Building on downtown's image

By Larry Nichols Published: June 22, 2008
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Many things help define a city. Its people play a major role. So does its size and where it is on the map. Airports, highways, landscape and streets are important, too. Of course, everyone judges cities differently, but if there is a single image that is most prominent in characterizing a city, it might be the skyline.

You can't always judge a book by its cover, and the same is true for a city's skyline, but people often try. By scanning a skyline and spending time among the buildings, you can draw conclusions about a city's business community, its economic viability, its potential, its quality of life and its prestige.

The image isn't confined to the downtown area, either. Impressions we develop from these relatively small districts are cast to the larger community.

Oklahoma City has been fortunate. The renaissance unfolding downtown has benefited our larger community in ways that may never be measured. The economic development, private investment, cultural momentum and civic pride we have seen evolve over the last decade have redefined our downtown and our city.

Clearly, Devon Energy has benefited from downtown's rebirth. Oklahoma City is a more attractive place to live and downtown is more suitable for a major corporate headquarters.

We committed to Oklahoma City when we opened our offices downtown in 1971. We have grown a great deal since then, and thanks to major public initiatives such as MAPS and more than $2 billion in private investment, we are delighted to see the downtown area has matured right along with us.

Over the years, people have questioned Devon's commitment to Oklahoma City, and they have wondered if we might follow the energy industry's migration to Houston.

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