Fort Worth Photo Contest to Help City Planners

Task force asking people to send in pictures of what they love about Fort Worth

A Fort Worth task force is holding a photo contest to help plan future development in the city.

The SteerFW Urban Development Task Force wants people to send pictures of what they love about Fort Worth and how they use the city in their daily lives.

"A lot of people say, 'This is what we do, this is where we like to go.' Well, the city doesn't know until you tell them," co-chair Sara Karashin said.

The task force is a group of 20-year-old to 40-year-old professionals charged with helping the mayor and City Hall steer future development.

The deadline to enter Picture It is noon on Friday. Photos can be submitted on Picture It's website or on Twitter using hashtag #PictureItFW.

Participants also must register on the website to have their submissions considered.

"This is a great way to get people involved across the city without having to have meetings and interviews," Karashin said. "People can just get online, take photos of what they like and submit those photographs. We can look at that and analyze it and say, 'These are the types of businesses people go to.'"

The contest offers prizes from local businesses.

"I've lived in Fort Worth all my life and thought it was a neat experience to take pictures of where I think the city shines and where it needs improvements," Julia Nova said.

She headed to South Hulen Street and took pictures of Trader Joe's. Nova said she loves the new grocery store and what it represents -- California transplants now living in her hometown.

"I thought it would be a cool picture of the influence and migration those people have on Fort Worth as a city, economy, culture," she said.

She also photographed gridlock from road construction on her side of town. She said she sees progress where many see frustration.

"I'm excited it's happening because there's a lot of growth in the area," she said. "The traffic isn't due just to construction, it's the amount of people in the area. I think it's great."

The contest gives people who've may have never set foot in City Hall a way to have their voices heard, Nova said.

"Steer Fort Worth explained, it's really about you showing us where we should spend our money," she said. "Is it a waste to spend it on urban residencies? Or should we be spending it more towards art and parks?"

The SteerFW Urban Development Task Force will look at the submissions and see how each of the city's urban villages compare to the photos and suggest how the city can make changes to reflect the type of development people want to see.

"We're going to be doing months of analysis afterwards and being able to make recommendations to the city in the fall, so we got a lot of work ahead of us," Karashin said.

The task force will present its recommendations to the city in September.

More: Picture It

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