PLANiTULSA's opening night

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Great turnout tonight for the first of three citywide workshops for the PLANiTULSA comprehensive planning process. Every one of the 50 tables seemed to be at capacity.

It was a challenging task to find ways of accommodating Tulsa's share of projected job growth (42,000) and population growth (100,000) over the next 20 years. Each table was given a choice of four chip sets -- four different approaches to accommodating growth -- but from that starting point, tables could swap chips for equivalent numbers of jobs and people, or even choose to add more growth or less growth. Only about 8 tables had the chance to present their plans to the entire group, but all the maps will be digitized and posted.

Table 42 (where I served as facilitator) chose to begin with the "Neighborhood Empowerment" chipset, a moderately dense approach, but got frustrated trying to place all the low-density housing. They chose to trade some of the low-density residential and office development for more dense options, like transit-oriented development and urban districts.

A few lessons learned:

It would have been nice to have more examples of equivalent trades than the few provided. We managed to come up with some new combinations, but doing the math slowed us down a bit. It was easy to figure equivalences for jobs only or population only, but balancing chips that provided both was tricky. (Algebra was involved.)

Several tables designated areas for medical development. There wasn't a chip for that, but our table wanted a medical corridor near the future intersection of the Gilcrease and Tisdale expressways. Another table identified the same need in east Tulsa.

As soon as I can upload photos to Flickr, I'll link to them, so you can see the map Table 42 came up with, as well as action shots of Steven Roemerman presenting his table's map.

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The A Team said:

Our table was really confused by sticker thing. Just choosing what packet to work from was almost an exercise futility. We wanted to express our desire to see infrastructure ran to areas of the city that operate on septic systems and well water that don't have access to city water and sewer lines but weren't sure how to indicate that on the maps.

One of the planners suggested that higher density development be put in those areas because that would require it. I found that to be extremely offensive that higher densities should be forced on an area prerequisite to get something they are already entitled to and paying for anyway, being within the city limits of Tulsa.

DavidS said:

So exactly what will this do if no one is building or fixing up anything out east or north anyway?

By the way just your few words explained more than any of the 4 news stations did tonight.

Paul said:

It would have been helpful to have known the current population and employment numbers for Tulsa (by quarter section on the map). We knew how many people and jobs we were adding with the stickers, but without the current densities, we didn't know the resulting densities we were proposing.

Our table had lots of the low density housing stickers with no associated employment. We had trouble trading the low density stickers for higher densities because the calculations took too long. In retrospect, I imagine it would have been reasonable to use the low density residential stickers in existing residential districts. That could have represented adding garage apartments and triplexes/quadplexes to existing neighborhoods without significantly altering their character. Before the map session, John Fregonese showed an example of a multi-family dwelling which appeared to be a large house and which could fit well in many Tulsa neighborhoods (presumably without too much opposition).

I didn't know anyone at our table, but it turned out that we all lived in central Tulsa, which was a disadvantage. None of us was familiar with the distant suburbs.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 22, 2008 10:03 PM.

PLANiTULSA workshops: still room for more was the previous entry in this blog.

Daniel Pipes to speak at TU tonight is the next entry in this blog.

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