Nearly 50 years ago, with downtown retailers struggling as the suburbs spread farther and farther to the southeast toward Broken Arrow, Tulsa devised a plan to pull development back closer to the Arkansas River.

With a combination of zoning regulations and infrastructure projects, the idea was to encourage residential construction south of Interstate 44 along Peoria Avenue and Riverside Drive, where residents would have relatively quick access to the Central Business District, according to the archives of the Tulsa World. And the plan worked brilliantly throughout the 1970s, with new single-family housing and apartment complexes stretching all the way to what was then the outer fringe of the city at 71st Street.

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Persistent Poverty

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