Western Avenue


Western Avenue: A Framework to Enhance Urban Life

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Spring 2013

Download the Report (PDF, Web Resolution)

An IQC team consisting of three students was contracted by the City of Oklahoma City to make recommendations for placemaking and an urban design framework on a unique stretch of Western Avenue in north Oklahoma City. The project included public meetings, surveys, parking analysis, street design, and land use code evaluations. The centerpiece of the plan is a new street design that would create abundant walkability and promote economic development in the neighborhood.

As part of the project, the team worked with stakeholders including the City of OKC Planning Department, City of OKC Public Works, the consulting engineer on the street project, neighborhood residents, and business owners.

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Placemaking is about using the built environment, and especially public spaces (including city streets) to promote a sense of place, identity, and community. Placemaking enhances the branding and economic development potential of an urban commercial district.


Walkability is a description of how safe and inviting it is to walk within the district. Walkability is influenced by the design of the street, sidewalks, and buildings. Walkability is an important feature of an urban commercial district where people might shop along several blocks.

The Study Area


The Study

Part 1 is a detailed placemaking blueprint between NW 41st and NW 46th Streets.

We looked at the combination of buildings, parking, signage, sidewalks, and other public infrastructure to make the core of the commercial district more cohesive, more walkable, and to mitigate issues with parking and access. We considered how streetscape elements contribute to the identity and sense of place on Western Avenue.

Part 2 is a study of the land use and urban form policies between NW 36th and NW 48th Streets.

We made recommendations about design overlays and development regulations that could help define a sense of place on Western Avenue as development of the area continues. New development should be consistent with the goals and visions of the community for the future of the Western Avenue urban commercial district. Similar overlays exist for Downtown, Midtown, Bricktown, and Uptown 23rd Street in Oklahoma City.


2 Comments to Western Avenue

  1. Kendra Joness
    February 23, 2013 1:30 am

    Thanks I did the survey. Although I don’t live right adjacent to the street. I used to in 2-3 other times of my life and have dine there. As well as in high school worked as cashier and candy sells in the original Will Rogers Movie Theater. Plus my mother as a teen watch movies there at the theater on Western Ave. We also both attended the Elementary school at the north end of the street area focused on. That area on up to 63rd and up has had quite a a local cultural development of energy. So it’s been interesting to watch.
    I hope to apply/enroll into RCP program this fall.

  2. Ben Davis
    February 26, 2013 4:32 am

    How exciting! I hope that you all are engaging the business and property owners along this stretch of Western. I own a business in the “place making” part of Western and I just saw this on Facebook.