Tulsa city leaders are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area getting ideas on how to develop the Arkansas River.
So far, Tulsa’s leaders have learned you have to make any project on the river a place people want to live.
Tulsa leaders saw a lot of ideas they liked on the Trinity River, which, like the Arkansas River in Tulsa, runs alongside downtown.
They have a lot of events there, but the community has taken on an aggressive vision process that will totally reconfigure the area - changing 800 acres of industrial area into something usable for business and recreation.
Dallas is working to expand what’s called Gateway Park to include the Trinity River in Fort Worth.
The plan is a $900 million flood control project that reroutes the river through a canal system with 12 miles of new riverfront property called Panther Island.
The man leading the project said it was housing first that's driven success along their river, and it could in Tulsa too.
“You got to figure out what is going to work for you and stay with it. You will have some setbacks along the way, but never forget why you are doing it; because if you go stale you will become irrelevant,” said J.D. Granger with the Trinity River Vision Authority.
Councilors heard a lot about the importance of high standards for development along the river so people will want to live and work there.
“You can read the plans and listen to what they are saying, but to see how it actually works, seeing people how they live and work in conjunction with the river here,” Councilor Anna America said.
Alongside the Trinity, the group rode bikes along a trail similar to Tulsa's. Fort Worth has already allowed much more development along their river in a way that Tulsa's leaders seemed to like.
Jeff Dunn with the Tulsa Chamber said, "I think they have a really neat plan here, and it will be exciting to see what they can achieve, but it will also be exciting to apply that in Tulsa."
The trail element is a common a denominator and what the chamber and city leaders have seen in the Dallas and Fort Worth area.
On Tuesday, the council looked at several Dallas developments as they seek ideas that would work for Tulsa.