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Engaging In Placemaking

OU Institute for Quality Communities

It can be easy to look at a building like the Devon Tower and understand the dynamics that helped make it possible.

Of course, there is the boom in oil and gas drilling brought on my new technology. And then there are the MAPS projects that invested in Oklahoma City, especially downtown.

Placemaking Conference: Better Block Project from OUIQC
But there are other areas where the understanding may not be so clear. In some cases, there is a person like Devon’s Larry Nichols who had a vision for what could be.

On this episode of Oklahoma Voices we here from two individuals, speaking at the University of Oklahoma’s Placemaking Conference, whose names are tied to engaging their local communities and making a difference in their quality.

Jason Roberts uses chalk, some traffic cones and an eye toward creating people-friendly spaces through the Better Block movement.

This process is taking hold from Oklahoma City to Iran, temporarily transforming a small section of a community that sometimes leads to permanent change.

For Ron Frantz, his story of building quality communities begins in The Paseo in Oklahoma City. He moved there when the neighborhood was better known for its crime and arson, rather than artists and galleries.

The Paseo has now received national recognition for its quality of life.

“You’re little, seemingly less unimportant deeds today will be magnified 30 years later,” Frantz said about his neighborhood.

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