The City of Miami will partner with the University of Oklahoma School of Landscape Architect to prepare a design recommendation for the revitalization of downtown Miami, according to city officials.

Graduate students from the Oklahoma Graduate School of Landscape Architecture are currently implementing the project in their design studio class settings.

The students will come to Miami in the near future and hold a series of public meetings to receive citizen input.

The project will entail developing design concepts to improve the appearance of downtown parking lots with new landscape plantings and other traffic-calming features, new antique-style street lights, street light banners and a pocket park adjacent to the Coleman Theatre.

A final report will be prepared and presented to the Miami City Council and Miami Downtown Redevelopment Authority, according to Larry Eller, the city's grant coordinator.

The project is possible in part by a grant from the Oklahoma Scenic Byways Program, University Outreach-College of Continuing Education-University of Oklahoma.

“Retaining the historic qualities of downtown Miami will be a priority of the project,” Eller wrote in his release.

In December, 2007, the city was awarded a $120,000 grant from the Scenic Byways Program - U. S. Department of Transportation, which will result in the placement of historic markers along Route 66 historic sites along with the reconstruction of a historic “Miami, Okla. - The Gateway” overhead street sign that will span Main Street at the entrance to downtown Miami along with an Ozark Trails mileage marker similar to one located in downtown Miami years ago. The OU design project will complement the Scenic Byways Grant Program.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the University of Oklahoma to provide design assistance for our downtown revitalization project,” said Mayor Brent Brassfield. “Our downtown has tremendous potential and making it a more attractive place to visit and shop has to be a community priority. Miami is the Oklahoma Gateway on historic Route 66 and developing a pedestrian friendly downtown is important to tourism development. The pocket park project adjacent to the Coleman Theatre could be developed to honor famous Miamians such as Heisman Trophy Winner Steve Owens, artist Charles Banks Wilson and country performer Keith Anderson, along with the late Steve and Cassie Gaines of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd.