In collaboration with design and engineering firm Kimley-Horn, the town of Westville, Oklahoma, recently began developing a project created by a team of students from the Institute for Quality Communities. The IQC perennially invites communities across Oklahoma to collaborate on urban planning and design projects, employing the knowledge and skills of students and faculty at Gibbs College to deliver recommendations.
In 2022, Westville approached the IQC with a proposal to revitalize a vacant downtown lot. During the spring 2023 semester, Ph.D. Assistant Rebecca Blaine, Graduate Assistants Jake Lange, Henry Wilson and Natalie Young and Graduate Consultant Rajith Kedarisetty began working on the project. The team also partnered with various local organizations, including Westville Public Schools, the OSU Extension High Obesity Program and the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust.
The team hosted workshops, met with stakeholders and conducted research to ensure that their design proposals met the needs of the local community. Together, they drew up plans to transform the vacant lot into a new town plaza that features a food truck park, an outdoor stage and a skatepark. They also developed design guidelines to enhance streetscapes and overall community connectivity.
The team’s design concepts have been incorporated into the final plan for the park and will soon become a reality. The project also recently received a Merit Award from the Oklahoma chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects in the Student Collaboration category. This award recognizes superior professional accomplishment of collaborative work by Landscape Architecture students with students from allied or complementary disciplines.
Learn more about the project at https://iqc.ou.edu/project/westville/ .