Imagine Downtown Kansas City 2030 strategic plan

Rendering of the Buck O'Neil Bridge with a linear park, greenery, and active spaces.

Possible look for the Buck O’Neil Bridge Park. | Photo by Imagine Downtown KC 2030 Strategic Plan (MIG/Confluence)

Table of Contents


That word starts the Downtown Council’s new 2030 Strategic Plan, a vision-setting and policy blueprint for the near future of Downtown KC.

The Imagine Plan is designed to move the City of Fountains into the national spotlight as an equitable, inclusive + vibrant city center. As you can imagine, there’s a ton to cover. Here’s the need-to-know.

🔮 Vision

It all starts with a vision of what KC could be. Some of the qualities outlined in the plan’s mission statement are:

  • Sustainable. Both environmentally green and built to last.
  • Connected. Preserving neighborhood identity while creating walkable throughlines.
  • Authentic. Recognizing + preserving our cultural heritage and history.
  • Prosperous. Economically attractive, with opportunities for all citizens.
  • Beautiful. Visually alive through public art, green spaces, and modern architecture.

This plan brings together two years of community engagement + input, from one-on-one interviews to a 10-episode podcast hosted by Kemet Coleman.

🗒️ Strategy

“Today marks the official transition from planning to implementation.” — steering committee chair Warren Erdman

From the visioning process, DTC proposes real strategies based on cities like Berlin, Dallas + NYC. For example:

  • Improve accessibility + safety by investing in Smart City infrastructure.
  • Increase opportunity by building housing for all incomes and circumstances.
  • Connect our neighborhoods through seamless mobility — walking, biking, and transit.
Drawn map of Kansas City's neighborhoods

KC is supported by its “mosaic of neighborhoods.” | Photo by Imagine Downtown KC 2030 Strategic Plan

👣 Next steps

OK OK, so this all sounds amazing – but where do we go from here? The Imagine plan’s Catalytic Projects are tangible investments that move DTC’s vision + strategies forward. Here’s a few to look forward to:

  • East-West Connections. Look out for walkable bridges + bike paths along Independence Avenue and the 18th and 12th Street corridors, decked with lighting and public art.
  • Innovation Districts. Keystone, the UMKC Health Sciences District, and the Crossroads Arts District will provide three distinct vectors of innovation.
  • Street Re-imagination. You’ll see avenues like Grand + the Riverfront transform into spaces for microretail, parklets, and patios.
  • Urban Ballpark. Think: Fenway Park and Camden Yards. A baseball stadium in the heart of downtown will promote tourism, retail + active spaces.