Can you believe this is my home?

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Looking out the window of a plane somewhere over Arkansas, I’m ready to be home.

Our design team has just finished an exciting and exhausting out-of-town charrette. I’m watching farmland roll by wondering where I’ll walk to get dinner with my fiancé and kids. We land, I collect my bags, and I make my way to the airport’s light rail station. The next train arrives.

Excited to get home, I know what awaits me—the family tussle over where to eat. Thank goodness my teenage daughters have good taste. Since we live in a neighborhood with sushi, burgers, and a dozen more choices all within a two-block walk, we can work it out quickly.

Those choices are what I love about my neighborhood.

Walking out of the light rail station three blocks from my apartment, I admire the new mixed-use midrise down the street—the fourth that’s gone up in the past two years. A few minutes later, I find my family on our balcony watching pedestrians come and go. A quick streetcar ride later and we’re at dinner, laughing over sashimi tuna.

Just then, my daughter Scarlet looks at me and asks, “where is your next journey?” She’s right: we live in a big region, and getting to my morning meeting five cities over could indeed be a journey. But the light rail I rode home earlier is also connected to our regional commuter line—which runs right by my client’s office—so I’m set.

Why tell this story?

Because I live in Dallas/Fort Worth. Not San Francisco, not Washington, DC—Dallas/Fort Worth, the destination for this year’s 23rd annual Congress for the New Urbanism. And I want you to know about Dallas, and that together with its neighboring cities—like Fort Worth, McKinney, and Plano—it’s part of a vibrant, dynamic region that’s working to meet the demand for walkable places.

This may come as a surprise to many who believe that Texas is only about cars, malls and cowboys. But today, North Texas is delivering great neighborhoods around historic downtowns and rail stations, as well as live-work-walk places anchored by global companies and evolving suburban corridors. Home to many of the nation’s leading real estate companies, the region has begun to represent the rich complexity of cities, neighborhoods, and transit on a regional scale.

So come to Dallas/Fort Worth for the 23rd Annual Congress for the New Urbanism: Meeting the Demand for Walkable Places. Join us from April 29-May 2 and see the great places and amazing choices we’ve been working on together in North Texas. You won’t believe what you find.

Scott Polikov, CNU National Board