"Know A Neighborhood" is a series that offers neighborhood leaders in Richardson the opportunity to answer questions that might be of general interest to Richardson residents (or at least to me).
Today: Richard Dotson, Richardson Heights NA President, answers a question posed by The Wheel.
Question: What are the big concerns about Richardson in your neighborhood?
Answer: I moved to Richardson Heights 17 years ago this month and in that time we've had a few changes. We cycled from original homeowners who settled in the 1950s and 60s, to a new generation of young families. Like the original settlers, the newcomers are focusing on their neighborhood, schools, and reinvestment in their homes.
There were some really great efforts over the years that laid the groundwork to build on our neighborhoods. This was driven in a large part by the neighborhoods working closely with the city. The establishment of neighborhood crime watch and the creation of the award-winning Durham Park are a couple of examples.
What I'm afraid we're seeing now is a focus that has shifted more toward high profile economic development like CityLine, and Palisades. Yes, these raise investment in the city but a city is far more than economic development. Just look at reinvestment in North Oak Cliff and Bishop Arts. The fantastic popularity of those areas are directly driven by the surrounding neighborhoods and their relationship with businesses.
We shouldn't take our eye off the importance of Richardson neighborhoods and reinvestment and how empowering neighborhoods empowers the entire city.
When I moved to Richardson my neighborhood was in transition from older residents to younger residents. As time went by and houses turned over to younger families, there was a buzz generated about living here. I would challenge the establishment wisdom that it's not economic development, but rather grass-roots word on the street from neighbors about their neighborhoods, neighborhood amenities, schools, and the like that has driven this city's growth the past decade. Economic development helps, but how people live, move, operate, and enjoy the city is paramount.
Neighborhoods previously profiled in The Wheel: