Increase and improve access to green spaces particularly within vulnerable communities to reduce impact of urban heat island, localized flooding and improve public health.
The Smart Growth for Dallas mapping study identified locations in the City where open space is needed to reduce the urban heat island effect and flooding and provide recreational opportunities. The City will identify city-owned vacant properties within these neighborhoods, prioritizing the underserved, that can be transformed into pocket parks or pocket prairies (which require less maintenance compared to more traditional parks). Other types of city-owned public spaces that can be converted to green space, include public parking that can be converted to parklets, under freeways that can be made into green space, parking lots, vertical walls that can be planted with vines, and rooftops of public buildings that can be developed into gardens. If there isn’t adequate city owned space within priority neighborhoods, the city should identify other vacant properties that could be leveraged.
At the City-wide scale, neighborhood-based targets should be adopted for reducing urban heat island and storm water run-off in a way that can inform land development decision making. Currently decisions are made on a site-specific case by case basis for new development. Building upon The ‘Urban Heat Island Management Study (2017)’ and Smart Growth for Dallas mapping study, the Comprehensive Plan update will adopt neighborhood level targets for greening, cooling and stormwater runoff reduction strategies.
In order to maintain the ecosystem services and floodproofing function that the Great Trinity Forest provides, the City will update the Great Trinity Forest Management Plan and implement its recommendations. This includes assessment of species diversity, planting targets, canopy health management suitable for the changing climate and other best practices.