From public transportation to park spaces, from educational opportunities to crime stats, from ethnic diversity to urban density, how does Tulsa measure up to other cities of its kind throughout the nation? In mid-January, the Tulsa City Council was presented with the annual Quality of Life Report for our city. This report -- per the City Council website, where you can read all of it -- is "an objective analysis of our community, compared to 20 peer cities.
On this edition of ST, we welcome Robert J. LaFortune, a former Mayor of Tulsa, and Ann Patton, a locally based writer, activist, and former journalist. Patton has a new book out, for which LaFortune wrote the Foreword; it's a collection of essays on and photos of the Arkansas River, and it's called "The Tulsa River." But to what degree is Tulsa truly a "river city"? And are the age-old questions about riverfront development in this community changing -- or else taking on new meaning -- given the eventual creation of A Gathering Place on Riverside Drive?
On this installment of ST, we welcome Paul Kent, Executive Director of Tulsa Habitat for Humanity. This cherished, local nonprofit will mark its 25th anniversary this year --- the national Habitat organization, by the way, is about a dozen or so years older --- and the Tulsa chapter is also on track to build its 300th house in our community this coming fall.
On this edition of ST, we speak with Teddy Cruz, the acclaimed architect and scholar --- he's an associate professor of Public Culture and Urbanism in the Visual Arts Department at the University of California, San Diego --- who will appear at a "Third Thursday" event at the Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa tomorrow night (the 16th) at 6pm. A 2010 profile of Cruz that appeared in T: The New York Times Style Magazine --- in which he was named as one of "the Nifty 50: America's up-and-coming talent" --- begins like so: "Most architects live to build.