Tulsa’s resilience journey

Once known primarily for its role as a hub of the American oil industry, Tulsa has expanded its profile to include telecommunications, finance, and aviation. The city has seen significant economic growth, in part due to concerted urban revitalization plans. However, it faces pronounced poverty in certain areas, particularly in minority communities. This inequality has ramifications for educational and economic development efforts, and for resilience planning. The city is prioritizing civic engagement and strategic investment through a lens of addressing racial disparities.

Given its position in “Tornado Alley,” Tulsa needs to establish reliable emergency communications systems that reach all residents. Potentially deadly tornadoes and high wind events regularly harm structures and power lines, and do significant financial damage. The city has responded to high flood risks by creating one of the top floodplain management plans in the country, with a particular focus on urban planning and relocation. Projects are also underway to upgrade a wide range of the city’s infrastructure.

Meet the Chief Resilience Officer

Krystal Reyes

Chief Resilience Officer

Krystal currently serves as Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Tulsa, overseeing a Resilience strategy that calls for using a racial equity and social justice lens across all city policies, programs, and practices. Previously, Krystal held various positions in government and the non-profit sector in New York City, coordinating multidisciplinary, community-led, and citywide efforts to address disparities in health and well-being. Throughout her career, Krystal has focused on improving the quality and quantity of early education opportunities for children, improving supports for families, and developing meaningful community partnerships. Krystal has a BA in Politics and Spanish Literature and a master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University.

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