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Our Vision of Tulsa's Future

What does Tulsa want for its future?

Overall, Tulsans are looking for change—in the form of revitalization, expanded housing choices, a diverse and strong economy, and more choices in how to get around town. But we also want stability in certain key areas, such as in protecting and enhancing our existing neighborhoods. And we want Tulsa to be the kind of city where young people can get a great education, build a career and raise a family. We expect that decisions will be made openly and fairly, and we are committed to maintaining a healthy environment.

Input for Our Vision

In May and June, Tulsans were received more than 5,500 responses to a city-wide survey about four growth and transportation scenarios. These were based on public workshop and other forms of input gathered during the PLANiTULSA process. Each scenario showed an alternative future for Tulsa by varying different factors related to economic development, planning, transportation, infrastructure and other policy decisions.

The purpose of the survey was not to choose a “winner”, but to get a sense of Tulsans’ broad preferences for how the city should look and feel in the future. There was substantial support for Centered City, which envisions restoring downtown as the region’s center of housing and employment. At the same time, New Centers was also popular, with its focus on complete communities of single-family homes in proximity to neighborhood centers with shopping and community amenities. Finally, Tulsans were supportive of Main Streets, and a renewed emphasis on making the city’s corridors more pedestrian-friendly, transit-friendly, and livable.

The “New” Tulsa will:

Have a Vibrant and Dynamic Economy

  • Tulsans envision a city that creates additional opportunities for an entrepreneur to open a business, makes it easier for a land owner to get a building permit, and provides many transportation options for an employee to commute to work.
  • It will be crucial for the city to continue to nurture and support key industries such as energy, aviation, and health care that will continue to attract workers and their families.
  • The city has a history of leadership and innovation; Tulsans are eager to build on that history to become an energy and sustainability powerhouse.

Attract and Retain Young People

  • Tulsans envision a city where young people can get an excellent education and training, build a career, have a home, and have plenty of entertainment options.
  • Universities and higher educational institutions attract young people, but it is how well a city welcomes and provides them with a stimulating environment and economic opportunities that determines whether they stay.
  • Tulsa’s history as a music and performance mecca is a tremendous asset, and the outdoor amenities also are vital.

Provide Effective Transportation

  • Tulsans recognize that great cities also need great transportation systems that provide a range of travel choices and make the most of their investments.
  • Tulsans are ready to expand their transportation options to include:
    • modes like frequent bus service, rail transit and streetcars.
    • bike facilities and pedestrian networks to connect our city.

Provide Housing Choices

  • Some of Tulsa’s greatest assets are its single-family neighborhoods, which have provided affordable homes for most of the city’s history. Some neighborhoods have homes that need repair. The city is committed to help support and rebuild them in cooperation with owners and the community.
  • Tulsans recognize that one size does not fit all, and that condominiums, apartments, town homes, live-work lofts, and mixed-use communities will expand the range of options for current and future residents.
  • Downtown Tulsa should have a variety of housing for people who are more interested in a dense urban environment.

Protect the Environment and Provide Sustainability

  • Tulsans envision a city that is committed to and leads in sustainability measures.
  • This includes many important elements of a well functioning city: great walking, biking, and transit access as alternatives to driving, high-efficiency building practices, and the smart use of land.
  • Tulsans recognize our great natural assets, including Mohawk Park, the Arkansas River, Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area, and more than 280 miles of trails.

Draft Tulsa Vision Map

The vision map is an illustration of Tulsa’s future, as shaped by PLANiTULSA participants and stakeholders. This map depicts how various key elements—such as future growth, reinvestment along corridors, new centers and neighborhoods, and a revitalized and vibrant downtown—will function.

This map is a conceptual document, with no force of law or regulatory function. Instead, it provides ideas, direction and focus for crafting the city’s land-use program, the comprehensive plan, and transportation maps, and ultimately the zoning code to implement them.

Below is the 9/23 version of the vision map. There is also a revised map from 9/24 that does not include a bridge on South Yale. Although this bridge does appear on other approved INCOG plans, a formal alignment analysis has not been completed and the best alignment remains undetermined.

Click to enlarge: (9/23/09 version) (9/24/09 version)

Areas of Change and Stability

Tulsans have expressed a desire for change; they also want to preserve and enhance the best aspects of their city. This map is a conceptual illustration of which parts of the city are likely to change and remain the same over the life of the plan. A more detailed and comprehensive map will be developed as part of the Policy Plan document.

The city’s primary areas of stability are existing single-family neighborhoods, which are the heart of the Tulsa community. Areas of change are likely to be under-used land along corridors and downtown and undeveloped land. Care must be taken to ensure that reinvestment is well-integrated with existing neighborhoods. Undeveloped land at the edges of the city should be planned for complete communities that balance homes, jobs, and amenities.

Draft Example: For illustration purposes only.

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