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  • Cathy O’Connor

Sharing ideas accelerates economic development

This week, Oklahoma City is hosting the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the United States Conference of Mayors. Since 1986, the Mayors’ Institute has helped transform communities through design by preparing mayors to be the chief urban designers of their cities.

This three-day session in Oklahoma City will bring together seven mayors, seven preeminent design and development professionals, and MICD partners. They’ll take a tour of our city, ride the streetcar to visit some of our urban districts and participate in design workshops and discussions. Topics include downtown and neighborhood revitalization, transportation planning, creative placemaking, district visioning and branding, commercial corridor redevelopment, affordable housing and historic preservation.

Mayors present a case study related to a challenge they’re working on in their own city. It’s a focused and closed-door way to get honest feedback and guidance from diverse experiences and disciplines at the same table.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors and Mayors’ Institute on City Design have looked to Oklahoma City a number of times for design leadership and it gives us the opportunity to showcase our city and our successes. Oklahoma City also benefits from involvement by gleaning professional design input and perspectives on the projects our city is contemplating. In 2004, Mayor Cornett presented to MICD on the relocation of Interstate 40 and the potential to create a new park and boulevard. The idea was further developed and today, we know the area as Scissortail Park.

Read the full article at The Journal Record.

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