property owners could begin to create dynamic community engagement by finding short-term, event-based tenants for these vacant properties while they search for longer term renters. These event-based tenants

could be vetted not only by their ability to pay but also by their interest in adding to and enlivening the cultural capital of the district.

27. DataCache – Embed jump drives throughout the district – in between bricks in the walls, sticking off the side of park benches, on table tops at restaurants – to encourage people to examine their environment more closely. Observant explorers will discover the jump drives and find everything from fund West End facts to coupon codes for West End establishments.

29. Active Rest – The West End has a healthy tree population and limited seating. Install tree swings. It is a simple and inexpensive way to install seating and encourage fun throughout the district.

30. Makeshift Market – Pick a day a month, or a week, or a month and host a homegrown district marketplace. An event where anyone can brings goods or services, find a spot to set up shop and have a day to sell. This annual 'flashmarket' could stretch from one end of the district to the other and offer a variety that ensures adventurers will explore the district and bring their friends.

31. Clay-Fest – The district hosts a festival where everyone is given a hunk of clay, asked to create something and then stash it somewhere in the district. When found by others they can leave it in its place, move it to a new location, or simply take it home. Natural clay is biodegradeable for those works not found or wanted. Clay works can be an explorers' trophy to take home photograph.

31. Adventure Tailgate – Visitors claim their turf and prepare a signature dish that they are proud of on-site. Visitors can then share their techniques, recipes (if they’ll give them up) and a bite to eat. The whole district will be alive with rich smells and tasty treats – tempting people to engage with others and the space as they chase down the tantalizing odors and tastes.


l l l l l l > CONNEC TING // TECHNOLOGY

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CONNECTIONS ARE THE ESSENCE OF BELONGING AND WELCOME. They transform strangers into friends and locations into homes. They help communities make meaning, share purpose, and imagine futures. Connections can live and grow long after they are made and create feelings of pride, place and even purpose. >> Inventive and thoughtful use of technology can help the West End create and nurture these connections. Technology can connect us to the past by providing insight into how others once lived and as a means for us to relive our own memories. It can connect us to the present through interactive applications and instant communication with friends and soon-to-be friends. And technology can give us access to the future with its ability to bring people together again and again through digital venues no matter where they are. With the capacity to create connections and sustain them over time, technology can help the West End create a living history in which every individual has a unique role and knows they belong to a greater story.

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3 Four years ago, my husband and I left Wisconsin behind. Excited to explore the unknown and eager to find a new sense of belonging we headed southwest to Texas. The little girl inside me was wishing to see cowboys and bandits but the grown-up me was in search of a welcoming place to put down roots. We arrived in Dallas as foreigners and in trying to shed that title we sought to explore our new surroundings and make the unknown, known. We were in search of welcoming experiences to make connections. Somewhat surprisingly, the experiences we deemed “welcoming” had little to do with the built environment and more to do with the connections the environment fostered.

> third interlude // a researcher’s perspective... Nicole Hauch Design Innovation Studies Senior MFA Student 3rd Semester Researcher, The West End Project

Over time, our sense of belonging and feelings of pride for our new environment emerged; Dallas was becoming our home. This narrative is important for the West End because it demonstrates the making of connections can separate welcoming experiences from unfavorable ones and in our case even changed our perception of what “home” really was. My focus is to bring this vision to life though the use of technology. Technology is a medium through which to engage people and activate place. Whether people are settled in Dallas, planting roots here, or just passing through, we believe using technology in humanistic ways to make connections in the West End can turn it into a place people know and feel they belong.

Our vision for the West End is a rich and sustainable network that connects people to people through communicative and event-facilitating technology and people to place through historical storytelling and space activating digitization. Making connections to one another and to the space that last over time and distance is of great importance. Dallas isn’t always clear on who it is or where it’s going. Technology can be used to link us to both the past through memories and stories and to the future through lasting relationships and dreams. People are already trying to connect to the West End. Walk down Dallas Alley and you'll see where they've left their mark in fingerprints on dusty windows. They want to feel a connection and they want to have proof that they were here and had an experience here. Technology can facilitate those connections and make people feel even more apart of this place where Dallas started. Technology can expose the hidden activities and encourage the sharing of memories that created this district and continue to inspire it. During their adventures, technology can catalog people's memories, tag them with images, instantly share them, and permit others to post. Technology is a force multiplier that can inform the rest of the world that the West End is a place where you're part of the story. When I come to the West End the little girl inside me wants an adventure but the grown-up me needs a familiar and welcoming community. Together, let's create an authentic welcoming experience through technology that humanizes rather than alienating us. Technology that can tell the story of the West End in which we all play an important part.

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l l l l l l > CONNEC TING // TECHNOLOGY

WITH these ideas the West End can use technology to catalyze meaningful connections for the folks who live, work and visit the district. Turing bits and bites into community.

Connections Facilitated by Technological Means Idea Group

Idea

Found on Page

Linking People

Connected Website

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Civic Engagement Website

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A Place Where Technology Helps Forge Connections.

Conceptual Framework > Ideas in Context

Search Engine Optimization

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We want the West End to be a place where visitors and locals alike can connect and stay connected over time and distance. A place where people feel connected to the streets and buildings; to the food and good times; to the then and now. No matter where they come from or how long they've been there, we want the West End to be a welcoming place where connections are as natural as a conversation on a sunny street corner. With the capacity to help create connections and sustain them over time and place, technology can offer unique ways for people to share a moment, some fun and lasting memories. Thoughtfully used, technology can help create a West End where people feel they belong.

On pages 79–81 you’ll find four idea groups. Each group represents different ways technology can be used to foster and maintain individual and community connections— linking people over time and distance and to the West End.

1-800-WestEnd

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Tweet Screens

82

Katy Trail Extension

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Idea descriptions follow on pages 82–91. There you can read about the ideas individually, by groups or as they relate to the technologically facilitated outcomes below.

Connected Trivia Games

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Recipe Exchange

83

Transforming Space

Street Banners

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Street Light Revitalization

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> SOCIAL E N GAGE ME N T > IN FO RMATIO N DE LIV E RY

Building Projections

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> E XPE RIE N CE GE N E R ATIO N

West End Walk of Fame

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> FE E DBACK LO OPS

Interactive Sidewalk Experiences

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> PE RSO N AL E XPRE SSIO N

Historical Scavenger Hunt

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Geocaching Adventures

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Lecture Series

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Something in the Air

85

Study Spots

85

Public Wi-Fi

85

Premium Parking

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Building Basecamp

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Outcomes


l l l l l l > CONNEC TING // TECHNOLOGY

Connections Facilitated by Technological Means

Connections Facilitated by Technological Means

Idea Group

Idea

Found on Page

Sustaining Time

The West End Tour

Outcomes

Idea Group

Idea

Found on Page

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Creating Communities

Downtown Recycling Competition

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Interactive Museum Tours

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West End Recycling Competition

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Meet a Historical Figure

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Talking Trash Bins

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West End Documentary

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West End Round Robin

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Historic Dining Options

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Real-Time Advertising Opportunities

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Experience-Based Mobile Applications

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Summer Concert Series

89

Life Size Board Games

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Social Discounts

90

Augmented Reality

87

The West End Pass

90

Rooftop Solar Panels

87

Donations & Mobile Applications

90

Creative Wayfinding

87

Google Sketchup

90

Suggestive Wayfinding

87

Urban Food Gardens

90

West End Mobile Application

88

Cook With a Chief

90

Emergency Assistance Poles

88

The West End Creates Unique Art

91

West End Jumbotron

88

West End Starry Night

91

Bike Rentals

88

Imagination Playground

91

Virtual Memory Wall

88

West End Design Style Guide

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SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT I N F O R M AT I O N D E L I V E R Y E X P E R I E N C E G E N E R AT I O N FEEDBACK LOOPS PERSONAL EXPRESSION

Outcomes


l l l l l l > CONNEC TING // TECHNOLOGY SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT I N F O R M AT I O N D E L I V E R Y E X P E R I E N C E G E N E R AT I O N FEEDBACK LOOPS PERSONAL EXPRESSION

IDEA Group 1 > Linking People ‘Connecting’ Ideation > Individual Descriptions

Connected Websites – Websites provide platforms for social engagement and business commerce. Websites enable products and services to be searched from all connected websites across the Internet. While the major attractions in the West End have adequate websites, featuring a common banner or footer noting their relation within the West End communicates to patrons that these businesses are part of a larger identity—the West End.

Civic Engagement Website – A website of this nature provides another feedback loop with the specific intent to encourage stakeholders to participate in civic engagement. One specific component of this could be a virtual meeting place where people can meet face-to-face. The website would foster and facilitate communication between

residents, businesses, visitors and other populations within the district. This is a place where patrons can talk about what they see and tell the West End what they think. (see also Town Meeting page 47)

Search Engine Optimization & Social Media Cleanup – An effective search engine optimization plan will help ensure that the messages the West End is communicating to its external audiences are being received and ranked high among Internet searches. A social media cleanup will help remove outdated information on the web, and help keep information consistent.

1-800-WESTEND – “Thank you for calling the West End, who can I connect you with?” This idea uses an automated phone infrastructure to provide prerecorded information concerning the West End. The recording could tell users about

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the latest events, hours and contact information for their favorite attractions, or even suggestions for a dinner date, so they can connect to and experience the West End.

Tweet Screens – Tweet screens can are large, digital displays placed in frequently trafficked venues that display personal messages from those who are in the area. Users can interact with these screens using their mobile devices to send messages to the screen or respond to messages from others. One might post, “I’m at the Spaghetti Warehouse, come join me!” These large screens can be placed inside of businesses to provide novelty to users as they dine, or also in display windows to provide interactivity to visitors who are walking down the streets.

Katy Trail Extension – In coordination with the Dallas Parks & Recreation, this idea extends the Katy Trail from the American Airlines Center in Victory Park and brings it through the West End, which connects runners and other fitness-concerned individuals the area. The West End can attract these individuals by strategically placing water fountains throughout the area and signs warning drivers of the runners.

Connected Trivia Games – These trivia games, which could be smart-phone based or their own unique system, would allow guests within the West End to compete against themselves, friends and family with general Dallas trivia. Imagine receiving a menu along with an iPad or a code for your smart phone to play against others in the same restaurant or against someone trying boots on at Wild Bills? You could connect to anyone in the West End playing online!

Recipe Exchange – A recipe exchange can be added to the West End website as a way for all people in the West End to connect and leave something of their own. Homemade or popular restaurant recipes accompanied by brief personal notes and biographies from the cook can be a way for people to start communicating and sharing. The idea could be extended to include many other types of information sharing.


l l l l l l > CONNEC TING // TECHNOLOGY SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT I N F O R M AT I O N D E L I V E R Y E X P E R I E N C E G E N E R AT I O N FEEDBACK LOOPS PERSONAL EXPRESSION

IDEA Group 2 > Transforming Space ‘Connecting’ Ideation > Individual Descriptions

Street Banners – Consistent street banners that display the West End brand can bring vibrancy to the West End landscape and connect patrons with specific attractions and events. These banners can exist as traditional cloth banners, or as virtual banners displayed on electronic displays.

people and discuss the imagery uniquely displayed on the West End building stock.

Street Light Revitalization –Street light revitalization is the idea of replacing outdated lighting throughout the West End with newer, energy-efficient lighting. Innovative uses of light can connect patrons to these spaces and encourage more exploration throughout the West End.

West End Walk of Fame – The West End Walk of Fame capitalizes on the historic nature of the district by providing patrons with an interactive Walk of Fame. Using touchpoints like busts or stars placed on the sidewalk of various historic figures, patrons can interact and connect with the space in a unique way. Through a mobile application patrons could learn about each touchpoint and even be prompted when they are in close proximity to one of the busts or stars.

Building Projections – Building projections use projectors to project video and other interactive animations onto the building stock in the West End. By projecting movies, artwork and personal messages it forges a space where patrons can gather together, meet new

Interactive Sidewalk Experiences – This idea engages patrons and activates space by projecting interactive puzzles and games on the sidewalk. The projections transform unused space and encourage patrons to use space in a unique way.

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Historical Scavenger Hunt – In an attempt to familiarize patrons with the West End, this scavenger hunt asks users to locate specific historical elements in the West End, such as the Pegasus horse inside the Old Red Courthouse. This could be organized and delivered as a mobile application, allowing users to track their experience, collect images and post them online for others to see. (see also: Grub-n-Pub Scavenger Hunt, page 68)

Geocaching Adventures – Similar to a scavenger hunt, a geocaching adventure capitalizes on a much larger social game. Users receive geocaching coordinates to find an item located within the district, and using their mobile devices, track down and locate the cache. The West End could host a large event and form groups of people to hunt multiple caches hidden around the district. (see also: Treasure Trade, page 64)

Lecture Series – The West End can invite relevant individuals to the district. Through a partnership with NPR and KERA, the events can be simulcast through the Internet, radio and television, thereby increasing the exposure of the district to a larger audience and connecting West End history, current events and future endeavors to the public.

Something In the Air – This idea fills the air space in the West End with music, and fun announcements by strategically placed speakers in various outdoor locations throughout the district.

Study Spots – Study spots are the idea of developing areas within the West End that provide amenities that encourage increased duration of visits, collaboration and communication. Study spots can be located within existing businesses by simply providing pubic Wi-Fi or outside in designated areas, using covered tables

with a place to plug in and charge a computer, and solar powered fans. This could attract El Centro students and workers who are looking for a place to meet, work and relax. (see also: Rooftop Solar Panel, page 87, this section)

Public Wi-Fi – Building on the idea of study spots, this solution advocates for the large-scale availability of Wi-Fi as an amenity for all patrons within the West End to enjoy. As a single large network, patrons can experience uninterrupted Internet access as they move from one venue to another. Public Wi-Fi is the most efficient way to connect anyone, from anywhere, at anytime. Being connected and staying connected to your community is hugely important.

Premium Parking – To accommodate for visitors and patrons who use alternative fuel vehicles, the West End could provide premium parking with electric

charging stations for vehicles such as the Toyota Prius™. This encourages another user group to interact with and explore the West End. Power your adventure!

Building Basecamp – If patrons are moving throughout the district they are going to need more places to sit, the more fun and engaging the spots are the more interest they will garner. Why not let the visitors show the district where they want to relax and how? The West End could host a design competition where patrons decide where the basecamp should be located, how it will look, and what it will be made out of. The patron that designs the most attractive, financially feasible, and innovative base camp will have their designs made and implemented in the district.


l l l l l l > CONNEC TING // TECHNOLOGY SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT I N F O R M AT I O N D E L I V E R Y E X P E R I E N C E G E N E R AT I O N FEEDBACK LOOPS PERSONAL EXPRESSION

IDEA Group 3 > Sustaining Time ‘Connecting’ Ideation > Individual Descriptions

The West End Tour – The West End Tour is a narrated tour of the district, facilitated by an audio download via the web or iTunes. The West End has a unique reputation as the historic district of Dallas. While patrons come to the district to experience this, these experiences can be extended and augmented through a narrated tour connecting patrons to the West Ends past, present and future.

Meet a Historical Figure – Imagine meeting an historical figure! An onscreen interactive animated historical figure can greet patrons when they walk into a store, answer their questions and tell them interesting facts and stories. This idea increases novelty by featuring characters from the history of Dallas, coming to life to tell their own stories and impact on the district, the city and the region.

Interactive Museum Tours – The West End can adopt a cutting-edge trend of interactive museum tours with iOS-based devices like the iPod touch and iPad. These devices would have pre-recorded narrations and interactive exhibits to accompany the already unique museums. The interactive component would be transferable to a personal device so the user could then continue their fun at home.

West End Documentary – The West End has a rich history and an exciting future. A documentary about the district would inform patrons of its history and pass positive word that the West End is a place to be known. The West End could create an opening event and offering a special screening perhaps projected on a building. This would bring diverse groups of people together to learn about the West End and begin to build lasting relationships with the district.

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Historic Dining Options – Historic dining options connects history with the present by educating the user in a fun way and suggesting an experience that coincides with the information learned. In conjunction with the YO Steakhouse, Sonny Bryan’s, the Spaghetti Warehouse and others in the dining district, these venues could offer historic dining options on their menus. These options, labeled as such, could capitalize on historic figures associated with the West End, such as “John Neely Bryan’s Steak”. A QR code would be placed next to the menu item, giving the reader more information about its label and even direct them to Neely’s cabin.

Experience-Based Mobile Apps Take advantage of GPS functions inside of visitor’s smart phones to prescribe specific events and activities for them to do in the district, based on their location and family status. This is perfect for patrons who come to the West End but are unfamiliar with what to do and where to go. The idea can be further enhanced

by building upon the West End's history, so when they return, the app will know what they have done and suggest other related or newer activities for them to engage

Life Size Board Games – This idea connects people and helps engage stagnant populations, such as those that wait for light rails, by providing large-scale forms of entertainment, such as life-size chess, checkers or Twister. The games could be further augmented by being combined with the idea of interactive sidewalk experiences. A two-player game could be played with one person playing against a computer or another person at a different light rail stop.

Augmented Reality – Augmented reality can be like a window into the past. Connecting people to the past can be interesting and fun way to explore the present. By using the camera of a

smart phone to pan around the West End, patrons can see the location where Lee Harvey Oswald stood, the path that President Kennedy’s motorcade followed or the train tracks that ran through the West End.

to offer and cool experiences to be had, however people need to know how to find them. An interactive system could offer suggestions to patrons based on their location and family status and help them connect with these attractions.

Rooftop Solar Panels – Through the use of rooftop solar panels, the district can reduce its dependence on the City of Dallas’ power grid and save money. The rooftops of many buildings within the district are prime locations for photovoltaic panel placement. Solar panels on their own don’t really help people make connections, however the power that solar panels produce can be used for that purpose; for instance powering the Virtual Memory wall. (cross-reference Virtual Memory Wall, Nicole)

Suggestive Wayfinding –Suggestive wayfinding helps connect people to place and informs them of the businesses in proximity to where they are. Several areas of the district are time based, for instance, waiting for a train. Strategic and programmed experiences can take advantage of this. For instance, instead of the rail station just announcing that a train is approaching, it could suggest things like: “Five minutes until the next Green Line train arrives. Why not grab some McDonalds?””

Creative Wayfinding – A new, cohesive wayfinding system would allow the West End to showcase existing attractions, nightlife, entertaining and dining venues. The West End has much


l l l l l l > CONNEC TING // TECHNOLOGY SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT I N F O R M AT I O N D E L I V E R Y E X P E R I E N C E G E N E R AT I O N FEEDBACK LOOPS PERSONAL EXPRESSION

IDEA Group 3 > Sustaining Time (continued)

IDEA Group 4 > Creating Communities

‘Connecting’ Ideation > Individual Descriptions

West End Mobile App –A West End mobile app could inform locals and visitors by creating quick and way to connect with the West End on many levels. A mobile app for the West End could provide updates about the district, including hours of local businesses, special offers and push notifications about special events. It could also offer reviews of venues and allow customers to leave feedback about their experience within the district. Much like online urban city guides that help people find places to eat, shop, drink, relax and play, based on the informed opinions of a vibrant and active community of locals in the know.

Emergency Assistance Poles – These poles, similar to the usual blue-light poles found in parking lots, provide a way for visitors to feel safe by connecting them to emergency assistance if needed. They could be augmented to include services provided by the Visitors Center for non-emergencies.

West End Jumbotron – Just like visitors at a baseball game trying to get on camera, the West End could offer a similar experience. With a sign that reads stand here, visitors can be on camera for the rest of the West End to see. Proposals, kisses, and people throwing their arms up in the air because they made on camera, could be a unique and fun experience. The West End Pub could have a monitor that displays this activity, and encourages others to participate. (see also: Your Two Cents StreetCam, p. 51)

Bike Rentals – During ideal weather seasons in Dallas, the West End can work with a third-party to provide bicycle rental services for patrons. This will allow them to explore the West End and encourage physical activity. There could be multiple bike stations throughout the West End and by credit card recognition the machine could allow bike returns to any station. (see also: Bikes for Rent, p. 53)

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Virtual Memory Wall – A virtual memory wall is the idea of a place that allows people to leave behind their thoughts and memories. This motif can be realized through virtual memory walls, allowing visitors to leave their own memories in an environmentally friendly way. Virtual memory walls can be webbased or physical, in the form of a digital display or projected on a building. This portrays an active and living community within the West End.

Downtown Recycling Competition – Communities can band together through a simple recycling competition between districts. This effort could be pitched to the City of Dallas for funding. Each district would have a digital board that would display which district in the lead and how much their community has recycled.

West End Recycling Competition – The West End can leverage sustainability efforts by the strategic placement of recycling containers throughout the district to promote public recycling. The West End could create a contest and set a goal of how much recyclable product they want to collect. A digital board by the Visitors Center could inform the community of how many tons they have collected. If the goal is met the West End can thank the community for their efforts with 30% off coupons to participating businesses.

Talking Trash Bins – This idea thanks West End patrons for their help in keeping its community clean. When people throw their trash away it prompts the trash bin to say, “Thank you for keeping the West End clean!”

West End Round Robin – The West End could host an annual West End Round Robin with the idea of connecting people to the many venues the West End offers. The round robin could start with drinks at Gators, from there appetizers at the Spaghetti Warehouse, followed by dinner at YO Steakhouse. Patrons would be notified via smartphone of when and where to go next. The West End could partner with Northstar Carriages to provide horse drawn carriage rides to bring people to and from each place.

Real-time Advertising – With the light rail that goes right through the West End and the West End transfer station, the district could partner with DART for spe-

cific advertising opportunities. QR codes can take customers to real-time updates anywhere where there is a constant flow of information, for instance, train stations, bus stops, department store sales, live events, or restaurant specials. The West End can introduce smart posters on DART trams, which would provide commuters with travel information, special events and points of interest, as well as special offers so customers don’t miss out on opportunities within the West End.

Summer Concert Series – The expansive entertainment areas within the West End, such as the large area in front of the West End Marketplace, are the prime locations for patrons to get together and listen to music. While the West End already has plenty of excellent dining options, they could partner with local bands to provide regular entertainment. By producing this event as a series, they can build up repeat visitors.


l l l l l l > CONNEC TING // TECHNOLOGY SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT I N F O R M AT I O N D E L I V E R Y E X P E R I E N C E G E N E R AT I O N FEEDBACK LOOPS PERSONAL EXPRESSION

IDEA Group 4 > Creating Communities (continued) ‘Connecting’ Ideation > Individual Descriptions

Social Discounts – Social discounts are discounts offered based on the number of people in a location. Leveraging the power of social media and mobile devices, they encourage groups of people to come together. As more people visit a spot and “check in,” the discount becomes greater. When people are “checked-in” that is advertised on Facebook or Foursquare.

The West End Pass – The West End could offer an electronic pass that could be purchased once a year, which would allow visitors to experience all the West Ends attractions but only have to pay once. These pass holders wouldn’t have to wait in line to buy a ticket, could get 10% off admission, $1 off parking, and could enter into a drawing for a free pass for the following year.

Donations & Mobile Apps – West End businesses that have a charity connection, such as the United Way, could develop specific mobile applications to make it easier for patrons to donate to their cause. This is an easy way to get the community involved. Similar to the recycling competition the West End could create a contest and set a goal of how much money they want to raise. If that goal is met the West End can thank the community for their efforts with 30% off coupons to participating businesses.

Google Sketchup –Google SketchUp is open source software that could be used to create a virtual inventory of the building stock within the West End. This could be used as a decision support tool, helping the West End Association be more cognizant of the distribution and availability of real estate within the district.

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Urban Food Gardens – Food gardens can create a meeting place that fosters collaboration and environmentally friendly sustainability. Small rooftop gardens or gardens that grow on vertical walls add greenery to the space and can generate additional publicity and attract populations to the West End. (cross reference Vegetable & Herb Garden).

Cook With the Chef – Do you want learn how to make your favorite restaurant dish, socialize with new people and eat a fantastic meal? You could sign up and watch a chief from your favorite West End restaurant teach you how to make a delicious dinner. An entire website can be built around this idea – cooking tips, short film clips and recipes from participating chiefs, feedback, a sign up page for guests.

The West End Creates Unique Art – Do you want to have a hand in creating a unique, one-of-a-kind piece of art? Anyone can contribute and make one suggestion as to what should happen next in creating this piece of art. Patrons can make their suggestion online and watch it manifest itself. This can all happen live and be projected on the side of a building. At the end of the year the West End can host a gallery of all the artwork made by its community.

West End Starry Night – The West End can design an experience through sound and light. The theme for this month is Starry Night and it is aimed to attract couples who are looking for a romantic place to spend an evening together. Starting at 8 pm music fills the air through speakers, shining stars decorate the building stock through projections and flowers are sold on the corner. Stay tuned to next months theme!

Imagination Playground – Imagination Playground is a breakthrough play space concept conceived and designed by architect David Rockwell to encourage child-directed, unstructured free play. Imagination Playground in a Box is a kit of parts suitable for a variety of outdoor sites and allows children to constantly reconfigure their environment. The outdoor site could be equipped with video cameras so parents who drop their child off could check in on a smart phone and see them interacting with other children and the environment.

West End Design Style Guide – A design style guide is an agreed upon list of fundamental guidelines for a specific place. Each guideline then contains a descriptive statement and examples of recommended and not recommended applications. The West End can develop their own style guide to promote a desired look and feel and consistency throughout the district. This style guide

could include information on signage, storefronts, websites, advertising, and public art. Shared online to key audiences and stakeholders, the guide could help build the face of a community and strengthen the West End identity.


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➔ Sierra Mendez MA Researcher

➔ ➔ ➔

FOURTH INTERLUDE // THE VALUE OF IDEAS

Some folks say ideas are a dime a dozen. They may be right but ideas can be, well, ideal in many roles. The ideas in this Workbook carry their weight in three important ways: They can be combined to create a solution greater than the sum of its parts. They can spark other new ideas or represent an entire category of ideas waiting to be explored. They can be a direct catalyst for multiple outcomes.

FOR EXAMPLE !

The Courts + Ultimate Frisbee + Live Stream = Work Hard, Play Hard!

First Sundays + Your Two Cents + The Tree House = Home Sweet Home!

Vegetable Garden + Recipe Exchange + Photo Album = We Are Family!

The West End is full of young men and women between the ages of 18 and 35. Between the new businesses, El Centro, and apartment complexes, you have a young population with lots of energy. Dallas is an extension of this with the majority of its population being young members of the workforce. Give them places to be active and events for friendly competition and ways to brag about who won and you will have swarms of young, energetic, flirtatious, fun people coming to the West End first for sport, then staying to dine, drink and enjoy the area.

Most residents, when surveyed, said that the West End was for tourists. There’s something odd about them not feeling it’s a place for them when they live there. They should feel like they are a priority too. Providing ways for relationships between people to develop through events like First Sundays, letting them feel like there’s a place for them like the Tree House, the Courts, or WiFi study spots, and giving them an avenue through which to give Their Two Cents will help them know their needs have been thought of. An engaged local population is necessary for upholding the identity and culture of a place as well as the business.

By providing venues that allow people to share pieces of themselves, true bonds are created between a person and a place. Provide Grandma’s Garden for them to work in together for a goal and then see the literal growth from their efforts. The passing down and sharing of recipes is a riteof-passage and something that happens between friends. All of these would work together to make residents feel they’re family and will also invite visitors to be part of it by walking in the garden, by contributing their own recipes, and by adding their memories to the West End’s Family Album.


➔ ➔ ➔

Nicole Hauch

Sam Williamson

MFA Researcher

MFA Researcher

DYNAMIC economic environments often arise out of involved communities. To conclude this final interlude we highlight ways specific ideas from the previous sections—individually or taken together as a pervasive ‘brand environment’—could lead to more robust economic activity.

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YOUR T WO CENTS (pages 50 – 51) > FEEDBACK > ENGAGEMENT

Study Spots Spark Amphitheater

Amphitheater Sparks Water Courtyard

Buried Within an Idea Are Many Others

Study Spots is the idea of a designated area designed for individuals or small groups of people who need a place to meet, work and relax but that can accommodate charging stations for computers. I imagined these spots as covered tables with solar paneled fans to keep people cool in the hot Texas sun. As I was working through the idea of study spots it sparked another idea – an amphitheater. An amphitheater designed to accommodate a small crowd of people could attract teachers and students from El Centro who perhaps would like to hold class outside in beautiful weather. It might also encourage artists to display their work, poets to share their words, leaders to rally their community, and managers who seek team building exercises.

An amphitheater is a place where the West End community can gather together whenever there is an event going on. As I was working through this idea it sparked another idea—water courtyard. What if people want to gather together when there isn’t an event going on? A water courtyard could provide hours of fun for any age group. Dallas might not have a beach but it could have a water courtyard where people pack up for the day and enjoy playing in the water. In the winter months the fountains can be programmed with music and lights and put on a show every fifteen minutes.

Take geocaching for instance. The idea is based on finding destinations via latitude and longitude rather than address or landmark. This single idea can yield endless applications. In the West End geocaching ‘Treasure Trade’ (page 66), participants could be sent on a scavenger hunt where one cache has directions to a West End location that houses clues uncovering new coordinates on a menu, or each cache could hold a puzzle the solution to which reveals another location, or it could be a night search where caches are hidden in the daylight but glow in the dark after hours. Caches could house anything from YO coupons to West End key chains. With smart phones in the pockets of millions across the Metroplex, explorers are geared up and ready to go.

After finding out what the public wants, statistics and numbers can be given to potential businesses to demonstrate a welcoming market. This lowers the risk for potential business, something that is especially important for small, unique business which is what the West End should be aiming for

By asking and giving people what they need, you will create customer loyalty in the residents of the West End. Right now, they are disassociated. Making an effort like this will show them they're being thought of and that they are important, decision-making members of the community which, in turn, will make them more involved.

E X P LO R I N G A D V E N T U R E S ( p a g e s 6 2 – 7 3 ) > E N G AG E M E N T > A S S O C I AT I O N

Increases foot traffic and adds more people running around and enjoying themselves within and throughout the district. It makes the space more active.

Exposes people to previously unknown parts of the West End. Maybe they’ve never been to the log cabin and they’re going to pass businesses along the way that they haven’t seen before either. If a key clue is at the YO and they’ve never been there, they’ll be exposed to it.

T H E CO U R T S ( p a g e 5 2 ) > C E N T R A L S PAC E > N E W M A R K E T

Increases foot traffic through people coming from El Cento, from apartment complexes, from businesses, and from nearby districts full of apartments like Victory Park.

Activate space and sight-lines so that they are full of people in two ways—people walking to or from the courts or playing there. And people want to be where there are other people.

Creates a market. Young, sports-playing men and women will want a 'smoothie' shop and sports gear and sandwiches. They’ll want a bar to head to so they can celebrate victory or wallow in defeat. Activate a central space and you activate all the space around it.


V I R T U A L M E M O R Y WA L L ( p a g e 8 8 ) > A S S O C I AT I O N > I D E N T I T Y

Provides proof of other people which creates a bond through vicarious experience. Let people know what happened to someone else here and they’ll feel that too. Why else do people visit famous homes? Or their ancestor’s entrance to America?

Invites a feeling of belonging. Knowing other people’s stories, sharing your own story, knowing the story of a place makes you feel like you’re part of the story and that you belong there.

Creates customer loyalty by creating a bond. People return to where they have memories and to a place where they feel they belong.

W I - F I S T U DY S P OT S ( p a g e 8 5 ) > T I M E > C E N T R A L S PAC E

Creates a sight-lines full of people

Generates increased foot traffic

Invites a variety of patrons from businessmen to students to workers who want to eat lunch, snack, relax for a bit and check their e-mails.

F O R E X A M P L E > T H E L A R G E R W E S T E N D ' F R O N T P O R C H ' B R A N D E N V I R O N M E N T ( PAG E S 4 0 – 5 7 )

Activates a market. People who are studying often like food and beverages. Maybe they need office supplies. Maybe they want to take a break from their chemistry homework or workday and shop.

LOC AL CHARIT Y WALK (page 48) > ANNOUNCEMENT > ENGAGEMENT

Generates awareness of the West End through public announcements through fliers, through radio, through newspapers, through billboards, through people trying to get their families, friends, and co-workers to donate.

Activates local populations and stakeholders and gets them to work together for a noble, common goal. Sends the message that the West End works with their own to take care of their own.

Captures attention from potential investors and business owners when you go to them about supporting this charity. They see the lively, active community that exists as a potential business venture.

WHEN a brand environment is developed and sustained, it opens the doors for businesses that belong to and help enhance the brand. This larger brand environment is economically significant in two other important ways: for participating businesses it helps create a market out of patrons and visitors to whom the larger brand appeals, and for new businesses a built-in market reduces individual market entry risk.

Provides a venue for subtle advertising. If the West End Pub wants to set up a booth at the marathon or the Dallas World Aquarium wants their team to have t-shirts with their logo and “Support This Cause”—that’s effective, yet subtle advertising.

CO U L D H E L P AT T R AC T T H E S E T Y P E S O F B U S I N E S S E S A N D CO N T R I B U T E TO T H E I R S U CC E S S .

Trendy but authentic thrift store

Print Shop – period stationary, invitations, engravings

Old-fashioned ice cream diner like Beth Marie’s

Hat maker and dress shop and jewelry boutique

Ice cream truck—providing goodness on hot summer days

Antique mini-mall

Shoe-shine, shoe repair, and seamstress shop

Vintage wedding gown salon

Old fashioned artisan shops. Artists like potters, blacksmiths, glassblowers, quilt makers

Secondhand books with a section devoted to the rare, antique, and out of print

Pie bar – a delicious 'old-time' stop for hungry visitors

Barbershop complete with candy stripe columns

General Store – essential as it would serve the needs of residents as well as fit the brand

Natural foods store offering traditional food like canned preserves and homegrown produce

Newsstand – Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

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l l l l l l > MOVING FORWARD

NOW THAT YOU HAVE THE KNIFE, WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOU? This Workbook, along with its supporting research and ideation, links the top-down approach offered by the 360 Plan to many of the street level efforts being undertaken by motivated West End stakeholders. Our approach offers insights and tools that can help the district weave together high-level strategies with local aspirations. This blend creates unique approaches to imagining future scenarios, targets latent resources ready to be activated, and identifies district specific opportunities waiting to be pursued. The West End's future can and should be more than its present. Working together, we can collectively and systematically strive for that goal.

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l l l l l l > M O V I N G F O R W A R D / / PAT H S T O T H E F U T U R E

Present

Future New Ideation Engagement > Employing Processes From This Section New Ideas > Sparked by Ideas Found in This Workbook Path A

6|7

TWO paths forward, multiple choices and possibilities. 1

2 Early Research

3 Current Discovery

4 Analysis

8

9 Informed & Sustainable Action

5 Framing

6|7

Path B

6 Scenarios

Possibilities abound for increasing community and encouraging development in West End. The Dallas 360 Plan offers a long-term district level approach shaped by a broader vision for the city's nineteen central districts. West End stakeholders continue to explore self-initiated efforts to quickly raise the district out of its present, challenged state. Situated between the mile high Dallas 360 approach and the West End ground level activity lies this Workbook: the result of an ongoing design research initiative begun in 2010. The research and ideas presented here share common ground with the systematic approach evident in the 360 plan and the idiosyncratic qualities present in districtlevel attempts at change. We present aspirational visions for the West End's future but ground these scenarios in concrete ideas reflecting the district's daily urban reality. In previous sections, we offered three distinct future visions for the West End along with a host of enabling ideas for each. Within our research protocol the project is at phase six: ideation. The final three phases await—as do many possible futures only a few of which we have envisioned for the district. Looking ahead, we recommend that the West End use this Workbook as a tool to systematically and systemically consider what type of future they wish to pursue—ours or another—and how they might go about inventing it. On the following page, we outline two possible paths for West End as it charts its future course.

Ideation

7

9

8 Engagement

Pilot(s)

Assessment(s)

Path A > Uses this Workbook as a spark for others' new ideation and solution finding. Engaged West End stakeholders use this workbook to as a guide for their own inclusive and representative ideation sessions. These sessions could yield additional new ideas or starting points for pilot test projects or other potentially effective design interventions within the district. For optimal

success, we suggest that West End stakeholders carefully consider their ideas within a larger framing context and with a clear set of core values and priorities in view. We also suggest that West End stakeholders rely less on traditional approaches that have proven ineffective in the past and

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become comfortable with unique or atypical forms of problem framing and solution ideation. This Workbook provides a clear example of this type of approach and should serve as a valuable user resource.

Path B > Uses the ideas in this Workbook as a departure point for immediate consensus building and action. Engaged West End stakeholders and DRC researchers use one or more ideas presented in this Workbook as the basis for a pilot project or design intervention within the district. Implementing these ideas would represent actions being taken within one of the three possible West End future

scenarios – remembering, rediscovering or connecting. All three of these scenarios and their corresponding ideas should be reviewed by West End stakeholders. These groups would need to judge the intrinsic merits of the scenarios and ideas, and determine which of them most closely aligns with

the district's core values and priorities. Moreover, West End stakeholders would need to discuss and be comfortable with implementing community focused activity as valuable in its own right and as a means to catalyze future economic vitality.


l l l l l l > MOVING FORWARD // USEFUL RESOUR CES

AS a natural part of our ongoing research, we identify and learn from many useful sources. Below, find a selected list of these resources for anyone wishing to explore them in greater depth. Urban Development Organization

Community Economic Development Resources

Small Business Development Tools

Other Useful Links

Congress for the New Urbanism – http://www.cnu.org/ The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) is the leading organization promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development, sustainable communities, and healthier living conditions.

Main Street Program – http://www.mainstreet.org Main Street a community-driven, comprehensive methodology used to revitalize older, traditional business districts throughout the United States. The underlying premise of the Main Street approach is to encourage economic development within the context of historic preservation in ways appropriate to today’s marketplace.

Entrepreneur.com – http://www.entrepreneur.com From Entrepreneur magazine, has a vast array of resources on starting a business, buying a franchise, growing a homebased business, business opportunities, money and finance, sales and marketing, management, e-business, technology, and other topics.

Leveraging Employee Engagement for Economic Advancement – http://www.shrm.org/Research/Articles/ Articles/Documents/07MarResearchQuarterly.pdf

The Wall Street Journal Small Business center – http:// online.wsj.com/public/page/news-small-businessmarketing.html This site provides articles and other resources on topics such as small-business financing, running a business, using technology, building awareness, franchising, small business resources, and a small business how-to guide.

Knight Foundation “The Soul of the Community” – http://www.soulofthecommunity.org/

Urban Land Institute – http://www.uli.org/ ULI initiates research that anticipates emerging land-use trends and issues, proposing creative solutions based on that research. American Planning Association – http://www.planning.org/ The American Planning Association is an independent, not-forprofit, educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities by advocating excellence in community planning, promoting education and citizen empowerment, and providing the tools and support necessary to meet the challenges of growth and change. Parametrix – http://parametrix.com Parametrix is a small company that takes on community development projects surrounding infrastructure, natural habitat restoration, and designing a vision for the future. Parametrix believes that the best towns are inspired by our innate need for community. I particularly like their tagline—Inspired People. Inspired Solutions. Making a Difference.

National Trust for Historic Preservation – http://www. preservationnation.org The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a private, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to saving historic places and revitalizing America’s communities. Recipient of the National Humanities Medal, the Trust was founded in 1949 and provides leadership, education, advocacy, and resources to protect the irreplaceable places that tell America’s story. Staff at the Washington, DC, headquarters, six regional offices and 29 historic sites work with the Trust’s 200,000 members and thousands of preservation groups in all 50 states. Project for Public Spaces – http://www.pps.org Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Our pioneering Placemaking approach helps citizens transform their public spaces into vital places that highlight local assets, spur rejuvenation and serve common needs.

Urban Regeneration and Community Involvement – http://lec.sagepub.com/content/6/1/61.full.pdf

Strategic Planning and Community Involvement as Contributors to Sustainable Tourism Development – http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/ abs/10.1080/13683500108667880

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l l l l l l > MOVING FORWARD // COLOPHON > TEAM & CREDITS

THIS workbook represents an important milestone in a two year research initiative. Below we highlight and recognize the many individuals who and groups that have contributed to this project and to this publication. Principle Graduate Researchers and Workbook Co-Investigators

Faculty Researchers and Co-Investigators

Special Thanks – Project Supporters, Advisors & Contributors

My name's Sam Williamson and I was born and raised in Denton TX. I've always wanted to go on adentures. I first struck out on my own when I moved to Austin to chase down my BFA from the University of Texas. Later, deciding I had yet to truly chart new territory, I joined the United States Peace Corps. By the time my expedition came to an end, I had explored 7 countries, 2 continents, 8 languages, and 2 island nations – doing everything from training teachers in schools built on ancient sunken volcano pacific islands to managing Girls’ Mentoring Centers in the Saharan Desert. Though I had just finished trotting the globe, I came home to realize there was a wonderful opportunity to blaze a trail right in my own backyard. This very project has taught me you don’t have to travel the world to be an explorer, some adventures are right under your nose.

Hello, I’m Nicole and I am from Wisconsin. I am a graduate student at UNT, pursuing an MFA in Design with a concentration in Innovation Studies and a minor in Cultural Anthropology. It was in pursuit of this degree that brought my husband and me to Texas. After graduation I plan on pursuing a life long goal of collegiate education. My undergraduate degree is from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, however I attribute much of education to my time studying at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. The transition to Texas has been challenging at times but predominantly rewarding, in particular we welcomed our son Jack Burton into the world in 2010, and are proud that he is a native Texan. I may be a Yankee at heart but there is something about southern living that brings warmth to my soul. This project has greatly enriched my time in Texas because I was apart of something that I believe in.

Keith Owens teaches design research, theory and pedagogy courses at the College of Visual Arts and Design (CVAD). He is also the director of the UNT/CVAD Design Research Center (DRC). His scholarship focuses on the ethical design theory and praxis and his design research focuses on ways that communication systems and protocols can enhance the delivery of meaningful information to create positive behavioral and system change.

Downtown Dallas, Inc. and especially: John F. Crawford, President and CEO Kourtny Garrett, Senior Vice President, Marketing C.C. Gonzalez-Kurz, Community Relations Manager

Howdy! I’m a Masters of Arts Candidate in the Design and Innovation Studies Program at the University of North Texas. My undergraduate degree is in English Literature with a minor in philosophy from Texas A&M – thus, the “Howdy”. I live in Denton with my Akita puppy and whatever random stray or injured animal I happen to have picked up that week (yes, there have been squirrels). When I graduate this May, I plan on pursuing an interdisciplinary PhD. in Literature and Education. I’ve enjoyed working on this project for the West End because of the applied experience it has given me. I’m very used to and good at conceptual thinking but it is harder for me to manifest those universal ideals into tangible realities. This experience has taught me methods and processes for doing that in a unique environment. I hope our ideas will help the West End reach its full potential. Gig‘em!

Michael R. Gibson teaches communication design as well as design research, criticism, history, theory and interactive media at CVAD. He is also the program coordinator for CVAD's graduate programs in Design with Concentrations in Innovation Studies. His original and applied design research projects have addressed issues in freshwater conservation and management, children's and women’s health, the diffusion of innovation, and how co-creative practices affect networked communications.

The West End Association, Inc. and especially Tom Persch Corgan Associates, Inc. and especially David Zatopek, AIA, Vice President Alan B. Richards, AIA, Leed AP, Associate Isabel Mandujano, AIA, Leed AP HOK Architects and especially: Farzine Hakimi, Vice President Mark Bowers, ASLA, AICP Joseph A. Probiner, FAICP, CNU-A Seirra Mendez, MFA Student, Innovation Studies – copy editing Christopher Ryan, MFA Student, CVAD Innovation Studies Louis Liao, Graduate Student, UNT Applied Anthropology Matthew Baline, Graduate Student, UNT Applied Anthropology James Sharp, Former MA Student, CVAD Innovation Studies Dev Gupta, Former MFA Student, CVAD Innovation Studies

Sam Williamson

Sierra Mendez

Nicole Hauch

Design Innovation Studies MA Graduate Student

Design Innovation Studies MA Graduate Student

Design Innovation Studies MFA Graduate Student

(L) Keith Owens | lead (R) Michael Gibson | co-lead Associate Professors Communication Design Design Innovation Studies Graduate Faculty

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l l l l l l > M O V I N G F O R WA R D / / D D I | U N T | C VA D | T H E D R C

FINALLY, some information about the folks responsible for supporting this research project—Downtown Dallas, Inc., The University of North Texas and the College of Visual Arts + Design. And running it—the Design Research Center. About Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI)

Downtown Dallas, Inc (DDI) is a private 501(c)3 organization and the principal advocate, champion, and steward of Downtown Dallas. The Downtown area has repositioned itself in recent years as not just the largest employment center in North Texas, but also as a premier destination to live, dine, shop, and be entertained. New retailers, restaurants, and cultural spots are opening at a more aggressive pace than ever, and with the adoption of expanded Downtown boundaries, a new Downtown has emerged. To support and affect positive changes within these boundaries, DDI mobilizes resources that: > Stimulate a vibrant and sustainable Downtown environment > Improve infrastructure > Enhance economic competition > Create a culturally inclusive urban center > Position the area as a global destination DDI’s program areas include: Housing, Commercial Development, Public Policy, Improving District Safety, Transportation, Quality of Life, Marketing http://www.downtowndallas.org

About the University of North Texas (UNT)

About the College of Visual Arts & Design (CVAD)

About the Design Research Center (DRC)

UNT is recognized for its educational, intellectual, research, public service, and cultural achievements. The university is a diverse and inclusive institution, creating the knowledge and innovations that will shape our future while cultivating excellence in the next generation of scholars and leaders for the global community. As one of the nation’s largest public universities and the most comprehensive in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, UNT is a recognized student-focused public research university where the power of ideas shapes a culture of learning based on diverse viewpoints, interdisciplinary endeavors, creativity and disciplined excellence.

CVAD is one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive visual arts programs with over 2300 students enrolled. Thirteen degree programs offer both undergraduate and graduate work that lead to the BA, BFA, M.A., MFA and Ph.D. including new graduate degrees in Innovation Studies and undergraduate degrees in Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies and New Media Art and a graduate certificate program in art museum education. A nationally and internationally recognized faculty provide students with excellent role models upon which to pattern their careers. The School claims a number of internationally-known artists, designers, and scholars among its graduates.

The DRC is an organized research unit that operates as an extension of the University of North Texas (UNT) College of Visual Arts and Design (CVAD). Located in the heart of the downtown Dallas, Texas, it functions as a laboratory space that supports the endeavors of UNT faculty, staff and students engaged in design research, and as a classroom space that supports the core credit courses that comprise the curriculums of UNT CVAD’s MA and MFA programs in Design with Concentrations in Innovation Studies.

This culture is created for over 36.000 students through a broad and balanced array of programs where wellprepared students and dedicated scholars and artists collaborate with our local and global communities in the creation, integration, application and dissemination of knowledge. In this way, UNT creates an enriched and sustainable future for our students, state, nation and world.

The academic programs are supported by an active exhibition program, the Design Research Center, North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts, the Print Research Institute of North Texas (P.R.I.N.T. Press), the Texas Fashion Collection, and an extensive visiting artist/scholar program. CVAD operates Fashion on Main, a gallery for the Texas Fashion Collection, and the Design Research Center in Dallas.

Our design-led, interdisciplinary applied research yields useful, generalizeable knowledge as well as tangible solutions to real world problems affecting real people. Through our efforts, we empower individuals and groups to help themselves and others by making a complex world more understandable and meaningful.

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This Workbook produced by and all original content Š2012 College of Visual Arts & Design, Design Research Center This publication was created for academic purposes only. All external information cited has been credited and all other existing copyrights remain with their respective owners.

University of North Texas http://www.unt.edu

College of Visual Arts & Design

CVAD Design Research Center (DRC)

http://art.unt.edu/index.html

http://art.unt.edu/designresearchcenter

1155 Union Circle #311277 Denton, TX 76203-5017 940.565.2000

Mailing Address 1155 Union Circle #305100 Denton, TX 76203â&#x20AC;&#x201C;5017

Mailing Address 1901 Main Street, Suite 107 Dallas, TX 75201 Attention: DRC

Physical Address 1201 W. Mulberry Denton, TX 76201 940.565.2855

Physical Address 1908 Elm Street Dallas, TX 75201 214.752.5556 DRC Director Associate Professor Keith Owens kowens@unt.edu 214.649.3647 Innovation Studies Graduate Coordinator Associate Professor Michael R. Gibson michael.gibson@unt.edu

UNT Design Research - The West End Workbook  

2011-Research team member; contributing writer.

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