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Close Your Eyes, Dream a Dream

The 2023 Downtown Arlington Annual Meeting, Presented by Texas Trust inspired attendees to do more in their community, whether it’s improving a storefront, adding some lighting, landscaping, or funding a mural. Our fun and engaging theme, “Oh the Places We’ll Make,” paired with our focus on the impact of placemaking provided an atmosphere of creativity and encouraged people to think outside the box. We couldn’t talk about community building without asking the community for their input, so we did an imagination exercise, where attendees were asked to close their eyes, imagine the future, and write down their dreams for the future of Downtown Arlington. Here’s what they had to say:

Youth-Oriented Spaces

  1. A public park geared towards younger children and families
  1. More entertaining activities for the youth
  2. More open space for residents


  1. Waterfront spaces with dog-walking paths and business fronts
  2. Lighting for trees
  3. Direct, connected walkways from UTA to Downtown
  4. Large grass gardens
  5. More parking
  6. Works of art done by local artists
  7. More murals and sculptures


  1. Pedestrian bridges over major streets
  2. Protected bike lanes
  3. Wider sidewalks for pedestrians


  1. More food truck presence
  2. Cafes expanded onto sidewalks
  3. Retail on every block
  4. Food hall
  5. More cool coffee shops
  6. Pep-rallies before games at AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Field
  7. Dance clubs

At the end of the program, participants exited the venue to see their dreams combined to make a “DREAM” mural, a combination of the note cards from all 400 meeting attendees. Placemaking is a collaborative process of finding underutilized public spaces then exploring and executing new ways to activate the space, providing a communal gathering destination and adding vitality and culture. Placemaking involves making several, small-scale “lighter, quicker, cheaper” developments that, over time, combine to achieve a bigger vision. Each person’s individual dreams are part of an overarching effort to maximize the potential of Downtown Arlington. While these dreams might seem inconsequential from the surface, once you take a step back and look at the entire canvas, you’ll see the bigger picture – in this case, literally!

Now It’s Your Turn: What Are Your Dreams for Downtown?

Please close your eyes everyone

It’s time to think and think about what could be done!

So, picture twenty years from now,

It’s weird to say, but I'll show you how

Just open your minds far and wide,

For the vision’s right there, it’s brewing inside.

Look hard and you’ll see

What the future could be.

Imagine a downtown that is special for all.

No plan is too big, no idea is too small.

Click the link below to share with us YOUR dreams for Downtown Arlington! Remember, when it comes to placemaking with intentionality, our most valuable asset is our ability to dream. Be sure to look at the world around you and discover how you can play a vital role in the future of Downtown Arlington. Follow Downtown Arlington on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and subscribe to Downtown newsletter to stay in the know for when these dreams become reality.

Close Your Eyes and Dream a Dream