The city of Tulsa is the second largest city in Oklahoma, with a population of about 400,000. Tulsa is known as the gateway to Green Country, because it is nestled between the Arkansas River and the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in northeast Oklahoma. When most people think of Tulsa, they think of its history as the 'Oil Capital of the World,' where fortunes were won and lost and the mid-West was established. Today, after the oil bust of the 1980s and an economic depression, Tulsa is back and booming more than ever. The city for the most part has diversified its economic base to focus on new energy, finance, aviation, telecommunications and technology.
It has been voted America's Most Beautiful City and America's Most Livable Mid-Sized City by experts in municipalities and growth. In 2006, Forbes magazine rated Tulsa as second in the nation in income growth, and one of the best cities in the country to do business with.
Culturally, the city of Tulsa lies at the crossroads of Native American and Southwest influences. The diverse influences can be seen in the city's festivals, its highly regarded museums and its public art works that commemorate its native people.
In fact, Tulsa is a city that embraces its cultural side, and it includes a vibrant arts community. The city houses two highly-regarded, world-renown art museums. Arts patrons support a full-time professional opera company and a professional ballet company that draws performers and new dancers from around the globe.
The city's zoo was voted "America's Favorite Zoo" in 2005. And the world-famous Cain's Ballroom is credited as the birthplace of Western Swing music. The city has plenty of outdoor recreation and professional sports teams, and the municipal government oversees 140 parks spread out over 6,000 acres. An ambitious plan called "Vision 2025" sets out a plan for economic growth and was approved by voters to enhance and revitalize Tulsa's infrastructure and tourism industry. Part of the plan calls for construction of parks, churches, museums, rose gardens, improved infrastructure, and increased national advertising. In fact, in 2007, employment had grown to more than pre-recession heights, and the city has since been experiencing a widespread economic boom and investments from new companies.
Architecturally, the city's most famous buildings are diverse and lauded by the architectural community. Its sprawling skyline is home to Art Deco style buildings that were erected in the early 1900s as the oil boom got underway, and it also incorporates contemporary and Native American architectural styles. Tulsa also lays claim as the birthplace of that famous highway that was built to link Chicago to California, U. S. Route 66.