Urban Streetscapes

Giving a facelift to downtown blocks transformed a declining pedestrian mall into a bustling hub of urban life and activity.

Designed more than 50 block faces of downtown Tulsa with new lighting, trees, and sidewalk paving.

The City of Tulsa used a variety of funding sources, including federal grants, local bond issues, and private investment, and combined a series of separate projects, to provide comprehensive improvements to the infrastructure and the asesthetics of downtown Tulsa. The most visible of the projects was the reopening of a section of Main Street from 3rd to 6th street. 

In its heyday of the 1970’s, this area was a thriving pedestrian mall, but it had subsequently fallen into disrepair. Since completing the project, this area has seen rapid growth and is well on its way to restoring its former glory.

Another notable feature of this metropolitan renovation was transforming an unused parking lot into a one-acre park in the heart of downtown complete with an amphitheater, plaza areas, informational graphics, lighting, and an iconic fountain with sculpture. This same tactic was used on a small scale to create multiple urban pocket parks near the entry points into downtown.

To maintain consistency throughout downtown, Howell & Vancuren created a Streetscape Master Plan in 2012, giving guidelines for future lighting, trees, and sidewalk paving. This documentation guided designs as improvements were made that included realignment of curbs to provide bump-outs at intersections, new concrete unit paver walks and concrete curbs, trees, light fixtures, and benches.

In cooperation with Up With Trees, the City of Tulsa, and the Downtown Coordination Council, several streets were selected for placing trees in empty tree wells, and installing new tree wells and trees in existing sidewalks. Soil profiles to ensure proper tree and plant growth were prepared for all segments of the project including CU-Structural Soil under all paved areas, prescribed topsoil in shrub areas, and sub-drainage for all planting areas.

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