- Julia Bunch, BISNOW

Nolan Marshall is no stranger to cities known for their nightlife. As a New Orleans native, Nolan doesn’t bat an eyelash at the mosh pit that McKinney Avenue becomes on weekends—which is a good quality for the new president and executive director of Uptown Dallas Inc.

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Nolan will work on improving infrastructure, greenspace, small businesses, safety and event crowd control in Uptown.

Nolan made a major career change after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005 and returned to his hometown with the intention of bettering the city and community. His most recent position as director of public affairs and policy for the Downtown Development District of New Orleans positioned him well to focus on improvement of other cities.

Last month, Nolan and his family moved to Uptown, where he intends to put his passion for street-level community development to use.

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Uptown has all the basics covered for a public improvement district, Nolan (here with his wife in Bali, Indonesia) tells us. Uptown keeps streets clean, infrastructure maintained and even pays attention to details such as incorporating autumn greenery into public flower beds. Events and initiatives—especially those that engage families—are making real progress. Nolan wants to keep the momentum going.

This neighborhood is relatively new, so we need to build up the culture, Nolan tells us. Incorporating public art (like at the newly dedicated Anita Harris Phelps Park) creates authenticity. Public art and greenspaces will also be attractive to families, a demographic Uptown often struggles to catch.

But that doesn’t mean Uptown Dallas Inc and Nolan will shy away from Uptown’s most prevalent residents—Millennials.

Millennials are fickle, Nolan tells us. If Uptown doesn’t diversify the needs that it’s meeting, another neighborhood might be the next cool place to live and Millennials will all move there. Appealing to many users is the name of the game.

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