...the plan also mentions how Fort Worth is not considered warm or welcoming to outsiders, particularly not to immigrants or young people, meaning talented artists, musicians, actors and professionals....
Stuck in the mud, cutting off the nose to spite the face. Two unfortunate idioms that apply to governance in many Tarrant County cities.
Municipal leadership all across Tarrant County struggles to allow change, maintaining things the way they are. The Good Ole Boy Network works hardest to keep out competition. This "network" remains stronger in Fort Worth than any other big city in Texas and has successfully upheld the accomplishments, innovations, advancements to be found in Fort Worth to 1980s standards. We are not in Missouri (eg) with primary population centers Kansas City and St Louis growing just a little bit every year. Big cities in Texas grow just a little bit every month.
The Metroplex competition with Dallas brought two cities to prominence; the economic meltdown of the 1980s eliminated so many long term plans, systems, relationships.... Scorched earth with nothing new growing and no prospects on the horizon. The whole region hunkered down to weather the storm. By the 90s, Fort Worth and Dallas were still reeling without an action plan while Richardson/Plano and Irving figured out a new way and that new way has coalesced the second and third largest employment centers in the area.
As the region's two downtown's began to wake up, Downtown Dallas existed a pitiful, unorganized, unfriendly suburban office campus unfashionably squeezed into an urban setting. Fort Worth found relaxing and enjoyable success within the Sundance Square bunker. Since the turn of the century, the Good Ole Boy Network leadership control in Dallas has been whittled away, and the city is booming. Fort Worth is about the same, on the verge of decades long growth.... but still teetering of the line between the good old days and better days ahead.
Back to the quote from the STelegram opinion piece.... as a nice, inviting and urban destination Sundance Square anchors downtown Fort Worth in a walkable residential neighborhood or daytrip. During the first part of my decade in Denton, my gang would go to Fort Worth and Dallas about the same. My gang comprised of artists, musicians, thespians, and aimless richkids.... During the second part of my decade in Denton, my gang would only go to Fort Worth for museum activities. Deep Ellum was surging and swelling to it's breaking point, and there was nothing in Fort Worth. The handful of time a group of us would go downtown, we did not feel very welcome. We certainly looked different, and that got some strong stares. No reason to go back. I lived a decade in Dallas, and the gang would make the trip to Fort Worth every couple months --- to get out of town because Dallas was growing too small, too pretentious. Fort Worth was a wonderful diversion, but visits to the 'city' were limited to museums and parks. Only the Water Gardens and 8.0 were downtown options, and even 8.0 had a slight feeling of animosity toward a bunch of "weirdos".
The bones of downtown are outstanding, but until the mentality of it's leaders evolves out of the Leave It to Beaver era, change will be as slow as molasses in winter. Politically, Texas operates as one of very conservative states. Gerrymandering does it's job. Democrat versus Republican and vice versa: a terrible way to improve communities, but the 20th century Democratic strangle hold needed to be undone, and now the Republican strange hold needs to be undone. It's all business as usual. whatever. But, among big cities in Texas, Fort Worth lags far far far behind the others as an agent of change. Social and community growth is rooted in the cities, and all cultures are led by the concentrated populations of cities. Fort Worth is being held back.
The 400 page study is the start of a new Fort Worth. It'll take a decade, but the change is inevitable. How quickly the city begins expensive municipal investments that have few short term and mostly long term results is the fulcrum.