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Could a more walkable Plaza be in Kansas City's future?

The Country Club Plaza in September 2023.
Nikki Overfelt Chifalu
Startland News
The Country Club Plaza in September 2023.

As the Plaza enters its second century, stakeholders have plenty of ideas for how to address concerns about the shopping district. Among them is increasing walkability in the area, which could provide a stronger sense of community.

Kansas City is definitively proud of the Country Club Plaza. Despite being privately owned, the city collectively claims it as theirs.

But there's also concern about the area's vitality. Safety, community and walkability are among the top priorities heard from residents, according to 6th District Councilmember Johnathan Duncan. It's something that Kate Marshall, president of the Plaza District Council, has heard as well.

In August, Urban Lab KC, an urban development advocacy group, presented strategies for making the area more pedestrian-friendly, which included proposals for both complete and partial closures of the roads around the area and garnered support from Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. Matt Hasek, who helped develop Urban Lab KC's plan, said that changing community needs should be reflected in community spaces.

"No place within the urban space needs to remain static," Hasek said. "Allowing the Plaza to evolve to the need that the community has, I think, is important."

  • Kate Marshall, president, Plaza District Council
  • Matt Hasek, Urban Lab KC
  • Johnathan Duncan, 6th District Kansas City Council
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