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Applied Research in Urbanism

A fundamental aspect of the Dallas Urban Laboratory is the ability to bring to each research endeavor, faculty and students of various disciplines within the environmental design professions. The School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin houses professional programs with expertise in: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Community and Regional Planning, Historic Preservation, Urban Design and Sustainable Design. The range of disciplines within the school enable faculty and students engaged in applied urban research to bring diverse sets of expertise to each

undertaking. While the Dallas Urban Laboratory is specifically focused on factors contributing to the urbanizing future of the city, each initiative has the ability to draw from the knowledge base within the school and bring a distinctive set of skills to the table.

As part of the applied urbanism agenda of the research studio, students participating in the Dlab©, under faculty guidance, are charged with the task of evaluating and visualizing the potential for urban development in areas of the city that are under pressure. By testing a series of

hypothetical futures, exploratory in nature, and working togetherwith the various constituencies in Dallas to evaluate the relevant development parameters, the Dlab© hopes to enhance the quality of future urban growth. We do this by devising tactics and methodologies for an emergent sustainable future. These tactics are grounded in demographic research and are tested against the potential of urban systems to establish an integrated approach to the urban environment, systems that include: new patterns of higher density urban living, the role of landscape ecology in providing

for an enhanced quality of life, a diverse and sustainable system of transit related infrastructure, and the appropriate mixture of programs and economies necessary to establish a true urban life across a range of lifestyle choices. Research studios focus on aspects of: urban morphology, systems of open space for recreation and health, infrastructural improvements that enhance connectivity within the urban environment and patterns of density that propose new urban paradigms. Each of these research components is understood to take place within a

framework of economic development potential.

This website demonstrates examples of a wide range of architectural, planning and landscape strategies undertaken during the last few years of the Dallas Urban Laboratory. These are a small sampling of the range of work the Dlab© has been producing as we work toward enhancing the quality of life in the future city.