October 26, 2023

Tulsa’s Kirkpatrick Heights Greenwood Master Plan Receives National Recognition

Our Legacy, Our Community: A Renewed Vision for North Tulsa is honored for advancing diversity and social change by APA   

Tulsa, Okla. | Oct. 26, 2023 – The Kirkpatrick Heights Greenwood Master Plan received the American Planning Association’s 2023 National Planning Award for Advancing Diversity and Social Change in Honor of Paul Davidoff. Our Legacy, Our Community: A Renewed Vision for North Tulsa was one of only four projects nationally recognized by the APA, demonstrating exemplary planning work in communities across the country.

APA presents its national awards annually to elevate the important work planners deliver to move communities towards stronger, more resilient and equitable places of belonging.

“This year’s recipients demonstrate the important role planners play in helping their communities overcome past injustices and advance toward a stronger, more resilient future,” said Ben Hitchings, FAICP, 2023 APA awards jury chair. “We celebrate the outstanding work displayed by each of these award winners. Their efforts demonstrate the incredible care and dedication planners bring to create great communities for all.”

2021 marked the 100-year anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre — one of the worst race-based massacres in American history that devastated the once thriving mixed-use and mixed-income Black communities in North Tulsa.

“To have the work of so many recognized by the APA is a tremendous honor,” said Jonathan Butler, senior vice president of community development for PartnerTulsa. “Without the City of Tulsa, the 11-member leadership committee, the PartnerTulsa team, the fantastic work of WRT, and the robust inclusion of the people that represent the history, present, and future of North Tulsa, the Kirkpatrick Heights Greenwood Master Plan would not exist. I’m honored to be a part of a transformational plan, a groundbreaking community-centered planning process, and a co-designer of the vision to redevelop a part of historic Greenwood by honoring the legacy of its forebearers and influencing the trajectory of its future for generations to come.”

The Kirkpatrick Heights Greenwood Master Plan creates a community-supported vision and framework for redevelopment. The plan strives to honor a painful history and move toward community healing by confronting historical inequities, segregation, race-based violence, as well as disinvestment that stemmed from redlining and displacement.

Deep-level community engagement was the top priority for this planning effort. The effort included more than 1,000 touch points through a series of community meetings, surveys, elementary and middle-school student workshops, design charrettes, online workshops, and an 11-member leadership committee of North Tulsa community leaders. Residents collaborated with planners to define a vision of equity, ownership, and wealth-building for Black residents.

New development mapped out by the plan reconnects the neighborhood through diversity in housing, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and a network of locally-owned businesses that will facilitate community wealth building, activate the street, provide a diverse array of services and amenities, and support the vision for a vibrant, mixed-use district.

This renewed vision for  North Tulsa reckons with the past, while addressing challenges of the present and creating a path for a more equitable future. More information on APA national planning award winners is available here.

“Working with the North Tulsa community and Leadership Committee to help craft our planning process was extremely rewarding. We were able to bring residents from varied backgrounds and interests together, including young entrepreneurs, small businesses owners, potential developers, artists, families, and elders who all shared their thoughts on what Greenwood was and should be in the future,” said Nancy O’Neill, Senior Associate and Planner at WRT, Project Manager for the project.

“Our Legacy, Our Community: A Renewed Vision for North Tulsa demonstrates how planning can and should be a catalyst for community healing,” said Ben Hitchings, FAICP, 2023 APA Awards jury chair. “The efforts to create a shared community vision of what residents want for the future of North Tulsa are thoughtfully conceived, beautifully presented, and truly inspiring,” added 2023 APA Awards Jury Chair, Ben Hitchings.

More information about the Kirkpatrick Heights Greenwood Master Plan is available here. 

About APA 

APA’s National Planning Awards have been presented for more than 50 years. The awards are selected by a jury of planning practitioners.

The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides vital leadership in creating great communities for all. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the profession of planning, offering better choices for where and how people work and live. APA’s nearly 40,000 members work in concert with community residents, civic leaders, and business interests to create communities that enrich people’s lives. APA is based in Chicago. Learn more at

About PartnerTulsa

PartnerTulsa is the City of Tulsa’s economic development Authority that streamlines and strengthens Tulsa’s economic development efforts through the merging of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development (MOED), Tulsa Industrial Authority (TIA), Tulsa Parking Authority (TPA), and Economic Development Commission (EDC) into a single, enhanced Public Trust. Partner Tulsa (aka TAEO) is governed by a thirteen (13) member Board of Trustees and provides staffing for and oversees the operations of the Tulsa Development Authority (TDA). For more information about PartnerTulsa, visit