Neighborhood Development and Improvement

The Blue Zones Project will present a series of events here in Tulsa this week, and so, on this edition of ST Medical Monday, we listen back to a Blue Zones-related interview from our archives. In 2016, we spoke with one Tony Buettner. Several years ago, Tony's brother Dan executed the original Blue Zones study, and then wrote a bestselling book about same.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in February.) The author and journalist Mark Whitaker is our guest on StudioTulsa. A former managing editor of CNN Worldwide, and a previous Washington bureau chief for NBC News, Whitaker has a new book out, which he tells us about.

On this edition of our show, we learn all about Kendall Whittier, Incorporated, or KWI, which is a neighborhood-minded and long-running nonprofit now marking its 50th Anniversary. KWI is, per its website, "a home-grown organization incorporating self-sufficiency for our neighbors through food security, nutritional health, and well-being." KWI -- the only food pantry in the Tulsa area that actually delivers to its participants' doorsteps -- will host an event tonight (Thursday the 7th) in celebartion of its Golden Anniversary.

The Arena District in downtown Tulsa can seem, at times, like the heart of the city -- like when there's a big show at the BOK Center, or a large convention at the Cox Convention Center. At other times...it's pretty quiet. So, one key question is how best to turn a limited-use area into a thriving year-round destination. This matter is now being explored by the City of Tulsa's Master Planning Process; it's a process that's being underway for months now.

On this installment of ST, our guest is Cameron Walker, the Executive Director of Tulsa Habitat for Humanity (or THFH). This crucial nonprofit recently received a $6.7 million grant from the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, and therefore, as we learn on today's program, THFH is transitioning from building 25 to 30 houses per year (which is what it does in the Tulsa area currently) to building 150 houses per year (which is what it aims to be doing four years from now).

On this edition of ST, we learn about the Unity Heritage Neighborhoods Design Workshop, a program to create designs, plans, and visions for future development in neighborhoods immediately north of downtown Tulsa. These include the Brady Heights Historic District, Emerson Elementary, Greenwood, and the Evans-Fintube site. Throughout the fall, the Notre Dame University Graduate Design Studio has been viewing the landscape and speaking with community stakeholders on how they want the neighborhood to look and feel as they develop their design ideas.