The city of Irving has launched a citywide community building plan called Imagine Irving. The purpose of this plan is to create a “more diverse, vibrant, livable city,” according to the plan’s website. Among the student body the University of Dallas often referred to as a “bubble,” despite the campus’ proximity to the bustling metropolis of Dallas. However, the effort to develop Irving may just change that.
According to the plan’s website, it contains several key aspects: “strengthening the tax base, protecting and enhancing the neighborhoods, revitalizing underserved areas and encouraging attractive development in all parts of the city.” The effort to beautify Irving is a concept with which the university is familiar. The university’s own efforts to beautify its campus were recognized by the city of Irving this past December, when UD was awarded a beautification award.
Imagine Irving is actively working toward getting the community involved in the process of improving the city. The program aims to encourage everyone in the community to participate in the project and work toward making Irving a better place. The plans currently include citywide and neighborhood workshops where members of the Irving community will participate in development games to let their voices be heard as they suggest new ideas for the city.
Two Citywide Workshops will be held on Tuesday, March 3, at the Irving Convention Center. The first workshop will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The second will be from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. All University of Dallas faculty, staff and students are invited to attend the workshops and assist in giving their input on the changes coming to the city of Irving.
The demographics of Irving are always changing, but one thing remains constant: The population is continuously growing. The majority of Irving’s population is young (between 27 and 31 years old), and it is becoming increasingly diverse every year. Many residents of Irving showed a preference for renting a home or apartment, rather than owning one.
The current timeline for Imagine Irving puts the implementation of the plan in January 2016. The upcoming months will be devoted to workshops, development of the ideas and plans and community involvement as the city works to make the plan a reality.
As stated on the Imagine Irving website, “Our city is at the center of one of the fastest growing regions in the nation, and growth brings change. The City of Irving is taking a proactive step to plan for these changes.”
This growth and change could affect UD as well, by bringing more businesses near the university and perhaps even more students. Though nothing is certain about the project at this time, it is a preemptive movement to building and developing the city.