Community & Economic Development Overview

By Elissa Izmailyan, Sr. Director of Community and Economic Development at the Trinity Park Conservancy.

As the vision of Harold Simmons Park becomes a reality as a park that will transform the Trinity River as a destination for all of Dallas, we want to ensure that it delivers on its enormous potential for surrounding neighborhoods and the city as a whole. As a world-class recreational destination, the Park creates significant new economic, social, and environmental benefits. Those benefits should be enjoyed equitably by neighboring communities and all residents of Dallas.

Guided by this commitment to equity, the Trinity Park Conservancy has begun a series of studies to analyze the Park’s economic, social, and environmental impacts as a strong foundation on which to plan for equitable park and community development.  These studies will inform and influence the evolving design of Harold Simmons Park as a catalyst of equitable park and community development. Input from key project stakeholders including community members and leaders from surrounding neighborhoods, as well as local and national experts who can give input on learnings and best practices of similar projects will be vital for the success of the studies:


An Impact Study to analyze the economic, social, environmental, and equity benefits of Harold Simmons Park, led by ECONorthwest, a leader in impact studies of urban parks and conservation projects. Goals include:

  • Identifying the anticipated benefits of the Park to the City of Dallas, including how these benefits distribute across different geographies and demographics;
  • Building community and stakeholder awareness of the project’s impacts;
  • Informing the Conservancy’s park design and development strategy to maximize project benefit; and
  • Demonstrating the potential to create self-sustaining funding for the park and improvements to the surrounding neighborhoods.

Equitable Development

An Equitable Development Plan led by HR&A Advisors, a national leader in policy and planning for social and racial equity, will focus on cultivating equitable development in the neighborhoods adjacent to the Park. This includes creating new small business opportunities, delivering new affordable housing, preserving and celebrating the neighborhoods’ rich cultural heritage, and mitigating resident and business displacement. The Plan will:

  • Establish social and economic context to inform the Conservancy’s equitable development goals and approach;
  • Identify a set of policy and investment tools; and
  • Recommend an action plan for the Conservancy and its key stakeholders.

Mobility & Urban Design

A Mobility & Urban Design Study of the park and its surrounding neighborhoods and transportation networks, undertaken by Studio Outside, a Dallas firm focused on creating inclusive and engaging urban spaces; Nelson\Nygaard, a leader in mobility and transportation; and Salcedo Group, a Dallas-based engineering firm with deep knowledge of the Trinity River and its surrounding neighborhoods. This study will identify strategies for:

  • Equitable access to, within, and through the park, connecting neighboring communities with the River; and
  • New and/or improved pedestrian, bicycle, transit, and vehicular circulation to facilitate this access.

Key Dates

  • January – March 2019: Community/stakeholder consultation and drafting.
  • March 21 2019: Public presentation and dialogue on HSP Community and Economic Development based on the three separate studies.
  • April – May 2019: Impact Study, Equitable Development Plan, and Mobility & Urban Design Study refinement in consultation with key partners and community stakeholders, resulting in final studies by the end of May 2019.

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Please contact Elissa Hoagland Izmailyan, Sr. Director of Community and Economic Development ([email protected]) with any questions or to stay informed regarding these studies.