One of the key sources of data for understanding city life is traffic count information. Cities collect detailed information about the number of cars that travel down major streets each day. However, cities rarely collect similar information about people walking or biking on the street. This is a major missing resource for businesses and advocates that work in parts of town that have lots of foot traffic.

Students in the Environmental Design Practicum led by IQC’s Shane Hampton have been working in Bricktown to document pedestrian behavior and activity levels in Oklahoma City’s bustling urban district. Techniques used by students in the course include video analysis, behavior mapping, and test walks. This information can be used to create a more detailed picture of activity in the district, which will be a resource for existing business owners, businesses considering locations in Bricktown, and city planners and designers.

With many new developments on the horizon for Bricktown, including hundreds of new apartments and hotel rooms, data will also provide a baseline to measure future growth.

This information is also a helpful follow-up to our Fall 2015 work on the Bricktown Canal. IQC also led a similar public life study in Norman in 2012.

Environmental Design is an undergraduate program in the OU College of Architecture that gives students who want to make a difference the know-how and ability to work on critical community issues. From revitalizing historic downtowns to imagining new neighborhoods, OU Environmental Design students learn about problems that are worth solving to make places that matter for people. Graduates work in community development, city planning, design, downtown revitalization, historic preservation, real estate development, and more.

For more on the Environmental Design program visit the website or contact program coordinator Ron Frantz at