D Magazine: What Dallas can learn from a symposium on building better cities

D Magazine, February 4th, 2019: What Dallas can learn from a symposium on building better cities

Last Thursday, some policy wonks got together at SMU to discuss how our city—and how other American cities—can dig out of a shortfall of affordable housing. The George W. Bush Institute-hosted event dug into the role smart policy can play in promoting inclusive urban growth, alternating between specifics and broader philosophical questions. The conversation occurred during a number of panel discussions. Here are some takeaways from the first four of the day.

Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative Director Cullum Clark has some ideas on how to improve Dallas’ housing policy. Sitting on the first panel of the morning, Clark laid out the challenges facing our city. No different than most other American cities, Dallas’ middle class increasingly can’t afford thriving neighborhoods and doesn’t want to live in struggling ones. But the city sticks out because of our deep segregation along racial and economic lines (for proof, Clark pointed to the the recent publication of the Opportunity Index). DFW’s economic vibrancy also provides opportunity to get it right here, while Dallas’ exceptional amount of underutilized land presents its own set of opportunities and challenges.

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