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  1. The Elevation of Tex-Mex
    Mico Rodriguez
  2. The Bounty of the Barnett Shale
    Kelcy Warren
  3. The Entrepreneurial Woman
    Tomima Edmark
  4. The Growth of the Vietnamese Community
    Jennifer Nguyen
  5. The Founding of Uptown
    Phil Cobb
  6. The Changing Face of Politics
    Craig Watkins
  7. The Brain Gain
    Dr. Hao Zhu
  8. The Four Sport Town
    Mike Modano
  9. The Underground Culture
    Katherine Owens
  10. The Catholic Migration
    Father Ivan Asencio
  11. The Organized South Asian Community
    John Hammond
  12. The Next Way to Develop
    Jeff Blackard
  13. The Allure of the Silicon Prairie
    Anousheh Ansari
  14. The lighting of Reunion Tower
    George Schrader
  15. The New Old Tradition
    Jennifer Moreno
  16. The Test Kitchen
    Mariel Street
  17. The Art Magnet
    Kevin Moriarty
  18. The Glamorous Return of Dallas Shopping
    Brian Bolke
  19. The Strengthening of the Gay Community
    Jack Evans and George Harris
  20. The Resurgence of Downtown Dallas
    Art Ortiz
  21. The Megachurch Boom
    Ed Young
  22. The Fundraisers
    Lynn McBee
  23. The Refuge
    Pedro Amaya
  24. The Reason Dallas Took Off
    Ron Barzyk
  25. The Girl Who Stayed Home
    Erykah Badu
  26. The Preservation of Our Historic Buildings
    Virginia McAlester
  27. The Thriving Ethiopian Community
    Birhan Mekonnen
  28. The New Dallas ISD
    Jessica Leija
  29. The Rebirth of the Trinity River
    Peter Payton
  30. The Trains Start Running
    Ladrika Davis Gross
  31. The Architect of an Art Scene
    Stephen Lapthisophon
  32. The Calculator That Changed the World
    Vonnie Howard
  33. The Rise and Fall and Rise of Deep Ellum
    Frank Campagna
  34. The Big Move
    Kendra Norwood
  35. The Expanding Empire in Fort worth
    Scott Hernandez
  36. The Family Recipe
    Chuy Cruz
  37. The Transformation of Oak Cliff
    David Spence
  38. The Now-Legal Immigrant
    Jesus Castillo Carrizales
  39. The City of Philanthropists
    Lyda Hill
  40. The Transplants
    Tara Vornkahl
00 The Next Way to Develop Tuesday, July 1, at 7:06pm at Adriatica in McKinney

Jeff Blackard

Jeff Blackard is fed up with the way neighborhoods are being built. Zoning, the developer says, has become a legal form of segregation. Rather than create enclaves that keep people of different strata apart, we should work to bring back the spirit of a village that you’d find in Europe or in pre-1900 America. 

“We are doing development wrong in this country, but there is a way to do it right,” Blackard says. “This needs to be known by every city planner and every mayor in the United States. Somebody just needs to show them.”

The developer is aiming to do just that with Entrada, a $500 million project along State Highway 114 in Westlake. Along with more than 300 townhomes and villas, the 85-acre development will include three hotels and more than 1 million square feet of retail, restaurant, and office space.

Entrada, Blackard says, gives him a chance to fully implement “neoretroism,” a development philosophy he came up with after spending two years studying villages across Europe. He took 250,000 photos and filmed thousands of hours of video.

“I watched people and their movements, studying what they did every day,” he says. “Why do they go to the farmers market at a certain time? Where was it, and how was it set up? Why was a doorknob at a certain height? I put the question of ‘why’ on everything.”

Blackard introduced neoretroism in the mid-2000s with Adriatica in McKinney, modeled after a fishing village off the coast of Croatia. The philosophy blends different uses and allows space to evolve over time. For example, a retail store might become an office or a residence when a shopkeeper retires. When you don’t segregate people and uses, Blackard says, a deeper sense of community results, and the project becomes more sustainable. He points to empty shopping malls across America as an example of what can happen when space is designed for just one use.

“Zoning has killed our communities, and I’m the worst, because I used to develop like this,” Blackard says. “People talk about all of these different things that are wrong with our society. This is it. It’s destroying our country.”  

  • John

    Zoning keeps strip clubs from being built next to elementary schools so I wouldn’t exactly say it’s all bad.