Larry James of Central Dallas Ministries introduces Tom Leppert. Here’s the video, with transcript to follow.
(Rough) Transcript You’re going to have a lot of fun today. The only downside is that I won’t be here all day. I wish that was the case because I think what you’re going to do is exciting.
When Stacey [Frost] and I first got together and talked about the idea, [building a fully sustainable city block right here in Dallas] was one of those decisions [I found] easy to make. Because I think what you’re going to do is exactly what you need to do… and not only in Dallas but across the nation…
And that’s why I think you’re going to have a lot of fun. In Dallas, we’ve done a couple things that fit in well with the sort of outputs that you’re going to come up with today. And I hope that you perceive Dallas as being in the foreground one of only two cities that have green building standards that literally go across all different kinds of structures: large, small, public private commercial residential. But sustainability to me is much more than that.
Sustainability thinks strategically about how you use space and how you use structures and that goes beyond the green. There are projects in Dallas that I think are examples of that, where its more than a project, its strategically what it does – first the Trinity River project. A lot of times we’ll think of it as being enormous benefits for recreation, transportation, or flood control, those elements. But the biggest part of that isn’t those things that I talked about, the tangibles. It’s the intangibles. It’s the idea that a space in our city that has been historically a divide could all of a sudden bring people together.
Another example of that is the park project which we hope to break ground on in the next couple of months. On the surface, that will be a great park, much like the Bryant park in New York, but more important than the part that all of us will go to use, is the fact that you take a barrier between the downtown elements of Dallas and the uptown arts district and the Victory areas, and all of a sudden instead of an obstacle, its something that ties all those elements together.
And then when you think of development patterns and those sorts of things, they will be much more important than a park element. Largely I hope that’s what you’ll focus on today, because thinking about a block, and I think that’s important, you can get your arms around it. With a block, we can see how to get it done, as opposed to a city, you can get your arms around it and we can understand it and we can see something happen. And in doing that hopefully we can do that strategically not just a as a block but from a historical standpoint, which is exactly what I’d like to see dallas do:
One of the things that is terrific is the location of the block being right across from city hall.
So its going to focus on having a lot of people here at city hall on whats happening. I’m awfully excited about it and I appreciate the time and effort you’re putting into this. Again I think its exciting and something that is going to be special for Dallas and it fits in well with what we’re trying to do . Thank you very much for what you’re doing, I think its going to be exiting. Have a great day – you’re going to have a lot of fun, but more importantly you’re going to make a real difference here in Dallas, and I appreciate that.