AIA selects recipients for the 2023 Collaborative Achievement Award

WASHINGTON – March 6, 2023 – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is recognizing the nonprofit Parks for Downtown Dallas with its 2023 Collaborative Achievement Award.

The Collaborative Achievement Award recognizes and encourages distinguished achievements of design professionals, clients, organizations, architect teams, knowledge communities and others who have had a beneficial influence on or advanced the architectural profession.

Established in 2015, the nonprofit Parks for Downtown Dallas has been focused on the delivery of four parks that have greatly enhanced the city’s downtown and quality of life for its residents. The organization’s goal is a powerful example of a public/private partnership operating at the highest level to realize a bold vision in an era of tight municipal budgets.  

Like many cities across the nation, Dallas’ downtown was developed as a commercial district devoid of green spaces and one that essentially went dark at the end of the business day. In the 1990s, just 200 people made downtown Dallas their home, though today that number has grown to more than 15,000 and continues to rise with investors having funneled nearly $7 billion into downtown Dallas since 2000.

The area’s rapid growth spurred the city to identify four priority spaces that would complete its center city park system in 2013. Since its establishment just two years later, Parks for Downtown Dallas has realized three of those vital areas: Pacific Plaza, West End Square, and Carpenter Park. The fourth and final, Harwood Park, is slated to open later this year.  

Parks for Downtown Dallas and the city’s parks and recreation department engaged Dallas’ philanthropic community, which has contributed more than $56 million in gifts for park design and construction, operations, future capital improvements, and permanent endowments. Dallas residents also provided more than $39.4 million in public bond funds.

From the outset, the four priority parks were envisioned as more than just green spaces in a bustling commercial district. To succeed, Parks for Downtown Dallas realized that the parks must connect neighborhoods, bolster the community’s health, and improve the city’s environment. To ensure the realization of four world-class parks that will stand the test of time, the nonprofit turned to professionals at SWA, Hargreaves Jones, James Corner Field Operations, and Ten Eyck Landscape Architects to design them. In turn, the firms were supported by an additional 44 design, engineering, and consulting firms.

Parks for Downtown Dallas has also collaborated with city departments, commissions, boards and additional external organizations, including AIA Dallas and the Architecture and Design Foundation.  

As construction of the priority parks winds down, Parks for Downtown Dallas has begun shifting its mission to ensure the long-term stewardship of the park system. As the city’s growth and maturity continue, its government remains hard-pressed to fund critical upkeep and necessary improvements. To that end, the nonprofit has set a remarkable goal of raising $50 million for maintenance, security, and community outreach for not only the priority parks it realized but the city’s other parks, too.  

Complete Collaborative Achievement award information is available on AIA’s website.

About AIA

Founded in 1857, AIA consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through more than 200 international, state and local chapters, AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing.

AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation, and world. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards.


Tim Trudell
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