UTA Institute of Urban Studies to develop proposals for growth at Dallas Executive Airport

Quality of life

As the city of Dallas seeks to attract new growth around Executive Airport, nearby residents have concerns as to how this growth will impact neighborhoods.

The city has tapped The University of Texas at Arlington to examine how future enhancements at the airport in south Oak Cliff could spur economic growth and enhance the quality of life for surrounding neighborhoods.

Graduate students from UTA’s Institute of Urban Studies in the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs will develop a land use study to guide future development around the airport.

Shima Hamidi, director of the Institute of Urban Studies and an assistant professor of planning in CAPPA, said the study will take a collaborative approach to involving residents and will tailor recommendations to address their concerns.

“Community engagement is critical to the study,” Hamidi said. “Residents who live near the airport should be stakeholders in the decision-making process. They are invested in their neighborhoods and will be directly impacted by the outcomes of future development.”

The student researchers will lead the community engagement process, encouraging participation from area residents and business owners. A series of public input meetings will be held to identify concerns and hear ideas about potential growth around the airport. The first community meeting was conducted in late June with more than 75 attending.

In addition to community engagement, the research team will conduct an assessment of the airport and adjacent neighborhoods to analyze conditions including building locations, land use, circulation and traffic, and sociodemographic and socioeconomic patterns. The study also will identify best practices among high performing local, national and international airport development programs.

The completed study will include several design scenarios as well as standards that will support economic growth, community partnerships and physical improvements to the area.

The Executive Airport land use study highlights UTA’s commitment to shaping sustainable urban communities as outlined in the Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.

CAPPA Dean Nan Ellin said the airport project is “a wonderful opportunity for students to become involved in revitalizing an important district of Dallas.”

Mark Duebner, Dallas’aviation director, said, “There will be many development opportunities for the airport and the surrounding area in the next few years. The recommendations that come from this student will steer us to make the best choices for this community.”

The institute is currently working with the city of Dallas to assess walkability and the pedestrian experience in the downtown area. In the past two years, the institute also has completed a Dallas Fair Park proposal, a Waxahachie trails plan, a comprehensive plan for Palestine, Texas, a Mineral Wells downtown redevelopment plan and many other projects.

CAPPA’s Institute of Urban Studies was established by the Texas Legislature in 1967. The institute provides a broad array of services to communities and municipalities, including customized planning, management services, comprehensive plans, corridor plans, transportation plans, feasibility studies, park and open spaces plans, market area studies, retail analysis, neighborhood development research and many other services.

-- written by James Sharp


Established in 2015, the UTA College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs unites the former schools of Architecture and Urban and Public Affairs, offering programs in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, planning, public administration, and public policy. The College includes the David Dillon Center for Texas Architecture, the Digital Architectural Research Consortium, the Institute of Urban Studies, the Arlington Urban Design Center based at Arlington City Hall, and the Parallel Construction design/build program.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie Research-1 “highest research activity” institution of about 55,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times’ 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at www.uta.edu/uta/about/rankings.php.

For more on the Strategic Plan, see Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.