Urban Planning

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 speak by phone with urban planner and professional engineer Charles Marohn, who is also the president and founder of a nonprofit called Strong Towns. This organization works to help America's towns and cities to become financially resilient and economically strong -- and as is noted at the Strong Towns website: "Enduring prosperity cannot be artificially created from the outside but must be built from within, incrementally over time.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Bill Leighty, a longtime realtor in our community who's also served on the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, the City's Transportation Advisory Board, and its Land Use Task Force. Moreover, Leighty is the executive director of the Smart Growth Tulsa Coalition, which he tells us all about on today's program.

KWGS News

The renaissance in downtown Tulsa continues, but more investment and retail is needed. A forum is held focusing on retail development in the city’s urban core. CBRE Real Estate Broker Caitlin Boewe says smaller homegrown businesses are needed to spur development, then the big guys will follow. She points to Cherry Street and Brookside as examples where that has happened.

The forum, sponsored by the Tulsa Regional Chamber, follows one held earlier on attracting residential development to the downtown core.

(Note: This show originally aired earlier this year.) If you're something of a daredevil, and further, if you've ever wondered what it'd be like to climb to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge --- or wander amid the catacombs beneath Paris, or maybe just take an up-close look at a "ghost station" within the far-reaching New York City subway system --- you might be a latent "urban explorer." Our guest is an active explorer of this sort; Moses Gates, who joins us by phone, is also an urban planner, a licensed New York City tour guide, and an assistant professor of demography at the Pratt Institute

On today's ST, which originally aired earlier this year, we speak with the journalist, author, and veteran urbanologist Alan Ehrenhalt, whose books include "The United States of Ambition" and "The Lost City." Ehrenhalt's latest book, "The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City," is now out in paperback. This book argues that the roles and characteristics of America's cities and suburbs are basically changing places with one another --- younger adults and affluent retirees are moving into the city, while immigrants and the less affluent are moving out to the 'burbs.

"Hidden Cities: A Memoir of Urban Exploration"

Mar 27, 2013

If you're something of a daredevil, and further, if you've ever wondered what it'd be like to climb to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge --- or wander amid the catacombs beneath Paris, or maybe just take an up-close look at a "ghost station" within the far-reaching New York City subway system --- you might be a latent "urban explorer." Our guest on ST is an active explorer of this sort; Moses Gates, who joins us by phone, is also an urban planner, a licensed New York City tour guide, and an assistant professor of demography at the Pratt Institute.

On today's ST, we speak by phone with the journalist, author, and veteran urbanologist Alan Ehrenhalt, whose books include "The United States of Ambition" and "The Lost City." Ehrenhalt's latest book, "The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City," is just out in paperback. This book argues that the roles and characteristics of America's cities and suburbs are basically changing places with one another --- younger adults and affluent retirees are moving into the city, while immigrants and the less affluent are moving out to the 'burbs.

In many cities across this country, urban planning initiatives are often celebrated for their fresh ideas or green principles, their small-town feeling or street-level appeal, their overall city-friendly yet neighborly vibe. But getting the folks in a given community to support urban planning goals before they have actually occurred is difficult to do --- mainly because such goals can seem too abstract, too hard to visualize or imagine.