The city is the largest economic center of the 12-county Template:Nowrap metropolitan area that according to the March 2010 U.S. Census Bureau release, had a population of roughly 6.5 million as of July 2009.
Dallas was founded in 1841 and formally incorporated as a city in February 1856. The city's economy is primarily based on banking, commerce, telecommunications, computer technology, energy, and transportation, and the city is home to the third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the nation. Located in North Texas and a major city in the American South, Dallas is the core of the largest inland metropolitan area in the United States that lacks any navigable link to the sea.
The city's prominence arose from its historical importance as a center for the oil and cotton industries, and its position along numerous railroad lines. Dallas developed a strong industrial and financial sector, and a major inland port, due largely to the presence of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of the largest and busiest airports in the world. It was rated as a beta world city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network.
- Main article: History of Dallas
Before Texas was claimed in the 18th century as a part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain by the Spanish Empire, the Dallas area was inhabited by the Caddo Native Americans. Later, France also claimed the area, but in 1819 the Adams-Onís Treaty made the Red River the northern boundary of New Spain, officially placing the future location of Dallas well within Spanish territory. The area remained under Spanish rule until 1821, when Mexico declared independence from Spain and the area became part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. In 1836, the Republic of Texas broke off from Mexico to become an independent nation. In 1839, Warren Angus Ferris surveyed the area around present-day Dallas. Two years later, John Neely Bryan established a permanent settlement near a river he found and called that settlement Dallas. The Republic of Texas was then annexed by the United States in 1845 and Dallas County was established the following year. Dallas was formally incorporated as a city in February 1856. The name of the city has uncertain origins. See History of Dallas, Texas (1839-1855) for more information on that.
Dallas is the county seat of Dallas County. Portions of the city extend into neighboring Collin, Denton, Kaufman, and Rockwall counties. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of Template:Convert, Template:Convert of it being land and Template:Convert of it (11.03%) water. Dallas makes up one-fifth of the much larger urbanized area known as the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, in which one quarter of all Texans live.
- Main article: Geology of the Dallas-Fort Worth MetroplexDallas and its surrounding area are mostly flat; the city itself lies at elevations ranging from Template:Convert to Template:Convert. The western edge of the Austin Chalk Formation, a limestone escarpment (also known as the "White Rock Escarpment"), rises Template:Convert and runs roughly north-south through Dallas County. South of the Trinity River, the uplift is particularly noticeable in the neighborhoods of Oak Cliff and the adjacent cities of Cockrell Hill, Cedar Hill, Grand Prairie, and Irving. Marked variations in terrain are also found in cities immediately to the west in Tarrant County surrounding Fort Worth, as well as along Turtle Creek north of Downtown.
Dallas, like many other cities in the world, was founded along a river. The city was founded at the location of a "white rock crossing" of the Trinity River, where it was easier for wagons to cross the river in the days before ferries or bridges. The Trinity River, though not usefully navigable, is the major waterway through the city. Its path through Dallas is paralleled by Interstate 35E along the Stemmons Corridor, then south alongside the western portion of Downtown and past south Dallas and Pleasant Grove, where the river is paralleled by Interstate 45 until it exits the city and heads southeast towards Houston. The river is flanked on both sides by Template:Convert tall earthen levees to protect the city from frequent floods. Since it was rerouted in 1908, the river has been little more than a drainage ditch within a floodplain for several miles above and below downtown Dallas, with a more normal course further upstream and downstream, but as Dallas began shifting towards postindustrial society, public outcry about the lack of aesthetic and recreational use of the river ultimately gave way to the Trinity River Project, which was initialized in the early 2000s and is scheduled to be completed in the 2010s. If the project materializes fully, it promises improvements to the riverfront in the form of man-made lakes, new park facilities and trails, and transportation upgrades.
The project area will reach for over Template:Convert in length within the city, while the overall geographical land area addressed by the Land Use Plan is approximately Template:Convert in size—about 20% of the land area in Dallas. Green space along the river will encompass approximately Template:Convert, making it one of the largest and diverse urban parks in the world.
White Rock Lake, a reservoir constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, is Dallas' other significant water feature. The lake and surrounding park is a popular destination for boaters, rowers, joggers, and bikers, as well as visitors seeking peaceful respite from the city at the Template:Convert Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, located on the lake's eastern shore. White Rock Creek feeds into White Rock Lake, and then exits on to the Trinity River southeast of downtown Dallas. Trails along White Rock Creek are part of the extensive Dallas County Trails System. Bachman Lake, just northwest of Love Field Airport, is a smaller lake also popularly used for recreation. Northeast of the city is Lake Ray Hubbard, a vast Template:Convert reservoir located in an extension of Dallas surrounded by the suburbs of Garland, Rowlett, Rockwall, and Sunnyvale. To the west of the city is Mountain Creek Lake, once home to the Naval Air Station Dallas (Hensley Field) and a number of defense aircraft manufacturers. North Lake, a small body of water in an extension of the city limits surrounded by Irving and Coppell, initially served as a water source for a nearby power plant but is now being targeted for redevelopment as a recreational lake due to its proximity to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, a plan that the lake's neighboring cities oppose.
- Main article: Climate of Dallas
Dallas has a humid subtropical climate, though it is located in a region that also tends to receive warm, dry winds from the north and west in the summer, bringing temperatures well over Template:Convert at times and heat-humidity indexes soaring to as high as Template:Convert. When only temperature itself is accounted for, the north central Texas region where Dallas is located is one of the hottest in the United States during the summer months, usually trailing only the Mojave Desert basin of Arizona, southern Nevada, and southeastern California.
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