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  1. Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    Quote Originally Posted by dankrutka View Post
    Just a note on OKCPS vs. Edmond schools. The number one problem with most urban school districts is that those with means leave them. What these schools need is committed citizens. Integrated schools is arguably the most proven school reform effort ever tried as it led to significant reductions in the "achievement gap." Often, white people in particular, assume most schools in urban districts are bad because (a) they have low ratings and (b) they have a lot of black and brown kids attending them. Atlanta parent Abby Norman does a good job of explaining this issue ("Why White Parents Wonít Choose Black Schools") that comes up repeatedly in my conversations with my friends. Almost none of my friends can answer any specific questions about why they won't send their children to schools in urban districts. They rarely have visited the schools or even put in a phone call. They just tell me they're rated "bad" and "not going to put their kids through that." They never seem concerned other people's children are "put through that."

    In my podcast, education reporter Ben Felder talks about how his son goes to a lowly rated OKCPS school with lots of students of color and they really like it (Episode 29: Education Reporting with Ben Felder). Unfortunately, most people don't do the research Ben does to realize that his school isn't actually bad and the school rankings are a major cause of schools losing residents and students and all this leads to highly segregated schools by race and socioeconomic class.

    Anyway, my point is, the only way OKCPS improves is if citizens with the means to leave the district actually commit to them. They won't be able to somehow "compensate their teachers in addition to the state funding" even though I completely agree that teachers in high poverty districts should be paid more as such pracrtices are common in other areas like the military. And, to be clear, this is not at all a rant intended at you aDark, but one for everyone as I commonly hear people talk about OKCPS getting it's act together when the main problem for the district is white flight. School re-segregation is one of the biggest problems in our society and we've basically given up on integration even though data shows that it works. Nikole Hannah-Jones has written a lot of tremendous articles on the topic for anyone interested in learning more. And, of course, good schools are integral to urban communities.
    Totally agree with this, glad someone posted this viewpoint!

    I grew up on NW 67th/May, went (walked) to Burbank Elementary just a few blocks away, which had kids bussed in from almost the time I started (in 1970). Got bussed to Longfellow 5th grade center over on Lincoln somewhere, then got bussed to Hoover Middle School in The Village, then got bussed to Northeast HS (on NE 36th/Kelley). During all of my entire K-12 education, I was in integrated "bad" OKC schools. But it didn't suck - diversity was great, teachers were great (entire HS walked out in support of the teachers' strike back then), learning was great (I was in the Honor Society and top 10% of my class, and Northeast was kind of a magnet for science and other advanced classes back then, in addition to being a normal HS). Around Xmas during my senior year, my family moved to Edmond, and my brother started going to Edmond schools (I stayed in OKC), where they had (I think) 3 black students. I credit my school experience being integrated with me being a better person than a lot I've known that have gone to almost all white schools, and as has been said all over - society (and schools, and workplaces, and ...) needs to be diverse in order to function up to its potential. I moved out of Edmond as fast as I could, and hate going back there even though my mom and brother still live there. It's a shame that huge amounts of people just flee without staying to make things better. I never thought I'd come back to OKC, never wanted to, but I did due to the recession and no jobs anywhere except one I found here, but we eventually moved to Venice in OKC (after living in a horrible place for a few years because we only had a couple of days to find a place when we moved back here (NW 164th/May) and are fighting to make OKC a better place instead of just living in Edmond (or Edmond-ish areas) blissfully unaware of things across the city limits. Wish more people would not take the easy way out...

    Disclaimer - we do not and have never had children, so we're in the 0.000000001% in OK, so that gives anybody pretty much license to discount what I said above ("How dare you tell me about schools when you've never had a kid in one" ).

  2. #27

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    By the way, I self-transferred in high school from an "elite" school in Cascia Hall to a "bad" school in Tulsa Memorial. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I went from going to school in socioeconomic, racial, and cultural bubble to attending a school that was diverse on all fronts. I loved it. I learned far more about life and people than I could of at Cascia Hall. And, for full disclosure, I did teacher in Edmond Public Schools and really enjoyed it. Edmond schools do a lot of things right, but they're able to because they have a lot of support and resources that OKCPS does not have.

  3. #28

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanized View Post
    This whole urban vs suburban thing is so misdirected and divisive. There are legitimate reasons to live either lifestyle. There is only good planning/design and bad planning/design. You can have really excellent suburbs from a livability and sustainability standpoint, but this ONLY happens by design, and to this point OKC really has only ever built unsustainable suburbs. The problem with this is that infrastructure and services costs increase (literally) geometrically, at a much more rapid pace than does the tax base. This cripples a city's ability to prosper. We simply MUST begin to address this through a more careful approach to development, consideration of impact assessments, and also via sprawl retrofit.

    Whether millennials drive a shift back to suburbanism or not, we have to understand that the suburbs aren't going anywhere. We need to make the suburban experience better, healthier, more liveable and more sustainable.

  4. #29

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    The urban revival, I think has really failed to live up to what we had hoped for thus far. What I see going up are in most cases wood frame, 4 story structures with no retail on the bottom floors, probably all of which will be falling apart in 20 years or so. The more interesting, luxury housing seems to be going for around the same $/sq. ft. as what you'd see in downtown Dallas. I am not convinced downtown real estate will continue to increase in value. I don't think it's necessarily a wise investment compared to suburban property. I have reason to believe that there's a price bubble which will pop as soon as inventory shoots past demand, which is something which is bound to happen with all of the development we have going on right now.

  5. #30

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    One thing pretty unique to OKC is the fact you can live near the core, get almost all the benefits but also still get very reasonable housing.

    This is why I moved to 50th & Penn. I wanted a yard for my big dogs and a one-story house that could easily be made into an open floor plan while at the same time having easy access to everything downtown.

    I rented an apartment downtown when I first moved back but didn't want to spend the big bucks to buy down there. My current house started as a compromise but now I'm not sure you could blast me out of here.

    I can be almost anywhere in the core in 10 minutes, door-to-door. You can't do much better if you live downtown. In fact, even though I walked a lot when I lived down there, I did so far less than I would have thought because ultimately I had to get in my car to go shopping, have business meetings, meet friends and family, etc. So it frequently did not make sense to walk somewhere just knowing I'd have to walk all the way home again to get my car for whatever came next.

    I contrast this to when I lived in Manhattan Beach and I would go days without touching my car. Had a full-service grocery, bank, and everything else within blocks. OKC is still very far from that fully realized urban model.

    And in fact, now I live very near all the shopping and theaters and when I do have to go to Edmond or Bethany or Norman, it's often easier to do so from here than the city center.

    AND I can do so on a 1/3 of an acre, just over $110 / SF for a fully renovated house with a 2-car garage, backing up to a beautiful park and I can't even see any neighboring houses from my backyard unless I make a point to do so. This is about as close in as you can get and still get a mid-century ranch house, which I strongly prefer over the expense and headaches of older homes with small rooms, a staircase right in the middle of everything and detached garages.

    And oddly, I even have buried utilities! I absolutely love my neighborhood.

    To me, it's a near perfect situation. I doubt I'll ever live downtown again even though I do more down there than ever before.

  6. #31

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    Quote Originally Posted by dankrutka View Post
    Just a note on OKCPS vs. Edmond schools. The number one problem with most urban school districts is that those with means leave them. What these schools need is committed citizens. Integrated schools is arguably the most proven school reform effort ever tried as it led to significant reductions in the "achievement gap." Often, white people in particular, assume most schools in urban districts are bad because (a) they have low ratings and (b) they have a lot of black and brown kids attending them. Atlanta parent Abby Norman does a good job of explaining this issue ("Why White Parents Wonít Choose Black Schools") that comes up repeatedly in my conversations with my friends. Almost none of my friends can answer any specific questions about why they won't send their children to schools in urban districts. They rarely have visited the schools or even put in a phone call. They just tell me they're rated "bad" and "not going to put their kids through that." They never seem concerned other people's children are "put through that."

    In my podcast, education reporter Ben Felder talks about how his son goes to a lowly rated OKCPS school with lots of students of color and they really like it (Episode 29: Education Reporting with Ben Felder). Unfortunately, most people don't do the research Ben does to realize that his school isn't actually bad and the school rankings are a major cause of schools losing residents and students and all this leads to highly segregated schools by race and socioeconomic class.

    Anyway, my point is, the only way OKCPS improves is if citizens with the means to leave the district actually commit to them. They won't be able to somehow "compensate their teachers in addition to the state funding" even though I completely agree that teachers in high poverty districts should be paid more as such pracrtices are common in other areas like the military. And, to be clear, this is not at all a rant intended at you aDark, but one for everyone as I commonly hear people talk about OKCPS getting it's act together when the main problem for the district is white flight. School re-segregation is one of the biggest problems in our society and we've basically given up on integration even though data shows that it works. Nikole Hannah-Jones has written a lot of tremendous articles on the topic for anyone interested in learning more. And, of course, good schools are integral to urban communities.
    This is a really good point. I completely agree that the bad ratings are a dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy. You are absolutely correct that focusing our conversations on teacher pay, and ignoring white-flight, is misdirection of the real issue. Thanks for bringing it up and I'll definitely give the podcast a listen. Big fan of Ben Felder! Also, don't worry about ranting at me as I am always interested in hearing well-thought out counter points. It helps me gain perspective, so thanks!

    As someone who is not highly educated on the issue, am I incorrect in understanding that Edmond, Norman, Mustang, Deer Creek, etc. are all school districts have a different teacher compensation structure than the OKC public school system? If so, I think the point I was making, albeit very poorly, is that if compensation is off (even by a little) it is tempting for a teacher living in an urban OKC school district to make the short drive to another district and OKC schools loses out on new talent. Similarly, if OKC has less monies to pay their teachers they suffer from a worse teacher to student ratio.

    Again, I agree that the major underlying issue is definitely that those with means choose to leave them. As of today, my wife and I plan to send our kid to an OKCPS school, regardless of the rating. We are firm believers that school is as much about social integration as it is education. Likewise, we believe education is as much about at-home teaching as it is homework.

    Do you think we are starting to see the tide turning with OKC urban schools?

  7. #32

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    If white people leave an area seeking a better lifestyle for their family then it is white flight. If white people move into an area that is predominantly minority then it is gentrification. Either way they are accused of racism. OKC Public Schools has had a bad reputation for a long time. Long before it was predominately minority. Whether that reputation is deserved is open to debate.

  8. #33

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    One thing pretty unique to OKC is the fact you can live near the core, get almost all the benefits but also still get very reasonable housing.

    This is why I moved to 50th & Penn. I wanted a yard for my big dogs and a one-story house that could easily be made into an open floor plan while at the same time having easy access to everything downtown.

    I rented an apartment downtown when I first moved back but didn't want to spend the big bucks to buy down there. My current house started as a compromise but now I'm not sure you could blast me out of here.

    I can be almost anywhere in the core in 10 minutes, door-to-door. You can't do much better if you live downtown. In fact, even though I walked a lot when I lived down there, I did so far less than I would have thought because ultimately I had to get in my car to go shopping, have business meetings, meet friends and family, etc. So it frequently did not make sense to walk somewhere just knowing I'd have to walk all the way home again to get my car for whatever came next.

    I contrast this to when I lived in Manhattan Beach and I would go days without touching my car. Had a full-service grocery, bank, and everything else within blocks. OKC is still very far from that fully realized urban model.

    And in fact, now I live very near all the shopping and theaters and when I do have to go to Edmond or Bethany or Norman, it's often easier to do so from here than the city center.

    AND I can do so on a 1/3 of an acre, just over $110 / SF for a fully renovated house with a 2-car garage, backing up to a beautiful park and I can't even see any neighboring houses from my backyard unless I make a point to do so. This is about as close in as you can get and still get a mid-century ranch house, which I strongly prefer over the expense and headaches of older homes with small rooms, a staircase right in the middle of everything and detached garages.

    And oddly, I even have buried utilities! I absolutely love my neighborhood.

    To me, it's a near perfect situation. I doubt I'll ever live downtown again even though I do more down there than ever before.
    Those neighborhoods along NW expressway from Penn to meridian are some of the best spots to live in the city for exactly the reasons you mentioned.

  9. #34

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    When we move back to OKC we will be very happy to live in the suburbs and eventually possibly get a larger lot with a little bit of land further out at a later point. Apartment living in 2 big cities has made me dream of having some personal space. I can be okay with driving 15 minutes and paying to park downtown when I want to be around people or do fun things at night.

  10. #35

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    Quote Originally Posted by catch22 View Post
    When we move back to OKC we will be very happy to live in the suburbs and eventually possibly get a larger lot with a little bit of land further out at a later point. Apartment living in 2 big cities has made me dream of having some personal space. I can be okay with driving 15 minutes and paying to park downtown when I want to be around people or do fun things at night.
    That represents quite a transformation in thought for you, doesn't it?

  11. #36

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    Quote Originally Posted by RickOKC View Post
    That represents quite a transformation in thought for you, doesn't it?
    Yes, 180 degrees. Don't get me wrong, the benefits of urban living are amazing. And I think OKC provides a great value for it. However, living in pure congestion and exponential density has changed my mind on how good of a fit it is for me personally. I've already started eyeing lawn mowers.

    Edited to add: that also does not mean that I view urbanity any different. I think the same of urban design, walkability, and the quality that neighborhood development provides on the human scale as I did before. Personally I need space, and living in 2 large and dense growing cities has taught me that.

  12. #37

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    Quote Originally Posted by catch22 View Post
    Yes, 180 degrees. Don't get me wrong, the benefits of urban living are amazing. And I think OKC provides a great value for it. However, living in pure congestion and exponential density has changed my mind on how good of a fit it is for me personally. I've already started eyeing lawn mowers.
    I'm for you. I simultaneously see the benefits and liabilities of urbanism, suburbanism, and ruralism. I just wish the proponents of each would operate in a more collaborative, and less adversarial, tension.

    In other words, I believe it should be possible to love one, live in another, and not be called a hypocrite.

    When do you move back to OKC?

  13. #38

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    Quote Originally Posted by RickOKC View Post
    I'm for you. I simultaneously see the benefits and liabilities of urbanism, suburbanism, and ruralism. I just wish the proponents of each would operate in a more collaborative, and less adversarial, tension.

    In other words, I believe it should be possible to love one, live in another, and not be called a hypocrite.

    When do you move back to OKC?
    And before I was as you described. Thinking evil on the other. Age and experience make you wiser I suppose.

    Nothing set in stone. But it's a matter of when not if. I will say sooner rather than later.

  14. #39

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    Quote Originally Posted by catch22 View Post
    And before I was as you described. Thinking evil on the other. Age and experience make you wiser I suppose.

    Nothing set in stone. But it's a matter of when not if. I will say sooner rather than later.
    Good for you, man.

  15. #40

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    Several in here have alluded to this, but to reiterate, the problems inherent to suburbia have received significantly less attention and debate than the shortcomings of New Urbanism/Urban Revival. The problem is not suburbia's relative distance to downtown: It's the "What makes your suburb better than mine?" and "Why should I stick it out in a dying suburb"?

    I have a friend who bought a brand new home just on the other side of County Line, north of Wilshire @ $86/sf in July 2010. Bought because he got married and his wife liked the place, but he was never super into the house. His wife got cold feet and divorced him super quickly. Obviously not a house he wants to hold onto for long given the circumstances, but he's been renting it out and making it work. Now that he's in-between tenants he put it on the market and he can't generate interest listed at $87/sf.

    CPI inflation calculator shows 07/10 $86 should be $96 in 07/17. The market has obviously blown away Inflation over the last 7 years. So how can you look at that purchase as anything other than a bad investment?

    Alternatively, anything purchased inside the NW part of the grand loop in 2010 has absolutely crushed the <15% inflation over the last 7 years and almost all of it was selling for less than $86/sf in 2010. Unlike previous generations, the odds that this falls off again are quite low. The mechanisms that enticed US urban sprawl were historically unique, and it is beyond clear that mistakes were made in the planning of these areas and in understanding how the political climate would affect those areas. The city center has been a development in the making for over what, 1,000 years? That's not changing anytime soon. People by and large, want to be in "close" community. That's not to say that everyone wants to live in a 600 square foot condo with 2,500 on the same block, but the suburbs are an affirmation of that desire...not a negation of it. So I think you have to strongly consider that NW 36th and Walker is not going to go through another 30 year boom/bust cycle given the importance of downtown. Downtown may see a slow down in price increases if we're already hitting $500/sf...but it's not going to go backward, and is at least going to keep pace with inflation. Those $130/sf homes @ NW 180th and May vs. Inflation...I think we can pretty well predict where those are going to be in 10 years.

    It's just hard to justify the numbers of suburbia at some point.

  16. #41

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    To me, the problem with NW 180 and May & County Line and Wilshire, from an investment standpoint, comes down to this:

    NW 190 and May & County Line and Britton

    And in a few years, NW 200 and May & County Line and Hefner

    Seems to me that the kind of people who are drawn to the more outer fringes often have a "brand new house" as their priority. Which is fine, except that when the frontier moves a couple miles farther out, the market for last decade's subdivision wanes a bit. Why would "outer fringe" buyers in 5-10 years not just buy in the newest subdivision? I would never by in the more outer suburbs if my primary motivation was investment. If you like the house, then fine, but just know the appreciation will probably not be there unless there's something really special about the neighborhood.

  17. Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    Quote Originally Posted by catch22 View Post
    When we move back to OKC we will be very happy to live in the suburbs and eventually possibly get a larger lot with a little bit of land further out at a later point. Apartment living in 2 big cities has made me dream of having some personal space. I can be okay with driving 15 minutes and paying to park downtown when I want to be around people or do fun things at night.
    That was my experience growing up. I'll never live in a urban/downtown area again. I can see the appeal for someone that's never experienced that lifestyle, but it wears you down over time and you just end up craving quiet nights and some s p a c e.

  18. Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    Quote Originally Posted by catch22 View Post
    Yes, 180 degrees. Don't get me wrong, the benefits of urban living are amazing. And I think OKC provides a great value for it. However, living in pure congestion and exponential density has changed my mind on how good of a fit it is for me personally. I've already started eyeing lawn mowers.

    Edited to add: that also does not mean that I view urbanity any different. I think the same of urban design, walkability, and the quality that neighborhood development provides on the human scale as I did before. Personally I need space, and living in 2 large and dense growing cities has taught me that.
    There are lawns in the city proper, too... We lived at NW 164th/May and *never* got down into the city as much as we wanted to for things, but since we've moved to Venice, it's *so* much easier that we go to all kinds of places we wouldn't even have thought about before (bad for the checking account, though). The atmosphere in the city is so much better, too - Neighbors Night Out last night for Venice had about 40 or so people, and we *never* would've had that many (or even a Neighbors Night Out) where we used to live, for example.

  19. #44

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    Even the most devout urbanists tend to go through different phases in their lives; I know I sure have.

    I used to live in Manhattan Beach, two blocks from the sand and right in the middle of one of the greatest beach communities anywhere. Within a few blocks there was almost everything from a full grocery store to my cleaners, dentist, haircutter, library, theater, all types of recreation and tons of shops, restaurants and bars. Apart from work, I almost never touched my car.

    But after seven years I was way past ready to move. The density and constant noise; it's particularly bad by the beach because the weather is such that your windows are open year round, but that's also true of everyone else. I could hear more than a few of my neighbors having sex, for example. That gets old fast.

    Living there was the fulfillment of a life-long dream yet it wore me out. The simple truth is that like most people I worked a lot and when I was home I didn't want to hear people arguing or car alarms going off or frat boys puking in the bushes when the bars closed at 2AM.

    But then after living in burbs and having a yard and dog and tons of open space all around, I chose to move downtown when I came back to OKC.

    And on and on it will go although as I've stated upthread I think I have a best of both worlds situation at present.

  20. #45
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    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    OKC is a becoming a great blend of urban cool and quiet privacy. We have choices of where to live and how to live without sacrificing lifestyle choices.

    I live in the 63rd and Penn/Western area in a zero lot line home (no lawn mowing) but live in a highly landscaped area near the great walking, park along Grand in Nichols Hills. I have quiet patios to enjoy my mornings and evenings outdoors. I am easy walking distance to a Whole Foods, Trader Joes, any number of quality restaurants, Starbucks, All about Cha, and more and more shopping (and I even walk to Penn Square). I have a very good hotel nearby (Waterford) for guests. My neighborhood is safe and secure without being gated. I can easily bike to and around Lake Hefner. I am literally 10-15 minutes to downtown and less to the Plaza area, and 5 minutes from the the Western shopping/eating area. I am 15-20 minutes to the airport. And, the best part is that this is affordable in Oklahoma City unlike this arrangement would be in most developed cities. So, we can actually do more.

    I think many here don't realize how good we have it. It isn't perfect, but after spending a lot of years in a lot of cities I think it's pretty darn good to live right here. And, it just keeps getting better.

  21. #46

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanized View Post
    This whole urban vs suburban thing is so misdirected and divisive. There are legitimate reasons to live either lifestyle. There is only good planning/design and bad planning/design. You can have really excellent suburbs from a livability and sustainability standpoint, but this ONLY happens by design, and to this point OKC really has only ever built unsustainable suburbs. The problem with this is that infrastructure and services costs increase (literally) geometrically, at a much more rapid pace than does the tax base. This cripples a city's ability to prosper. We simply MUST begin to address this through a more careful approach to development, consideration of impact assessments, and also via sprawl retrofit.

    Whether millennials drive a shift back to suburbanism or not, we have to understand that the suburbs aren't going anywhere. We need to make the suburban experience better, healthier, more liveable and more sustainable.
    Good points. And I guess if the people who made OKC more livable by transforming and revitalizing our urban districts like the Plaza district, Midtown, Uptown, Paseo, AA, etc. into vibrant districts with their own identities decide to turn their sights on the suburbs, maybe they'll improve too. I think it's already happening, to be honest, which is great. Even the proposed development in far north Norman is more community minded than we usually see in our suburbs. Really, all communities are a reflection of the people who live in it and if a community's growth is made up of people who wanted to escape the problems of the last community they lived in, then what will they do when their new community is faced with similar problems? Often times, I think they just leave that one too...

    What people seem to miss in the petty "lifestyle war" is how much the success of one depends on the other. And no one should be wishing for the success of the urban core more than someone who is seeking a more quiet, low key life in the suburbs. The more people who live and stay in the city core, the less there are to move into the suburbs. Really, no area of OKC feels more congested than Edmond and the Memorial corridor, imo. The only time I ever consider that traffic may be a factor for me is when I go up there. If anything, suburban planners should be focused on maintaining the space and lifestyle that people are originally drawn to. It must suck for someone who moves there because they can have more land and less traffic congestion, only for it to be swallowed up by sprawl within 5 or 10 years of moving there.

  22. Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    ^^^^^
    100% agree.

    This is one of the reasons I have hopes that developments like Chisholm Creek and - ESPECIALLY - Wheeler District will adjust the local consumer's expectations for their suburban community. Wheeler at its heart is still a mostly suburban neighborhood; it's just not the type of suburb we are used to in OKC, or really, in the region. My hope is that people will visit friends or family in these areas once completed, or go there to shop or to eat, and think "man, I want this type of thing in Edmond..." or Yukon, or NW OKC, or wherever they call home. That's not to say all suburbs must have this treatment, but it should be AVAILABLE, and optimally even the very car-centric suburban neighborhoods would benefit from a connected walkable area nearby.

    It's also important to distinguish between suburban and rural, which are two very different things, but often viewed as the same by many people.

  23. #48

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanized View Post
    ^^^^^
    100% agree.

    This is one of the reasons I have hopes that developments like Chisholm Creek and - ESPECIALLY - Wheeler District will adjust the local consumer's expectations for their suburban community. Wheeler at its heart is still a mostly suburban neighborhood; it's just not the type of suburb we are used to in OKC, or really, in the region. My hope is that people will visit friends or family in these areas once completed, or go there to shop or to eat, and think "man, I want this type of thing in Edmond..." or Yukon, or NW OKC, or wherever they call home. That's not to say all suburbs must have this treatment, but it should be AVAILABLE, and optimally even the very car-centric suburban neighborhoods would benefit from a connected walkable area nearby.

    It's also important to distinguish between suburban and rural, which are two very different things, but often viewed as the same by many people.
    I agree with this completely. One thing is while OKC has plenty of other cities it can look to for examples of good urban and suburban development, every market is different.

    For such a suburb-centric city, the way OKC has developed its suburbs until recently has been stuck in the 1980s. With developments like Chisholm Creek and the new development just posted today in Norman, that is starting to change and should continue improving as each new development sets the bar higher. It's unfortunate that the Spring Creek expansion was NIMBYed and that the Classen Curve expansion might also be, but hopefully more developments like that eventually make their way here.

    The same thing happened in the core. I doubt there would be the 21c development or the Steelyard without Deep Deuce and Midtown having been developed first to up the standard (compared to Lower Bricktown). If/when a developers takes a gamble and builds a residential high-rise, things might really get interesting.

  24. #49

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    Agree with above posters. "Suburban vs. Urban" as a lifestyle choice is kinda silly to argue. I prefer, and think there are lifestyle advantages to being in a more connected and walkable area with daily needs in close proximity, but that doesn't mean it's for everybody and certainly there is nothing wrong with wanting to have everything that comes with suburban living...

    However, what IS an important discussion is sustainability. Most of our suburban areas are not sustainable (not enough income vs. cost of s..t to maintain) and depend on urban areas to survive/not be cost prohibitive. If you want to live on an acre on the outskirts of okc thats fine, but understand that if the city doesn't up it's game on more intensely developed areas, at best we will always have bad streets and be short on city staff and at worst, the outskirts would lose basic services and have their roads be converted back to dirt. The other option to densification is charging citizens who live away from nodes of sustainability extra fees.

  25. #50

    Default Re: Is the urban revival over?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross MacLochness View Post
    Agree with above posters. "Suburban vs. Urban" as a lifestyle choice is kinda silly to argue. I prefer, and think there are lifestyle advantages to being in a more connected and walkable area with daily needs in close proximity, but that doesn't mean it's for everybody and certainly there is nothing wrong with wanting to have everything that comes with suburban living...

    However, what IS an important discussion is sustainability. Most of our suburban areas are not sustainable (not enough income vs. cost of s..t to maintain) and depend on urban areas to survive/not be cost prohibitive. If you want to live on an acre on the outskirts of okc thats fine, but understand that if the city doesn't up it's game on more intensely developed areas, at best we will always have bad streets and be short on city staff and at worst, the outskirts would lose basic services and have their roads be converted back to dirt. The other option to densification is charging citizens who live away from nodes of sustainability extra fees.
    Maybe OKC should give up some of it 600 square miles?

    I think the biggest roadblock for OKC urban revival continuing will be the schools. I agree with a previous poster that a lot of it can be tied to white flight, but that doesn't mean I want my kid to be the trail blazer in fixing that issue. When parents have the best school districts in the state in very close proximity, not many are going to chose to send their kids to one of the worst. I know that a lot of the poor ratings are due to socioeconomic situations of the kids that actually go to the schools, not the teaching itself. But that also means that your kids will be exposed to all the issues that come with low socioeconomic situations of drugs, crime, etc. And if the majority of kids in the class are behind, it will slow the education of the advanced kids as well.

    I don't know a real way to fix inner city schools, but I know it is the number 1 reason I live in Edmond and not around Penn Square or farther south. Just hoping that people with means send their kids to OKCPS probably won't fix them, though.

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