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May 13, 2014

Residents come together to create new vision of Norman

NORMAN — Maybe it was the location — the Loveworks Building on downtown Main Street — but something different happened Monday night during Norman’s interactive design charrette workshop.

“This one’s not developer driven,” said one Norman resident who attended all of the high-density talks last year and has participated in all of the public segments of the Center City Visioning process so far.

“This one” is community driven, and it’s bringing people once at odds together in a dialogue of shared values. Led by Bill Lennertz of the National Charrette Institute, the charrette is a weeklong process with opportunities for lots of public input.

Norman residents drew their vision of the city center Monday night and shared priorities with the Center City Vision team. The interactive public meeting opened with a brief explanation of the charrette process and some basic design concepts.

Next, small groups brainstormed and gathered ideas, then shared those ideas with the larger group.

“We’re basically creating a working office here — we’re setting up a virtual office where we’re going to work day and night,” Lennertz said.

That work will be on view daily today, Wednesday and Thursday between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. at Loveworks, 127 W. Main St. An open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, also at Loveworks, will bring the ideas together. The final presentation will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday.

“We are starting honestly with a blank slate,” Lennertz said. “We’re waiting to hear from you before we start drawing this.”

The point of the workshop was to create ideas within a collaborative, small group context.

“We’re going to be coming up with a whole bunch of ideas and refining them down,” Lennertz said.

Experts on form-based code and complete street transportation were on hand to explain elements of urban planning and to answer questions.

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