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Brian Platt on a year of managing Kansas City, Missouri

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Carlos Moreno
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KCUR
City Manager Brian Platt, seen here in an October 2020 photo when he was interviewing for the position.

Platt is happy with the progress Kansas City has made, but knows there's more to be done.

"We've made a lot of tremendous achievements and strides forward on a lot of really important, high impact initiatives and programs," Kansas City Manager Brian Platt says of his first year in office. "But, we've still got a lot of work to do."

Federal dollars coming in from the infrastructure bill that President Biden signed last month have given Kansas City, along with cities around the country, flexibility to consider more projects.

One potential project under consideration would convert the old Buck O'Neil Bridge into a "linear park." It could cost tens of millions of dollars to repurpose the bridge into a park above the Missouri River.

"Yeah, absolutely. It is one of the top priorities, though, and it's a long list of priorities," explains Platt. "There are so many infrastructure projects that we're looking at. There's a lid on top of 670 we're looking at. We're looking at streetcar extensions. We're looking at building a lot more affordable housing across the city."

When it comes to increasing the amount of affordable housing, the city manager hopes private developers are listening to the importance Kansas City government is placing on the issue.

"Hopefully if they're presenting a proposal with affordable housing included in it, that will be a much easier process because they already know that this is something that we want," Platt says.

Platt also believes Kansas City has a lot of opportunity to improve the neighborhoods east of Troost Avenue.

"Part of that is going to be simply building more housing in those areas, adding density, and adding more people. And that brings a lot of different opportunities with it," Platt says. "It allows businesses to open because of the new foot traffic and people living in the area. It has positive impacts on crime in the sense that, the more people that are out, the more people that live in a certain area, crime reduces."

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
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As Up To Date’s associate producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.
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