Oklahoma City

Greening America’s Communities: Oklahoma City Central Neighborhoods

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Innovative and Implementable

Oklahoma City has seen two historic floods in the past six years, and intense rainfalls have increased dramatically over the past several decades. This has emphasized aging stormwater infrastructure and has caused repeated damage to vehicles, homes, schools and recreational areas across the City.

Greening America’s Communities is an Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities program to develop an innovative and implementable vision of distinctive, environmentally friendly neighborhoods, utilizing innovative green infrastructure systems. Our design effort for five key study areas within densely populated and historic Oklahoma City neighborhoods, applies sustainable design strategies to increase safety and accessibility, improve water quality and build upon community character with multi-purpose, highly functional landscapes. Our team developed a comprehensive green infrastructure toolkit to provide the City with a variety of solutions for the varied conditions across the city.

EPA Greening America's Cities
Shartel Avenue
A speed table and well-marked crosswalks slow traffic at the intersection of Hill and Shartel Avenue. A path through the medians provides a continuous route for pedestrians, and separated bike lanes improve safety for bicyclists.

The EPA wanted better connected neighborhoods for the people of Oklahoma City. As a result we increased the sidewalk network, improved pedestrian crossings and newly defined bicycle routes that provide connections from commercial districts to adjacent neighborhoods and nearby schools. The new mobility facilities also incorporated green infrastructure in the form of pervious pavements, stormwater storage below bicycle lanes, boulevard rain gardens and street trees.

What Makes it Cool
Multi-purpose, highly functional landscapes bringing resilience to our communities.
“The Perkins&Will Team was fluent in so many practices—from street enhancements and pedestrian planning to stormwater quality and drainage—they could speak with any stakeholder and translate their concerns or wishes into practical, functional solutions.”

Ryan Baker, Associate Planner, Office of Sustainability and Planning, City of Oklahoma City


Utilizing existing infrastructure paired with multi-function stacked stormwater BMP’s our team was able to better mitigate districtwide flooding and improve stormwater capture and control. By integrating native landscaping into the project area we were able to help cleanse stormwater, reduce urban heat island effect, provide wildlife habitat, while also lessening the maintenance burden for the City.

Walker Avenue
Rain garden bump-outs slow traffic and infiltrate stormwater. Continuous sidewalks and well-marked crosswalks improve walkability and pedestrian safety.
EPA Greening America's Cities
The design option includes a recessed amphitheater to capture and detain water from the building and parking areas, and constructed wetlands to collect and infiltrate stormwater from adjacent streets.
Stakeholder Engagement

The planning process developed a multi-pronged approach to engagement that included stakeholders across three separate neighborhoods, multiple City Departments, jurisdictional partners and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The engagement developed common goals, built consensus around plan recommendations and created advocates for design implementation.

A recessed roundabout slows vehicles moving through the intersection and captures stormwater during rain events. New sidewalks and street markingsimprove pedestrian safety, dedicated bike lane address cyclist safety, and planted bump-outs collect and infiltrate additional street runoff.
Creative Project Funding

A key outcome of the study, and a specific request from Oklahoma City was the creation of before/after rendered designs for each of the five study areas to help the City obtain funding for improvements.

Project Team

John Slack