Aspen Landing in Broken Arrow part of OU academic study


The University of Oklahoma’s Urban Design Studio will perform an academic study of the Aspen Landing trails, bike paths, and the Arkansas River corridor following a decision by the Broken Arrow City Council on Sept. 6.

The City's Community Development Division has coordinated an agreement with the university to provide a learning opportunity for students who will conduct a study of the Broken Arrow Arkansas River Corridor, known as Aspen Landing. The Aspen Landing Project is part of a course offered to graduate students working towards their Masters degree at the University of Oklahoma Urban Design Studio in Tulsa.

Development and enhancement of the area was identified as a goal for the City in the 2019 NEXT Comprehensive Plan as well as the Parks Master Plan. The City has approximately 234 acres of land, which is part of the Indian Springs Sports Complex along the Arkansas River at the southern end of Aspen Avenue.

In a presentation before the City Council, Community Development Director Larry Curtis expressed enthusiasm about the opportunity for the study.

"I can't tell you how excited I am to come before you on this project for several reasons," he said. "One, it is part of our Comprehensive Plan, two, it gets to broaden academic opportunities; and three, there is no cost to the City for the university's services."

Placemaking Manager Farhad Daroga is on the advisory committee at the University of Oklahoma Tulsa. He said the university undertakes these types of projects in communities every year.

"This is a graduate study program, and there is no obligation for the City to accept the outcome of the study, other than what is recommended by the university to promote student's learning of how the citizenship projects work," Daroga said.

The Indian Springs Sports Complex and its amenities have been developed over approximately 45 years. The area's primary use is for sports fields for Broken Arrow Soccer Club and the Broken Arrow Youth Baseball and Softball organizations. As identified in the Comprehensive Plan, this area has vast exposure to the river corridor through the river vistas that are not presently observable from the current land uses.

Riverfront development has many advantages, and the enhancements could benefit the entire community and improve the quality of life for Broken Arrow's residents. The graduate students will work with a small advisory group of City stakeholders, representatives of the sports organizations, and City staff during the study.

This study will be performed under the direction of Professor Shawn Schafer, starting in the fall semester of 2022, and will conclude in the spring of 2023.

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