The Greater Dallas Planning Council’s mission statement is simple and to the point:

Mission is to shape, promote, and advocate a creative, sustainable future for the Dallas region.

The Greater Dallas Planning Council (GDPC), founded in 1946, is the oldest Dallas area civic organization that focuses on issues shaping regional growth. The members of the GDPC address a range of issues from a broad range of community and professional perspectives. The GDPC's membership is comprised of a group of successful professionals from architect design firms, planning consultants, construction and engineering firms, developers, real estate industry leaders, community and civic organizations, corporations and municipal entities. The GDPC membership also includes elected or appointed officials. The GDPC members evaluate local and regional policies in order to promote the long-term sustainability of the City of Dallas and surrounding region.

Urban design issues, economic development, transportation, water issues, energy and education remain a core focus of the organization. A variety of issue task forces bring together professionals concerned about the future of the region and evaluate policies and new design concepts. The members of the task forces evaluate information, invite area leaders to their meetings and develop policy recommendations that are forwarded to local leaders and the media.

In order to promote a better understanding of issues facing the region, the GDPC sponsors monthly breakfast meetings open to members and non-members. These breakfast meetings include a presentation by local politicians and leaders on issues ranging from urban development, education reform, transportation changes, water planning and other timely issues.

The Greater Dallas Planning Council Major Accomplishments:

  • Major supporter of the development and implementation of the Dallas Plan
  • Underwriting the feasibility study for the outer loop freeway system
  • Creation of Dallas long-range water plan
  • Support and planning of both Love Field and DFW Airports
  • Leadership in environmental projects such as a clean White Rock Lake and "Keep Dallas Beautiful" (once a GDPC effort, now a separate organization)
  • Contributed significant time and talent to the Trinity River Corridor Project for 20 years
  • Participation in a triumvirate of organizations which produced the Planning Policies Issues
  • Papers, resulting in a massive overhauling of the city's zoning ordinances
  • Support for Vision North Texas
  • Presented peer review conclusions on Alignment Alternatives for DART’s D2 2nd Downtown Light Rail Transit Line
  • Wrote a position paper on the Proposed Trinity Toll Road Alternative

Accomplishments from Last Year:

  • GDPC launched the new year with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins swearing in the 2016 GDPC Board of Directors. Theresa O'Donnell, Chief Resilience Officer with the City of Dallas, discussed “100 Resilient Cities.” Dallas is among a group of world cities selected for the second round as part of 100 Resilient Cities
  • Invited speaker Joe Douglas Webb, AIA, the chair of Blueprint Houston, as an introductory platform for the 2016 Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference in Houston
  • Technology and Innovative Communities “Lunch and Learn” hosted Jeremy Vickers, UTD Executive Director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Public Places and Spaces “Lunch & Learn” on Fair Park. Brought GDPC members up to speed on the dialogue surrounding the Fair Park area. Speakers outlined the history and current issues as well as giving first-hand knowledge of the surrounding community and neighborhood perspective
  • GDPC partnered with Texas Trails & Active Transportation Conference in Houston on March 9-11. Participated in presentations and tours of initiatives and projects in Houston, discussed best practices, and laid the ground work for future collaboration between the Dallas and Houston regions
  • Hosted a social, Deep Ellum Pub Crawl, and toured over 20 larger-than-life neighborhood murals with brief history and fun facts about the artists
  • Speaker John DeFillipo, Director of the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center, discussed water, wetlands, and wildlife at the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center
  • Participated in Earth Day Texas (EDTx), the largest event in the world of its kind, a three-day free event on April 22-24 at Fair Park, to celebrate progress, hope, and innovation. EDTx brought together environmental organizations, businesses, academic institutions, government agencies, speakers, interactive programming, and subject matter experts, along with live music and sustainable beer and food pavilions.
  • Technology and Innovative Communities “Lunch & Learn” on Smart Cities. Jennifer Sanders, Executive Director of Dallas Innovation Alliance, and Trey Bowles, Co-Founder and CEO of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, discussed the Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA), a coalition of stakeholders from the City of Dallas, corporations, civic and NGO organizations, academia and private individuals who are invested in Dallas' continued evolution as a forward-thinking, innovative, 'smart' global city. DIA was launched in September 2015 at the White House as a part of Smart Cities Week. 
  • William M. Methenitis, Global Director, EY Global Trade, discussed Megatrends in World Trade and the impact to the DFW Region
  • Commissioner Victor Vandergriff, Texas Transportation Commission, and James Frye, Vice President with HNTB, discussed Dallas City Center Master Assessment Process (Dallas CityMAP), a project focused on the transportation needs of central Dallas' major freeways
  • Hosted a discussion on the Trinity Parkway/Toll Road. Angela Hunt and Craig Holcomb, both former Dallas City Council members, gave their perspectives
  • Members attended the 2016 "What Makes a City?" conference focusing on nature and public space in and around the Trinity
  • Tech & Innovative Communities Task Force “Lunch and Learn” on City of Impact, Salah Boukadoum’s vision to transform Dallas into the "Silicon Valley of Impact."
  • 2016 Annual Luncheon "Smart Growth, Mobility, Resiliency, Public Policy and 21st Century City" with Honorable Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston
  • Hosted GDPC Fall Social at Nickel and Rye
  • Jerry L. Cotter P.E., Chief of Water Resources U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District, discussed what activities we should engage in to maximize flood protection across the region and how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has worked with local communities to develop a $2.5 billion flood protection system for the Dallas-Fort Worth area to prevent damages
  • We concluded the year with the 2016 Urban Design Awards celebrating excellence in local urban planning and design, along with our annual meeting and holiday party.


  • Dallas Visions: Toward a 21st Century Urban Design
  • Designs for Dallas = civic planning concepts in conjunction with the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects
  • Visions for Dallas – an update of Designs for Dallas
  • Visions/Dreams/Decisions – issue paper on the future of the inner city
  • First Ring Suburbs – an issue paper exploring the future of the region's suburbs

Signature Events:

  • Annual Urban Design Awards Host (2002 - present) – from 1990 GDPC co-hosted with City of Dallas
  • Four Metromorphosis Symposia – conference highlights regional planning opportunities
  • Annual Luncheon – GDPC hosts dynamic, thought provoking topic and speaker
  • Lunch & Learn Series – members and taskforce subject speakers interact in 2-way in-depth small group luncheon presentations