Trinity River Vision: Building a Sustainable Community with a Sustainable Process
The Fort Worth Trinity River Vision project is a model for sustainability in North Texas. Through creative design and implementation, new public infrastructure will be built to serve generations, providing both public safety and quality of life elements for the entire region. Smart sustainability practices will be integrated into the design and construction of new park facilities, flood gates, lakes, dams, roads, bridges, storm water management facilities, public plazas and other infrastructure elements planned in the project.
A new flood control system constructed on the near north side of downtown, will allow private development opportunities for nearly 800 acres of land in an area known to the community as “Panther Island.” A form based code requires private developers to conform to principles that assure that new development is sustainable and that Panther Island becomes a dense, pedestrian oriented, environmentally conscious neighborhood.
How does the Trinity River Vision apply smart sustainability practices?
Designing for Density
Land use is regulated through mixed-use zoning which promotes a live, work, play environment combining a diversity of uses in a centralized area.
A form based code requires private development to conform to design principles that enable a pedestrian oriented, dense neighborhood to function.
Minimum height requirements ensure high density, urban development in Fort Worth’s central city where city resources and services are already in place.
Redeveloping Fort Worth’s central city helps to reduce urban sprawl preserving green space in outlying areas.
Shared public parking facilities built through public/private partnerships utilize less space and reduce the need for surface parking.
Enhancing Environmental Quality
Environmental contamination will be addressed in a manner that promotes quality of life elements including canals, lakes, walking trails, public plazas, ball fields, an amphitheater and other recreational amenities.
Ecosystem restoration will preserve 200-year-old trees, enhancing the existing bottomland hardwood forest, restoring natural habitat for wildlife and increasing air and water quality in the Riverside Oxbow.
80,000 indigenous trees, including oaks and pecans, will be planted in Gateway Park to enhance quality of life and improve air quality.
Native tree plantings along both sides of the new 1.5 mile bypass channel, will bring quality of life to an area that had previously been an underutilized industrial area.
Local Ordinances set a minimum standard on trees and open space thus increasing vegetation near buildings and sidewalks.
Revitalizing the Central City and encouraging Brownfield Redevelopment enhances the environment, reduces blight, brings people and jobs together, and takes development pressures off of greenspaces and working lands.
Providing Transportation Options
The future circulation network maximizes street and path connectivity for vehicles, pedestrians, public transportation, and bicycles to promote efficient circulation and to provide a wide range of mobility options.
New roads and bridges will accommodate a future mass transit system that will connect Panther Island to downtown establishing smart access from home to the Central Business District thereby reducing the number of cars on the road creating less mobile emissions and better air quality.
Future local streets purposely narrowed to a small footprint to create an urban, walkable, street grid, promoting slower vehicular traffic and ensuring pedestrian activity and comfort.
A “circulator” road around the perimeter of Panther Island will connect each development node and serve residents and visitors traveling in vehicles.
Waterways within Panther Island will be navigable by boat allowing a ferry boat system to transport people throughout the neighborhood between downtown and the stockyards.
Promoting Good Health
27 new miles of trails provide a place to exercise for walkers, runners, bikers and other recreational enthusiasts.
New trails will connect to 53 miles of the existing Trinity Trail system, creating over 80 miles of continuous trails through neighborhoods across Fort Worth.
A white water course, rowing facility, and new navigable waterways give boaters a place to kayak, canoe and row near downtown.
1000 acres of new programmed park facilities including ballfields, splash parks, equestrian trails, mountain bike course, and others provide the entire region with a free place to exercise and enjoy the outdoors.
Sustainable Construction Methods
Conveyor systems used for transporting dirt are being evaluated to reduce the need for trucks, thereby decreasing mobile emissions and increasing air quality.
Reuse of materials for construction of public infrastructure. (Ie. Utilizing bedrock dug up from the bypass channel for the edge of the embankments and reusing concrete left from existing foundations for road base needed for the bridges or other project elements.)
Pump stations built to manage river flow will increase water quality during low flow times.
Low-maintenance greenscapes containing plants native to this region will be utilized in public spaces.
Flood gates will be used to control water quality by utilizing energy from the river to provide flushing flows that will maintain optimal river quality for waterways within Panther Island.
An innovative storm water management system will manage stormwater runoff through a series of canals replacing conventional underground conveyance systems. The dual purpose canals will additionally provide natural landscaping and a continuous public boardwalk giving the community a place to live, dine, shop, and play along the water’s edge.
Development Standards and Guidelines allow incentives for the construction of LEED certified buildings within Panther Island.
Development Standards and Guidelines require the use of quality materials in new construction.
The Trinity River Vision partners will continue to pursue ways to utilize sustainability practices throughout the life of the project. This best practices list is based on current engineering and will continue to evolve as the project is designed and constructed. The project will bring economic growth to the North Texas Region and financial sustainability for generations to come.