PLANiTULSA Unveils Its Vision For Tulsa's Future

Wednesday, September 23rd 2009, 9:53 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- PLANiTULSA unveils its vision for the future of the city on Wednesday. The group presented the first draft of its master plan to the public for the first time Wednesday evening.

The University of Tulsa was one of seven city neighborhoods discussed. The planners outlined changes they believe will vastly improve that area, as well as the rest of the city, over the next 30 years.

There was plenty to discuss at the presentation. PLANiTULSA has been compiling its vision for nearly two years, and after putting it all in a draft, its authors were ready for feedback.

"Here's what we heard. Are we getting it right? We want to hear from everyone, so we can finish up, implement the plan that people want to see," said Glen Bolen, Fregonese and Associates.

They did hear from residents who, after seeing other plans fall by the wayside, remain healthy skeptics.

"I'm just hoping that something actually will take place to make this vision a reality," said Gayle Long, a Tulsa resident.

That reality includes a universal set of goals for every area of Tulsa. They are -- have a vibrant and dynamic economy, attract and retain young people, provide effective transportation and housing choices, and protect the environment.

For example, in and around the University of Tulsa, that means keeping and strengthening existing single-family neighborhoods.

Planners would also like to create a "human-friendly" environment with more bike routes and areas for pedestrians. They propose building more affordable housing in order to encourage students, faculty and staff to live near campus.

To attract young professionals, PLANiTULSA calls for revitalizing nearby business districts with new retail stores and office space.

But planners stress that this is only a draft, and since this is a vision for the next 30 years, there is plenty of time to make changes.

"It's kind of a primer on what the plan's going to hold. This is a way we can field-test the strategies," said Glen Bolen, Fregonese and Associates.

Read PLANiTULSA's first draft of its master plan.