In downtown Kansas City, Mo., the stretch along 18th Street between the Crossroads Arts District and the 18th and Vine Jazz District is roughly a little over a mile — but this span includes 52.5 acres of paved surface lots. That's more than at Arrowhead Stadium and Kauffman Stadium combined.
Vast parking lots are a problem for cities across the country, but in 2014, Kansas City made the Final Four in Streetsblog's "Parking Madness" bracket for its "pockmarked asphalt wilderness." This can have a negative impact on a city's health. As CityLab puts it, "surface parking lots create an atmosphere that's inherently hostile to the pedestrian."
So — why walk on 18th Street?
Two landscape architecture students at Iowa State University have spent the last two semesters working on a project called 18th Street Reimagined, dreaming up ways to connect the two districts. They're envisioning how the street can be a "better place to live, work, and play," and plan to share their findings with the public this spring.
For now, here's what 18th Street looks like at the Highway 71 underpass: