How We Plan

Over the years the City of Tulsa's Planning and Development Department has led a wide array of long-term planning efforts aimed at addressing features such as the environment, land use, transportation, historic preservation, urban design, parks and open space, housing, economic development, neighborhoods, education, and human services. As a result, in collaboration with key stakeholders, multiple “plans” have been adopted with goals, policies, and recommendations in accord with Tulsa’s present and future needs.

Adopted plan documents lay the framework for decision-makers and the creation of implementation tools such as regulations, incentives, capital projects, etc. Many different departments and agencies in Tulsa work together to implement these adopted plans. More information on these departments and agencies is available here.

Land use regulations, staffing the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission and the Board of Adjustment, and administering zoning and subdivision codes for the City of Tulsa are administered by planners at the Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG), Land Development Services Division.

Types of Plans

Citywide Plans and Initiatives

Citywide planning incorporates input from all areas of the city and involves multiple city departments and agencies. These plans establish goals for the future of the city, analyze and improve internal processes, and provide policy guidance to achieve those goals.

Currently the City of Tulsa Comprehensive Plan, PLANiTULSA serves to guide the physical development of the city over a period of time through a set of goals and policies. The policies provide a framework within which individuals, businesses and public officials make decisions that are consistent with the future vision.  

Once they have been drafted, citywide plans are reviewed and adopted first by the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (TMAPC), then reviewed and approved by the City Council. 

Other citywide initiatives, such as the Complete Streets Manual work in tandem with or complement adopted plans, often with a specific policy focus. Documents produced through these initiatives are reviewed by the TMAPC and City Council, but not always adopted by them. 

Small Area Plans

Small Area Planning efforts facilitate input and collaboration from key stakeholders to develop plans in focused areas of the City of Tulsa. Small area plans include specific strategies that are tailored to the unique characteristics of targeted areas within the community. When adopted they amend the Comprehensive Plan for that area.

Like citywide plans, small area plans are reviewed and adopted first by the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (TMAPC), then reviewed and approved by the City Council. A Guide has been developed that explains Small Area Planning for the City of Tulsa – what it is, why we do it, how the plans are developed, how they are used – and what to expect when they are adopted and approved as local policy.

Community Outreach

Community outreach and participation is an important component in the planning process. City planners share information with the public and invite the public to share their ideas, questions and concerns at various stages of the process with the ultimate goal of engaging as many citizens as possible in an efficient, effective and timely manner.  Outreach may include:

  • Public meetings, workshops and office hours in the community,
  • Convening and meeting with public stakeholder groups or steering committees, and
  • Plan updates, meeting reminders and other key information posted on the city’s website and distributed via email

FeedbackTulsa one tool we use for community outreach. In this online forum you are able to read what others are saying about important Tulsa topics, then post your own statement. City officials will read the statements and incorporate them into their decision process. As with any public comment process, participation in FeedbackTulsa is voluntary; city officials will consider input from this forum along with all other channels for participation. However you choose to participate, thanks for helping us build a better Tulsa.