Kansas City Wants to be Minneapolis

One-hundred ten Kansas City leaders visitied the Twin Cities last week to see what makes our region prosper. From transportation, civic involvement by our 20 plus Fortune 500 corporations to our clean streets and thoughtful planning, the Twin Cities has a lot to offer other mid to large sized metro areas. A few observations:

“Many parts of Kansas City and its suburbs look downright filthy when stacked up against the Twin Cities area. The difference is striking. Twin Cities residents have enough pride in their communities to keep trash off the streets…

Still, it’s abundantly clear that — by having almost 20 Fortune 500 companies in their midst — Twin Cities residents have benefited for decades from an outpouring of business funds for local projects, such as arts and cultural amenities….

Kansas City taxpayers wind up paying for the bulk of a subpar transit system. Meanwhile, Minneapolis has a new light-rail line, with the state’s help.”

We may have our share of problems, but we know we’re doing something right when other cities look to us for inspiration.

4 Comments so far

  1. Wendy (unregistered) on September 24th, 2006 @ 5:50 pm

    After spending the first 24 years of my life near Kansas City, I’m glad they’re finally taking a step in the right direction to make some improvements on the city and the suburbs.


  2. Moe (unregistered) on September 24th, 2006 @ 7:13 pm

    My wife is from the KC area (Sugar Creek/Independence) and I’ve always been amazed at how depressing that area of town is, compared to some of the faster growing suburbs. I’d love to see some improvements, especially if I ever have to move there!


  3. Erica (unregistered) on September 24th, 2006 @ 8:53 pm

    Wasn’t there a contingent here from Madison checking something not too long ago? Are we the envy of the (west side of the) midwest or what?


  4. Clint (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 11:36 am

    I lived in KC for about 20 years before hitting escape velocity.

    Here’s what KC needs to do to actually become a city, rather than just a very large small town:

    1: Do something with the river. I mean actually USE the river as usable space. There is nothing like Harriet Island or the riverwalk in St Paul or anything like that in KC. Ok, there’s Berkely park, but it was a toxic waste site and people are still afraid to go down there. Not to mention its within spitting distance of the crackshack projects.

    2. Annex (or invade) Johnson County. Until the JoCo suburbanites in their Humscalades are willing to actually invest in the well-being of the KC metro, nothing will happen.

    3. Give people a reason to live downtown. Doesnt matter what it is — cheap housing, maybe a new Westport-ish area downtown, some reason to be downtown after 5pm.

    4. Turn the West Bottoms into the new Westport. They really came close with Leedyville — all the signs pointed to a new hip cheap area. Until Lydias moved in, that is. Then it all went to yuppie condo hell and they drove the artists right out again.

    5. Change the racist culture of the Northland. Let’s face it — you have to work to find anyone of color north of the river. And thats because northlanders like it that way. They heavily enforce DWB, hassle anyone of color who dares shop north of the river, and when the light rail proposal went in, there was an active “We dont want THOSE people up here” campaign.

    6. Clean house at City Hall. Could you have a bigger bunch of crooks than Kathryn Shields and the festering remains of the Cleaver/Coffman era? Mike Sanders (if he beats Dr Wheeler in the election) will do wonders for Jackson County at large but they need someone with vision in City Hall — another Dick Berkely or Charles Wheeler.

    And those are just the things I can think of off the top of my head. The obvious things like “Get them to pull the corncob out their collective asses and get a sense of humor” don’t even go on the list.



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