SOUTHWESTERN MEDICAL DISTRICT TRANSFORMATION A PRESCRIPTION FOR A MEDICAL DISTRICT

Transforming Dallas for Nature and Health

The Southwestern Medical District in Dallas, Texas is anchored by three hospitals that deliver renowned health care in partnership with innovative, world-class research, and education. The Medical District thrives on the presence and well-being of its diverse community, encompassing patients, healthcare professionals, students, residents, business owners, and visitors.  

The Southwestern Medical District and the Texas Trees Foundation believe that Dallas deserves a Medical District whose capacities for health and healing stretch beyond the footprint of the four walls of its remarkable healthcare institutions.

Through a collaborative, multi-disciplinary partnership model with the Southwestern Medical District, 3 anchor-hospital partners, and local government entities, the SWMD Urban Streetscape and Park Transformation Project will become the new model for what a medical district should be: a more holistic, green campus that unites the community, promotes health, healing, and safety, and acts as an ‘intersection of health and nature’. 

SWMDLovefieldDowntown

We are seeking to bring new life inside the Southwestern Medical District
by transforming the outdoor environment.

MORE THAN A STREETSCAPE: AN OPPORTUNITY

EQUITABLE ENGAGEMENT

Cultivating conversations where all people have a direct bridge to express their needs, goals, desires, and incorporate their voices.

EVIDENCE-BASED DESIGN

Marrying the disciplines of design and science by modeling, optimizing, and validating design concepts to create a space that maximizes environmental and health benefits.

GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE

Creating an urban, nature-based solution to mitigate the urban heat island effect, improve air quality, decrease stormwater runoff, and reduce carbon footprint.

ONE HEALTH APPROACH

Designing a public space that heals, restores, and relaxes, provides opportunities for physical movement, and is an iconic, people-friendly place that meaningfully integrates nature.

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Redesigning the Southwestern Medical District for Human Health

The District spans 1,000 acres and is home to three of the state’s most renowned healthcare institutions— Parkland Health, UT Southwestern Medical Center, and Children’s Health. More than 41,000 work here and 3.4 million patients are served in its clinics and emergency rooms each year. Step outside of these remarkable institutions and into the streetscape and a less vibrant and healthy story emerges… 

The Texas Trees Foundation’s inaugural work in Dallas’ Southwestern Medical District in 2015 revealed that tree canopy covers just 7 percent of this area, well below the 40 percent that arborists recommend to reduce ambient heat. In 2017, Texas Trees Foundation found the Medical District lies within one of Dallas’ largest urban heat islands. These conditions mean that the sun’s rays hit the cement and soak in, causing heat to radiate outward over time. With little tree canopy, the urban heat island index can be 15+ degrees hotter than the reported temperature.

The Texas Trees Foundation is dedicated to elevating the District’s mission of health and healing for its millions of annual users. Driven by an evidence-based design approach to nature-based solutions, it will transform a 2-mile segment along the Harry Hines Corridor, spanning from Treadway Street to Lucas Drive, into a greener, safer, and multi-modal thoroughfare. It will also construct a 10-acre Green Park at the intersection of Harry Hines and Inwood Road. 

The new vision of how we can transform our streetscapes within our cities from car-centric to people-centric is changing business as usual. That’s exactly what we are doing in the Southwestern Medical District. We are setting an example for the nation by leading that change at home. 

“This area is desperate for nature. It is all buildings and traffic. As someone who works in the medical field, it can be very stressful and having trees around me would be very calming.”

-SWMD Health Practitioner

“The new vision of how we can transform our streetscapes within our cities from car-centric to people-centric is changing business as usual. That’s exactly what we are doing in the Southwestern Medical District. We are setting an example for the nation by leading that change at home.”

-Janette Monear, President and CEO, Texas Trees Foundation

“I use ‘outside’ as a reprieve. It would be good to get staff and patients outside of the walls of the hospital, this would be a change of pace that could uplift moods.”

-SWMD Health Practitioner

Donate

Please consider donating to support a reimagined Southwestern Medical District. Your contributions will go toward funding a more holistic green campus along the Harry Hines Corridor.

News

Stay up to date with the SWMD Transformation by signing up to receive our quarterly newsletter and project updates.

Resources

Take a 360° Virtual Platform Tour of our work in the District and browse our many reports and studies about urban heat and forestry in North Texas.

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