Tag: Oklahoma

Video: Senator Inhofe on why he supports the BUILD Act of 2013

Smart Growth America’s National Brownfields Coalition hosted a breakfast at the 2013 Brownfields Conference that brought together more than 120 members and guests working on federal brownfields issues.

To open the event, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) welcomed guests with a video message about the importance of  brownfields redevelopment and its success across the country. Senator Inhofe is a lead sponsor of the BUILD Act, a bill in Congress that would help communities turn abandoned land back into vibrant spaces by reauthorizing the federal Brownfields program.


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What the BUILD Act could build: The Mayo Hotel in Tulsa, OK


The Mayo Hotel. Via.

Once the jewel of the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Mayo Hotel fell into neglect and disrepair in the late 20th century. With the help of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield program, the Mayo Hotel has now reclaimed its title as the “Grand Lady of Tulsa.”

In 1925, John and Cass Mayo completed construction of what would become a destination for many notable guests throughout the hotel’s first life, including President John F. Kennedy, Babe Ruth and Elvis Presley. The 18-story, 600 room hotel exemplified modern luxury during Oklahoma’s oil renaissance; ceiling fans were outfitted in every room and the hotel boasted Tulsa’s first running ice water. 

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Evaluating land use codes and transportation performance in Oklahoma City

A view of downtown Oklahoma City. By Flickr user Travel Aficionado.

Oklahoma City was designed around driving, but community members and city officials want to create a street network that allows for a variety of transportation options.

City officials have been actively pursing new policies that will allow the city to grow in a more efficient and sustainable manner, but they needed help with the technical details that would allow them to tie their new plans to their local setting. Officials asked Smart Growth America to help.

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Partnership in the News: Redevelopment of Brownfield Site Begins in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa city leaders met with Environmental Protection Agency staff to discuss beginning the cleanup of a brownfield site for redevelopment. Tulsa’s News Channel 2 reports:

Project organizers have met with citizens for several months, scouting possible sites for cleanup and redevelopment. Three sites have already been designated for cleanup.

“Environmental protection really equals economic growth and development,” said David Lloyd with the EPA. “This is a way for cities to reuse sites, use infrastructure, clean the environment and promote economic development.”


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Smart growth news – January 3, 2012

The bold urban future starts now
Salon, December 31, 2011
In cities in every region of the country, pie-in-the-sky ideas are moving from brainstorm to blueprint to groundbreaking — and 2012 will prove it.

Oklahoma City reaps positive effects of economic development
The Oklahoman, January 1, 2011
“Downtown Oklahoma City experienced significant changes this year (2011), but probably the most impactful was the renovation and grand reopening of the Myriad Gardens,” Jenkins said. “Construction of the Level Apartments and Aloft Hotel in Deep Deuce have really given that area a dense, urban feel, and the launch of the ‘Downtown It!’ advertising campaign increase awareness of all that downtown Oklahoma City has to offer.”

Study: Cities subsidize townships
Oxford Press (Ohio), January 2, 2012
There is an inequity in government subsidies for roads, police protection and other services that township residents receive compared with city residents, though both groups pay the same taxes, a University of Toledo study shows.

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Oklahoma City attracts businesses, gets healthy with smart growth principles

Oklahoma City Mayor Mark Cornett (R) is making his city more attractive to businesses, tackling a public health crisis and he’s using smart growth strategies to get it done. Cornett gained notoriety for tackling Oklahoma City’s obesity epidemic by changing the landscape of the city. After setting a goal in 2008 for the city to lose a million pounds, he passed a massive $777 million “Metropolitan Area Project” in 2009 that made jogging and biking trails, sidewalks and neighborhood parks a priority in downtown development.

The project aimed to make Oklahoma City’s residents healthier, but slimmer figures weren’t Cornett’s sole goal. Mayor Cornett also understood that an obesity epidemic could deter businesses that might consider locating in Oklahoma City. He recently told Next American City, “if I’m a job creator, and I see Oklahoma City on the list of the most obese cities in the country, I’ve got to think: What are my health care costs going to be? What’s my absenteeism rate going to be? Why would I create jobs in a city that doesn’t value health?”

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