Strong communities expedite economic development in OKC metroplex


OKC had not recovered from the 1982 Penn Square bank failure and oil bust.

We lacked a strong vibrant community, jobs, and the ability to attract business.

This was an undesired community.

The loss of the United Airlines Maintenance Facility to Indianapolis in 1991 changed everything.


(AP) 2002

In 1991, Oklahoma City lost a United Airlines maintenance center and a promise of 7,500 jobs to Indianapolis.

More than 10 years later, only about 1,500 work at the facility and the world's second-largest airline has filed the largest bankruptcy in aviation history.

Former Oklahoma City Mayor Ron Norick said missing out on the United maintenance facility was disappointing, but he noted that it led to a long-reaching taxpayer investment in the city.

``You wouldn't have had MAPS because the United deal would have tied up that tax money,'' Norick said. ``Take away the canal, the ballpark, the Ford Center, the library. Scratch it all, and just see where we'd be.''

Even though Indianapolis won the maintenance center, United Airlines hasn't fulfilled all its promises.

Last year, officials threatened to impose fines because less than half the 7,500 positions were filled. United also had not come through with a promise of an $800 million investment in the city.

December 14, 1993

Oklahoma City citizens vote to pass the Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS). This initiative will fund nine projects through a five-year, once-cent sales tax. Projects included renovations to the Civic Center Music Hall, Cox Convention Center and Oklahoma State Fairgrounds; construction of a 20,000-seat indoor sports arena, the 15,000-seat Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and a downtown library; development of a trolley transit system; development of the Oklahoma River; and construction of the Bricktown Canal.

April 19, 1995,
Oklahoma Standard

The end of Grapes of Wrath and the journey to community vibrancy begins.

It was the help of strong, synergistic communities that lead to economic development.

Environmental Engineering Education, Cardinal Engineering & DEQ Board Taught MRi To Think and About Both the Ecological & Human Community.

The tragedy of the commons from Colonial America is an economic theory which states that individuals acting independently and rationally according to each's self-interest behave contrary to the best interests of the whole group by depleting some common resource.

William Lloyd, 1833, Overgrazing the commons in Colonial USA
Garret Hardin, 1968, Nuclear Proliferation