October 26th, 2023
Our Legacy Tulsa Wins National APA Award for Advancing Diversity and Social Change

The Kirkpatrick Heights Greenwood Master Plan received the American Planning Association’s 2023 National Planning Award for Advancing Diversity and Social Change in Honor of Paul Davidoff.

National Planning Awards 2023: Our Legacy, Our Community: A Renewed Vision for North Tulsa

Our Legacy, Our Community: A Renewed Vision for North Tulsa was one of only four projects nationally recognized by the APA, demonstrating exemplary planning work in communities across the country. 

APA presents its national awards annually to elevate the important work planners deliver to move communities towards stronger, more resilient and equitable places of belonging. 

"This year's recipients demonstrate the important role planners play in helping their communities overcome past injustices and advance toward a stronger, more resilient future," said Ben Hitchings, FAICP, 2023 APA awards jury chair. "We celebrate the outstanding work displayed by each of these award winners. Their efforts demonstrate the incredible care and dedication planners bring to create great communities for all." 

2021 marked the 100-year anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre — one of the worst race-based massacres in American history that devastated the once thriving mixed-use and mixed-income Black communities in North Tulsa. “To have the work of so many recognized by the APA is a tremendous honor,” said Jonathan Butler, senior vice president of community development for PartnerTulsa. “Without the City of Tulsa, the 11-member leadership committee, the PartnerTulsa team, the fantastic work of WRT, and the robust inclusion of the people that represent the history, present, and future of North Tulsa, the Kirkpatrick Heights Greenwood Master Plan would not exist. I’m honored to be a part of a transformational plan, a groundbreaking community-centered planning process, and a co-designer of the vision to redevelop a part of historic Greenwood by honoring the legacy of its forebearers and influencing the trajectory of its future for generations to come.”

The Kirkpatrick Heights Greenwood Master Plan creates a community-supported vision and framework for redevelopment. The plan strives to honor a painful history and move toward community healing by confronting historical inequities, segregation, race-based violence, as well as disinvestment that stemmed from redlining and displacement. 

“Our Legacy, Our Community: A Renewed Vision for North Tulsa demonstrates how planning can and should be a catalyst for community healing,” said Ben Hitchings, FAICP, 2023 APA Awards jury chair. “The efforts to create a shared community vision of what residents want for the future of North Tulsa are thoughtfully conceived, beautifully presented, and truly inspiring.” 

Deep-level community engagement was the top priority for this planning effort. The effort included more than 1,000 touch points through a series of community meetings, surveys, elementary and middle-school student workshops, design charrettes, online workshops, and an 11-member leadership committee of North Tulsa community leaders. Residents collaborated with planners to define a vision of equity, ownership, and wealth-building for Black residents. 

New development mapped out by the plan reconnects the neighborhood through diversity in housing, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and a network of locally-owned businesses that will facilitate community wealth building, activate the street, provide a diverse array of services and amenities, and support the vision for a vibrant, mixed-use district. 

This renewed vision for  North Tulsa reckons with the past, while addressing challenges of the present and creating a path for a more equitable future. More information on APA national planning award winners is available here. 

“Working with the North Tulsa community and Leadership Committee to help craft our planning process was extremely rewarding. We were able to bring residents from varied backgrounds and interests together, including young entrepreneurs, small businesses owners, potential developers, artists, families, and elders who all shared their thoughts on what Greenwood was and should be in the future,” said Nancy O’Neill, Senior Associate and Planner at WRT, Project Manager for the project.