I don’t hit “favorite” too often on Twitter, but anyone who checks out my favorites may notice one in particular that at first glance may seem a bit odd:
Dining at Mama Rojas with Mayor Mick Cornett. Ok, not exactly. He just happens to be here too. I’m such a namedropper.
So, why did I make this a favorite?
It was a reminder that on the evening of March 5, 2010, Mayor Mick Cornett was enjoying a nice dinner at Mama Rojas. It was the same day that a team of some of the nation’s leading urban design experts assembled by the Urban Land Institute delivered their initial report on Core to Shore.
Cornett didn’t attend the presentation to hear the report. I’m not sure he ever indicated publicly whether he read or received the report. But after giving the report a fresh read, and with so many events have transpired since, I must confess my entire perspective of this report is very different today than it was a year ago.
I confess: when the report first came out, I somehow took it as a slam against Cornett and his vision for Core to Shore. I can’t remember any mayor in in this city’s modern history who has invested so much of his passion and energy into the revival of one single urban area. And the panel seemed to take issue with some of his ideas.
But giving this report a fresh read, away from the heat of the moment, I realize I was very, very wrong. Indeed, the ULI team, led by planning legend Bill Hudnut, celebrated Cornett’s vision and delved deep into the best way to make it a reality.
These people weren’t trying to tear down Core to Shore, or Cornett’s dream. Instead, they brought the perspective of outsiders who had seen what had and had not worked with similar efforts elsewhere. They wanted to see the mayor succeed – they want him – and all of Oklahoma City – to emerge from this effort victorious.
Consider this quote from the beginning of the ULI report:
The Core to Shore Plan exemplifies
the true spirit of Daniel Burnham’s famous
dictum for planning: “Make no little plans. They have
no magic to stir men’s blood.”
A Plan with Solid Fundamentals
The magic of the Core to Shore Plan resides in its big
ideas, whose strength is bolstered because they also
express the plan’s solid fundamentals.
Are those the words of someone opposed to Core to Shore?
As decisions are being made that will shape Core to Shore for years to come, it’s time to revisit the ULI report and ask ourselves – did we learn all we could as we “make no little plans.”
Thank you for joining our conversation on OKC Central. We encourage your discussion but ask that you stay within the bounds of our commenting and posting policy.