Today, Mayor G.T. Bynum announced a new organizational structure that will embed community focus in all facets of design, planning, neighborhood engagement and investment by establishing the Department of City Experience (DCE) and reestablishing the Public Works Department, effective July 1, 2023.
“As we strive to grow as a world-class city, we have to be more community-focused in everything we do while streamlining processes from start to finish that align our planning processes with departments that are responsible for carrying out the vision Tulsans establish for our city,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “This move will strengthen the collaboration between citizens and our team at the City as we build the Tulsa we want to leave to the next generation.”
The City’s Working in Neighborhoods (WIN) Department will formally transition to DCE with a key focus on citizen-centric design and engagement. Six sections/offices will comprise the new department, including: Animal Welfare; Neighborhood Inspections; Community Development and Housing; Tulsa Planning Office; City Design Studio; and the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Equity (MORE).
As part of the new DCE structure, Planning staff will be incorporated back into the City of Tulsa, and MORE will be formally established in the organizational structure to continue the City’s work to achieve equality for all Tulsans. Moving Housing policy to the Department of City Experience will consolidate housing efforts and solidify the City’s commitment to increasing housing stock in Tulsa.
The Design Studio in DCE will lead the design process for the City as well as lead the community engagement process for projects as they happen. The division will be made up of architects, planners, and urban designers, frequently inviting students, volunteers, and design professionals to participate in its decision-making processes.
The City’s Streets and Stormwater Department and most of the current Engineering Services Department will work together in a newly formed department known as the Public Works Department. This move will allow both departments to work more directly on projects from concept to completion as the Streets and Stormwater Department is responsible for maintaining the streets and stormwater infrastructure built and coordinated by Engineering Services. This move vertically integrates street construction and maintenance so the new Public Works Department can focus on everything involving streets.
Some engineers from Engineering Services will move under the City’s Water and Sewer Department so they have the ability to engage in the work of the Water and Sewer Department more directly. A small consortium of City engineers and architects will transfer to DCE as part of the City Design Studio to focus on major capital projects that have a communitywide impact and align with the DCE’s mission.
In 2011, the Public Works Department, which consisted of engineering, streets, stormwater, water and sewer personnel were taken out of the Public Works Department and split between three departments – the Engineering Services Department, Streets and Stormwater Department and the Water and Sewer Department. The restructure will create two departments instead of three departments for the majority of public works functions.
Current City departments can be found online.