We envision an equitable, resilient, connected and flourishing community

Founded in April of 2014 and incorporated as an Oklahoma Non-Profit in 2016, Smart Growth Tulsa is a nonpartisan organization committed to policies, not politics.  We seek to create healthy communities that work for everyone, with strong schools and local businesses, improved mobility options and jobs that pay well.  Our website serves as a non-aligned portal for news, opinions and analysis about regional, state and local public policy.  We provide citizens with the ideas and news they need to build more prosperous, livable and sustainable lives and communities.

We are guided by these core values:

Our Mission: To Advocate and Shape Smart Public Policy

We recognize the benefit of increased population density and tightly controlled sprawl to improve safety and save money on infrastructure and maintenance costs. We advocate for smart growth solutions to create safe, healthy and affordable live, work and play neighborhoods served by adequate public transportation. We are committed to creating local jobs and protecting the environment.

We support smart public investments and common sense solutions based upon proven ideas, not just good theory. We want major capital spending projects to be entirely consistent with our comprehensive plan and subjected to a sound return on investment analysis before they are considered.

We celebrate Tulsa’s assets but strive to improve our city in virtually every area of life. We are dedicated to the implementation and continual review of our comprehensive plan. We strive to connect our city by investing in more sidewalks, bike lanes, and transit services.

Our Guiding Principles:

Informed by our Core Values, our Guiding Principles serve as a set of guidelines.  They help us evaluate prospective policies and development scenarios in a predictable manner to ensure they are consistent with the community’s shared vision and goals.  They help us answer the question, where do we want Tulsa to be in the future?

We support our adopted comprehensive plan by seeking good ideas that are consistent with it and resisting bad ideas that are in conflict with it.  We also recognize that the comp plan is not a static document and that we must continually re-evaluate it to make sure it remains true to the shared vision.

Tulsa is equitable

  • The disparity in life expectancy between areas of the city is eliminated by addressing access to services and public health issues.
  • Tulsa is a cohesive city where residents have the ability to create safe, healthy lives for themselves and their families.
  • Tulsa’s civic, business and government institutions ensure that everyone has equal opportunity and access to housing, employment, transportation, education and health care, regardless of background, ethnicity, or neighborhood.
  • Schools are safe, easy to walk to, and part of a world-class education system available to all.
  • City planning and decision-making is an inclusive and transparent process.
  • Adopted, city-wide and neighborhood plans are funded, implemented and monitored for performance.
  • Development and zoning policies are easily understood, workable and result in predictable developments and outcomes.
  • Residents have a voice in solving their community’s problems today and are a part of planning for tomorrow.
  • Tulsa advocates for a full range of housing types to fit every income, household and preference.

Tulsa is resilient

  • Tulsa becomes a leader in sustainability and efficiency.
  • Tulsa promotes a healthy lifestyle where residents have easy access to parks and open spaces.
  • City parks provide open space are available to neighborhoods, with access to fields and natural areas for outdoor relaxation and recreation.
  • New buildings meet high standards for energy and water efficiency and deliver quality spaces and architectural design.
  • Tulsa has pockets of density to provide for a more livable, pedestrian-friendly and cost-efficient community.

Tulsa is connected

  • Tulsa is connected through community engagement, in the development and implementation of policies, programs, and services.
  • City residents work collaboratively with their government to address issues affecting their lives.
  • The City recognizes that the community is a valuable source of expertise to influence government decisions that improve the quality and delivery of public services.
  • A variety of transportation options serve the city, so Tulsans can go where they need to go by driving if they want, but also by walking, biking or using public transit.
  • The transit system is designed as a consumer good and attracts people without a vehicle, as well as people who have a vehicle and choose to use an alternative.
  • Employment areas are accessible to services such as child care, grocery stores, restaurants, and other amenities.

Tulsa is flourishing

  • Newcomers feel welcome to move to Tulsa, find a home and join the community.
  • Downtown Tulsa acts as a thriving economic engine and cultural center for the entire region.
  • The city invests in the critical infrastructure necessary to develop a robust and diversified economy.
  • The arts as well as cultural and historic resources are celebrated.
  • The city has the ability to monitor trends, spot key opportunities and meet challenges strategically.


Our website blog contributors reflect a broad spectrum of viewpoints covering a wide range of public policy issues in the City of Tulsa and State of Oklahoma with a special attention on budgets, taxes, infrastructure, land use, transportation, energy, the environment and community health.

The views expressed on this web site are those of our contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of Smart Growth Tulsa, its Trustees, Advisory Board Members, or our affiliate member organizations unless specifically stated.

Material published on this site, both original content and material imported via internet links undergoes review to ensure that it is relevant, fair, balanced, and objective.  Our site’s editors have consulted sources believed to be reliable in their efforts to provide information that is complete and in accord with industry standards at the time of publication.

In view of the possibility of human error by the authors, editors or publishers of the material contained herein, neither Smart Growth Tulsa, its Trustees or Advisors, nor any other party involved in the preparation of this material warrants that the information contained herein is in every respect accurate or complete, and they are not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained on our site and Facebook Page with other sources.


Why Join the SGT?

Welcome to Smart Growth Tulsa.  Whether your primary concern is improving health, building community, growing the economy, aging with dignity, creating safe spaces for kids, promoting sustainability–or all of the above–the principles of Smart Growth matter.


Because the way we build our cities, streets and neighborhoods affects every aspect of our lives.  It impacts our physical and mental well-being.  It determines how many people, homes, jobs and businesses are allowed within a given space.  It determines how much revenue we can raise and how our tax dollars are spent.  It impacts our independence and mobility throughout our lives.

If this sounds like an exaggeration, ask yourself the following questions:

Is physical activity a part of your daily life? Is it safe and convenient to walk or bike each day? Is there anywhere to go, if you don’t have a car?
Can you choose to live near work, shopping and entertainment? What options are available within a ten-minute walk of your home?
Are there areas where Tulsa could increase the tax base and deliver services more efficiently if we increased density? As you look around, do you see a lot of wasted space and empty parking lots?
Can we afford to spend all our money on patching potholes, widening roads, and extending police, fire, water, sewer, and trash services to an ever larger area? Or would it be more cost effective to incentivize growth in underperforming areas where the infrastructure already exists?
Have we made it easy to stay connected to our community, neighbors, and friends? What if we can’t drive? Is there a viable alternative for kids, seniors or those who simply prefer not to own and operate a car?

Smart Growth is about efficiency.

It’s about making our cities more livable, sustainable and economically viable.  But mostly, it’s about choice.  It’s about the freedom to choose from a variety of options.  Unlike our most recent system of use-based zoning and traffic engineering, it’s not a “one-size-fits-all” solution.

Imagine a city where physical activity is a normal part of your daily life.  Where streets are safe and appealing for both pedestrians and cyclists; where rigid zoning codes don’t prevent people from living near the places where they work and shop; and where a functional transit system offers freedom from the economic burdens of car ownership. Imagine inviting parks and green space within walking distance of every home, where kids and adults can play, enjoy nature and reap the health benefits of stress-relief and community engagement.  And imagine the benefits of an increased tax base, with more jobs and people helping fund quality-of-life improvements throughout the city of Tulsa.

Most importantly

Tulsa was built by people who believed that a little prairie town by a river could be transformed into one of the nation’s greatest cities.  They were not timid; they did not talk about what we couldn’t do.  They had big dreams and focused their energies on making those dreams come true.

We Need to build an organization of people who want make Tulsa a great place for everyone
We need people who will speak up when the contrarians say “That’s impossible; that will never work here.”
We need people who realize that the decisions we make today will impact Tulsa for decades to come.

We believe in Tulsa and its people.
We believe that Tulsa deserves the best.

Smart Growth starts with the needs of PEOPLE and improving quality of life.  The happy benefits of Smart Growth are increased efficiencies, increased economic development and increased tax revenues for the city.

It’s a win-win.  Read on, learn more, and get involved!  Chances are, we share many of the same goals for Tulsa.  It’s time we started working together!