Principal, architecture firmEdmond, Oklahoma
Saving the Downtown Business District
David Hornbeek's office sits on a corner in the downtown area of Edmond. He watched first hand as the area slowly lost its business appeal and shoppers were no longer visiting the area.
"You know your downtown is in trouble when 50 percent of the businesses are antique stores," he says. That all began to change when the city designed and constructed new sidewalks, streets and parking spaces.
Trees were a big part of the project, with technical advice from Edmond's Forestry Department and support from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division. Hazard trees were removed and new trees planted, with appropriate species selected and space for root growth engineered into the planting wells.
Benches and art work topped off the redesign. "We lost 44 parking spaces, but businesses have returned," David reports. "There are now four new restaurants where before there were none. Office space was created and is now rented. It became an upward spiral," he says. Thanks to the trees and the partners that guided their selection and planting,
Edmond now has a shady and inviting downtown.