College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs
601 W. Nedderman Drive
Arlington, TX 76019-0108
Urban areas such as the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex face increasing pressures with population growth, pollution, suburban sprawl, aging infrastructure, and a changing climate. Under these circumstances, there is a rising need for cities to reconsider how and where they grow and what they will champion as they grow.
The momentum around creating thriving, healthy, vibrant, dense, and environmentally-friendly cities is mounting. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is no exception. As one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the United States and situated along the waterways that make up the Trinity River watershed, the Metroplex is experimenting with bold visions for the future. These plans involve crafting a new relationship between hard and fluid environments to toy with the impermeable boundaries that previously separated cities from their waterways.
Watershed Urbanism and the DFW Metroplex showcases pioneering design projects that respond to the challenge of how to design built environments that enlarge with and incorporate waterflows and aquatic life. Projects feature the region and its talented design community.
Adrian Parr in collaboration with CAPPA Architecture Faculty
An exhibit about watershed urbanism, featured work by faculty and students from The University of Texas at Arlington, as part of the European Cultural Center’s (ECC) 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale. It showcases cutting-edge work from across the globe in the field of architecture and is considered one of the most important events for cultural critics, investors and designers.
After the biennale, the exhibit returned to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The exhibitions were held throughout Venice at Palazzo Mora, Palazzo Bembo and Giardini Marinaressa. The ECC, along with the Venice Architecture Biennale, welcomed approximately 600,000 international visitors.
#WorldWaterDay is held every year on March 22nd since 1993. It focuses on the importance of freshwater and raises awareness on the global water crisis. This year's theme for World Water Day is about what water means to people, and how we can better protect this vital resource. The Watershed Urbanism Project showcased pioneering projects that respond to the challenge of how to design built environments that enlarge with and incorporate water flows and aquatic life.
Adrian Parr, UNESCO water chair and former dean of UTA’s College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs (CAPPA) lead the design and development of the exhibit and is credited with creating the term “watershed urbanism.” The exhibition which focuses on the Trinity River watershed in North Texas, celebrates innovative design practices that involve both real and speculative projects. Studio work from CAPPA will be featured alongside some of the most highly regarded designers and design programs in the world.
“Urban and water systems are inextricably linked. Water systems are especially vulnerable in the current climate of rapid urbanization. North Texas is no different. The Trinity River plays a vital part in what the region has become and what it will change into,” Parr said. “This exhibition explores how design thinking and practices might create more ecologically sensitive urban growth models, ones that ultimately participate in the production of more inclusive, friendly and adaptable built environments.”
Urban areas like DFW face increasing pressures from population booms, sprawl, aging infrastructure and a changing climate. As one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the United States and situated along the waterways that make up the Trinity River watershed, the Metroplex is experimenting with bold visions for the future. “There is a need for regions like DFW to reconsider how and where they grow, and what they will encourage to grow and build,” Parr said. “The momentum around creating thriving, healthy, vibrant, dense and environmentally friendly cities is mounting. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is no exception.”
Maria Martinez-Cosio, interim CAPPA dean, said the exhibit spotlights issues that are critical to this region. “We’re especially excited to see the exhibit eventually make its way back to this area,” Martinez-Cosio said. “We believe it can illuminate how our water systems function in our region. Students will benefit from learning how everything is connected. I know it will motivate some of them to study further the impacts watersheds have on our environment and surroundings.”
The exhibition was designed by CAPPA faculty and students in collaboration with Adrian Parr, curator of the exhibit.
The following donors contributed to the Watershed Urbanism Project
University of Texas at Arlington
Diane & Chuck Cheatham
City of Arlington
City of Lewisville
Dr. Paul Geisel
Streams and Valleys
Trinity Park Conservancy
Tarrant Regional Water District
Fort Worth Promotion & Development Fund
William E. Scott Foundation
The following organizations and individuals have contributed expertise, content, and time in making this exhibit possible.
Adrian Parr, UNESCO Chair of Water & Human Settlements
College of Architecture, Planning & Public Affairs
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
Lewisville Grand Theater
Texas Discovery Gardens | State Fair of Texas
Projects features the region and its talented design community.
An exhibit about watershed urbanism, features work by faculty and students from The University of Texas at Arlington, will open May 22 as part of the European Cultural Center’s (ECC) 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale. Learn More
Urban infrastructure must address a variety of modes of inner-city transportation, from e-scooters to walkable paths, and accommodate uses for non-anthropogenic urban citizens like birds, insects, and fish. Learn More
‘The Missing Links of Marine Creek’ seeks to replace in the community some existing cultural links that will disappear once the Panther Island Development is complete Learn More
The vision is to blur the relationship between the natural and artificial worlds; a cultural plane sandwiched between the water (food) and sun (energy) of the North Texas environment. Learn More