SWMD 2022 Year in Review
The Intersection of Health and Nature
Southwestern Medical District
Green Spine and Park Project
Rooted in the City of Dallas for more than a century, the Southwestern Medical District (SWMD) is a premier medical center surrounded by active communities. The Texas Trees Foundation is leading the effort to transform Harry Hines Blvd from a hot, tired street to a safe, connected, and healthy Green Spine corridor and therapeutic 10-acre park. Together with project partners we are reimagining a livable and environmentally friendly Medical District for the 4 million practitioners, staff, students, businesses, and neighbors living in and around the District.
Sitting in a sea of impervious surfaces and heat-absorbing materials the Medical District sits at the epicenter of one of the worst urban heat islands in the country. The Foundation is strategically positioned to combat the problem. Using innovative methodologies Texas Trees is piloting an array of thermal comfort sensors that will be used to build models and simulations of the Medical District. These new technologic advancements in evidence-based design will predict the most effective and environmental solutions to create a healthier, equitable, and stronger SWMD community.
The Foundation also focused on listening and learning in 2022 to understand the complex mobility challenges facing the institutions and diverse user groups of Harry Hines Blvd while considering the dynamic expansion demands of a growing Medical District and DFW region. Holistically balancing needs and opportunities to design a livable corridor and park central to the SWMD campus, the project partners generated a five-pillar framework to measure progress: traffic and mobility, safety and security, user experience, human and environmental health, and campus character and livability. Texas Trees is leading the effort to build an iconic, cohesive, people-friendly corridor that links the footprints of the businesses and institutions.
Building upon the framework and innovation established in 2022, the Foundation is working with our heads and our hearts to design a Medical District that heals the mind, body and spirit and offers a sanctuary for all who work, visit, and are healed here.
“ This is an extraordinary project—one that brings health and healing to the SWMD through nature, while pushing the envelope in terms of innovation and environmental sustainability.”
~ Best Practice Advisor
“[In Medical Districts] you have this sense of gravity to take care of people’s health, but no room for the people actually working there to breathe. There’s a missing mental health element.”
~ Community Member
“ What makes us (SWMD) unique is that this District is not about an individual or a group. When we’re at our best, it’s when we’re focused on something bigger than ourselves.”
~ Hospital Employee