PlaniTulsa Has City Looking Ahead

Associate Editor

PLANITULSA KICKOFF: From left are John Fregonese, president of Fregonese Associates; Ruben Gant, president of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce; Francisco Trevino, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor on hand for the kick-off of the PlaniTulsa initiative.


Central Community Center at Centennial Park on Sixth Street near Peoria Avenue was the site for the kickoff of PlaniTulsa, a two-year initiative in which the City of Tulsa will develop a long-range, comprehensive plan for the city’s physical development. Mayor Kathy Taylor launched the initiative with an invitation to Tulsans to join in the planning process by offering their thoughts and opinions of what they want the city of Tulsa to be in the future.

“PlaniTulsa will provide an opportunity for all Tulsa residents to form a common vision for our city’s future and I urge every Tulsan to take an active role as their ideas and suggestions will be among the most important elements of the plan and will be crucial to its ultimate success,” according to Mayor Taylor. She went on to say the end result of the process would be a “harmony of ideas that guide us into the future.”

Mayor Taylor then introduced John Fregonese, president of Fregonese Associates, Inc., the Portland, Ore., based, land-use planning firm recently hired to lead the process of developing the new plan. Fregonese gave a detailed overview of the future challenges facing the greater Tulsa area and how they will impact the planning process. The information presented was based on initial studies done by the firm.

Fregonese noted that since 2006 the population in the city has been on the decline. Although attributable to various factors, it is nonetheless alarming for a city with a history of robust growth. He went on to point out projections of an impending nationwide labor shortage beginning in 2010 that will pit cities against one another competing for quality workers. A city’s physical environment and vision will plan a major role in a city’s ability to successfully compete in the jobs arena, according to Fregonese. Also cited were an aging population, the increasing cost of energy, changing family unit models and various other factors that will also impact all aspects of urban life including housing, transportation, economic development and general life style. He concluded that all of these issues and more would be addressed by the PlaniTulsa initiative.

Fregonese Associates, Inc. has put together a team of subconsultants who will assist in creating Tulsa’s Comprehensive Plan. Kimley-Horn and Associates, urban transportation and traffic engineers, will consult on matters of transportation. Sienna Architecture Company specializes in creating environmentally sensitive, urban mixed-use housing, retail office and hospitality projects. TIP Strategies is an economic development consulting firm. Collective Strength specializes in research, messaging and strategies for sustainability-related projects. Urban Insight is an Internet consulting and Web development firm applying Internet technologies for urban and academic environments. In addition, Tulsa-based Rex Public Relations and Xposure will handle various public relations aspects of the plan.

PlaniTulsa is an 18 month to two year process divided into nine stages starting with information gathering and project kick-off, followed by forecasting and modeling land use, transportation and economic connection, scenario development, development of comprehensive plan and implementation plan and funding strategies along with other stages leading to adoption of the plan. Public involvement and awareness are encouraged throughout the process.

Updated 05-19-2008

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