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Outlook 2013: 100,000 people will live in downtown Oklahoma City by 2033?

Architect Rand Elliott sees an even more vibrant city, more design creativity, entrepreneurial solutions to energy concerns and cars barred from downtown by 2033.

by Richard Mize Published: April 28, 2013

Rand Elliott, founder and principal of Elliott + Associates Architects, sees an even more vibrant city, more design creativity, entrepreneurial solutions to energy concerns and cars barred from downtown by 2033.

Q. What will be the biggest change in the Oklahoma City metro area?

A. Architecture plays a major role in creating a vibrant city. Before the passage of the original MAPS, architecture in our community was mostly nondescript. Yes, we had a few gems, but they had been neglected. Talented and creative architects in our community were emboldened by MAPS.

We became braver and bolder in putting forth ideas and plans to inspire vibrancy at a time when homegrown entrepreneurs such as Aubrey McClendon and Larry Nichols — who recognized and respected the power of architecture on the soul of a city — arrived on the scene.

Architecture in our community has evolved. It is more interesting as evident by the redefining Devon Energy Tower and restoration of a number of inherently great old buildings with fine bones. Our wonderful city will continue to evolve, mature and flourish. It will be better, bolder and braver.

We will have built Turbinomics (long-planned tower designed to generate its own power through a mix of solar and wind power and natural gas).

There will be 100,000-plus people living downtown.

Cars will be unnecessary and barred within the downtown area.

America will be energy independent thanks to Oklahoma City entrepreneurs.

Q. Will there be physical changes? If so, what will they look like?

A. Downtown is the heart of our community. A dynamic skyline suggests prosperity. Overlooked is the fact architecture also promotes community values. With sustainability moving to the forefront, perhaps our downtown will see a tall building energized by a system we patented called Turbinomics — skyscraper efficiently powered by a combination of clean energy, natural gas, wind and solar.

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by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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