Oklahoma City Is Replicating Its Greener, More Walkable Streetscapes

Nine years after Prevention magazine named Oklahoma City the least walkable city in the United States, the city’s downtown core has been wholly remade, with a redesign of its streetscapes and two major park projects completed or in the works.

Today, the downtown has a Walk Score of 74, rivaling Seattle and Washington, D.C. “It’s incredible, the amount of private businesses and urban housing that’s come in. It’s a vibrant, bustling downtown, which is amazing,” says Scott Howard, ASLA, one of two principals at Howard-Fairbairn Site Design. The firm has worked alongside larger international firms to help guide the transformation.

[caption id="attachment_17" align="aligncenter" width="485"] The city planted more than 2,500 street trees downtown.[/caption]

 

Oklahoma City’s transformation

Oklahoma City’s transformation is unusual for how swiftly it has been realized. In the past five years, an elevated highway has been replaced by a street-level boulevard, a 70-acre central park has been planned, and streets in the central business district—eight linear miles in total —have been rebuilt, from building face to building face, with a focus on pedestrians, bicyclists, and improved traffic flow. at Howard-Fairbairn Site Design. The firm has worked alongside larger international firms to help guide the transformation.