Each topic contains a discussion of issues and goals, and describes how the City and its partners will go about accomplishing these goals.

Why & How

Why & How


We have come a long way since our beginning more than 125 years ago. During the last two decades, we have executed a coordinated program of civic projects that have elevated Oklahoma City’s prominence as a major American city. Now as we plan for the future, we start by thinking about the opportunities that present themselves and the challenges that we face. planokc has three purposes: 1) to capture a vision for our future as a city and community; 2) to identify and solve problems; and 3) to capitalize on possibilities.

We start this process by looking at the trends and conditions that challenge us. In this still new century, our focus is drawn to such issues as demographic change, income inequality, environmental preservation, public health, educational attainment, job skills, and urban economics. This plan identifies significant issues that were used to guide planokc.


Changing Population

The makeup of our population is changing. We have more older adults and more younger adults. People live in a variety of family structures that are more diverse ethnically and racially. These changes affect the types of programs and services we deliver, the types of businesses that we start, and the type of community that we become.




Economic Sustainability

The energy sector has driven our economy for decades and has been a key part of our success. However, stable economies need diversity in order to weather business cycles and retain talent of all types. We need to build on some of our other emerging economic sectors such as health care, aerospace, and other high-technology sectors.


Housing Choice

Providing places for people to live is a fundamental purpose of cities. A new generation of residents have different housing priorities than their predecessors. Housing demand projections indicate that the housing mix built during the next 20 years should be substantial different than what has been built over the previous 20 years.




Retail Competition

We depend on sales taxes to fund the operation of our city, but the retail landscape changes based on competition from other cities in the region and from online sales. Our retail sales have increased, but at a slower rate than some surrounding cities. Additionally, declining retail nodes and corridors have a negative impact on the neighborhoods that surround them.


Air and Water Quality

Air quality is a growing problem for us, largely because of our dependence on motor vehicles for personal and freight transportation. Many of our streams and lakes fail to meet environmental standards as well.




Fiscal Sustainability

Our basic services are stretched over a large area making them relatively expensive and creating deferred maintenance concerns throughout the city.  We need to grow more efficiently to allow the provision of quality services citizens expect at a cost they can afford.


Neighborhood Health

The quality of our neighborhoods affects our citizens in many ways. Good, safe neighborhoods provide us and our children with the security necessary to be healthy in body and spirit. Despite progress in some areas, too many of our older neighborhoods remain distressed.



Health and Wellness

We rank near the bottom of the list of America’s 50 largest cities in measures of the overall health of our citizens. A healthier population is happier, more productive, and reduces the cost of all levels of government.



Transportation System

99 percent of our trips are made by car. Our dependence on cars contributes to congestion, decreases air quality, and negatively impacts health. Recent studies show increasing local demand for transit, walking, and biking which are enjoyable, non-polluting, and efficient.



Place Quality

Great cities have great places where people meet, interact, share ideas, and delight in their city. We have built many great places. But too many of our streets, parks, and other public spaces lack the personality and character that we expect in a great city.