West End Square, one of four parks delivered by Parks for Downtown Dallas.
Sam Oberter West End Square, one of four parks delivered by Parks for Downtown Dallas.

The American Institute of Architects has named Parks for Downtown Dallas the recipient of its 2023 Collaborative Achievement Award, which "recognizes the excellence that results when architects work with those from outside the profession to improve the spaces where people live and work," according to AIA's website. Specifically, the Institute is celebrating the aptly named Dallas nonprofit for its role in creating four much-needed parks in the heart of the Texas city.

"Like many cities across the nation, Dallas’ downtown was developed as a commercial district devoid of green spaces and one that essentially went dark at the end of the business day," states an AIA press release announcing the award. As its population increased, the need for parks that, according to the release, "connect neighborhoods, bolster the community’s health, and improve the city’s environment" became clear. Today, three of the four planned outdoor spaces, financed by philanthropic donations and public-bond funds, are currently operational. The last park is set to debut sometime this year.

In addition to collaborating with city departments, commissions, and boards, Parks for Downtown Dallas teamed up with design professionals from SWA, Hargreaves Jones, James Corner Field Operations, and Ten Eyck Landscape Architects to bring the parks to life. The project also received support from AIA Dallas and the locally based Architecture and Design Foundation, among other organizations.

"[Parks for Downtown Dallas'] goal is a powerful example of a public/private partnership operating at the highest level to realize a bold vision in an era of tight municipal budgets," the release states.

The jury for the 2023 Collaborative Achievement Award includes chair Gianna Pigford, AIA, Stantec, Plano, Texas; Jacqueline Gomez, Hispanic American Construction Industry, Chicago; Mona Hodge, AIA, Smith Gee Studio, Nashville, Tenn; Ricardo J. Maga Rojas, Assoc. AIA, STG Design, Austin, Texas; and Mitchell Ramseur, AIA, M Ramseur & Associates, PLLC, Raleigh, N.C.

See more winners of the 2023 AIA Honor Awards here.