Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett’s efforts to revitalize his city began with a weight loss challenge to residents. This 1-million pound weight loss challenge led to his efforts to redesign streets for pedestrians, not just vehicles.
Cornett will visit Omaha this Wednesday as part of Metropolitan Area Planning Agency’s Annual Council of Officials Meeting.
He says during his tenure, the city has attracted more highly educated 20-somethings and is building a tech economy to replace the commodity-based economy they had before.
He says Oklahoma City, like many in the Midwest, was originally designed around the car and is now being designed around people.
Cornett says when he started he knew the city was facing challenges with obesity and a lot of the other ills that come with an auto-centric infrastructure.
"So we are literally building hundreds of miles of sidewalks, hiking and biking trails. And our health statistics – this has been a 10 year journey with me and the city since I started that initiative – our health statistics have turned around and we are doing better almost across the board in statistic after statistic.”
To listen to Mayor Cornett’s TedTalk on what’s been dubbed the “Oklahoma City Renaissance,” the website is ted.com/talks.