Stakeholders invited to help form vision for Eastside community – Journal Record

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November 8, 2021 0
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City residents, especially stakeholders in the Eastside community, have been invited to take part in visioning sessions for the community planned Saturday.
Sessions organized by the Open Design Collective and Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority should help set a course for the future for the area south of NE Eighth Street, specifically within boundaries of NE Eighth Street to the railroad tracks north to south and from Lottie Avenue to Lincoln Boulevard east to west.
Sessions are planned from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and from 12:45 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bryant Center, 2200 N. Bryant Ave. Lunch will be provided by B&B Catering. Pre-registration is preferred at
Open Design Collective co-founder Vanessa Morrison said sessions will include meaningful activities and dialogue centered on the history and experiences of people connected to the area. Open Design will collaborate with community members to explore how to intentionally preserve the culture of the area as new buildings and public spaces are developed in the future. Open Design Collective practices new ways of protecting and creating Black spaces in the built environment while honoring heritage. The organization’s representation, deep community ties, and collective expertise uniquely position it to collaborate in trust with the Eastside community, she said.
The sessions Saturday, as well as future sessions planned over the next nine months, should help inform planning to guide redevelopment and design of the area, which includes numerous vacant commercial and residential lots owned by OCURA. A final plan will address how the area, including OCURA-owned lots, will be redeveloped with a thoughtful, inclusive approach.
“Oklahoma City visioning is best done by citizens – people who care about their community, want to see positive growth and development and want to see development that not only preserves the history and culture of the neighborhood, but amplifies it,” OCURA Executive Director Cathy O’Connor said. “These community input sessions are a critical part of how our community casts a vision for the future.”
The “South of 8th” study is being funded by the Oklahoma City Redevelopment Authority.
“These elements help to foster safe environments where people can collectively design the solutions needed for their spaces,” Morrison said.
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