Updated: Oct 11, 2018
Students were invited to the Irving Transportation Investment Summit’s new Future Leaders Competition kickoff at The Study USA business innovation center on Tuesday, May 22. Over the summer, teams of students will create plans to redevelop the former Texas Stadium site.
“The Future Leaders Competition was a brainchild of the City Council, the City of Irving, and the Irving Summit team, specifically Senator David Cain,” said Christina Rojas from Taylor Collective Solutions. “They really wanted to give students a space to explore these STEM programs in a realistic way. Tonight and throughout the summer, we’re going to be focusing on the former Texas Stadium site called the Diamond Interchange.”
Student teams will meet with experts in the urban development industry, who will offer insight and assistance while students are encouraged to find progressive, and perhaps unorthodox, solutions.
“The reason why it’s so interesting is because there’s nothing on it right now,” Rojas said. “It’s such an important piece of land, because it’s bordered by three highways. It’s such a blank canvas, that it gives kids the opportunity to think outside the box and create innovative developments that in the future these kids will be creating. Throughout these seven summer sessions, we’re going to give these kids a unique opportunity to hear and meet with actual engineers who work on this project, actual people who do development every day.”
Winning teams will be awarded time to present their project solutions before government and business leaders present at the Transportation Investment Summit on Aug. 23, 24.
“It’s a great opportunity for young people to be involved,” Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer said. “We’re talking about a piece of the city that’s over 400 acres, so it’ll probably be something we develop over the next 30 to 50 years. This is going to be our next place that people really spend time and dollars in this area.”
Those involved with the Irving Transportation Investment Summit and the Future Leaders Competition are excited about the new outlook younger minds can offer and how that can benefit Irving’s already bustling economy in the future.
“I also think it’s important also to see what their interests are,” Stopfer said. “The things that I would look at are probably completely different than what they would look at. They’re in a world of Uber, drones, and things of that nature, and I’m not willing to give up my car yet. It’ll give us a different perspective.
“I think the younger generation is more environmentally friendly and conscious, so it’ll be interesting to see how they deal with land along the Trinity. We’ve got major intersections – 183, 114, 112- all these different roads coming together. How they’re going to deal with that and the 250,000 to 750,000 cars a day coming through the neighborhood. I really look forward to their perspective.”
By incorporating studies with real world urban development and business, the Irving Transportation Investment Summit is taking concrete steps to dynamically aid the development of Irving’s education and commerce.
“Benefit-wise, I feel it could boost the economy of Irving,” attendee Angelique Gonzalez said. “It could provide more jobs. It may bring in more attractions to Irving.”