KC Downtown Council’s Imagine 2030 plan focusing on outdoor spaces

The plan, resulting from years of community input, identified five key outdoor projects. Here’s more information on each project as well as updates.

Photo of Barney Allis Plaza sign

This garage and outdoor space is 38 years past its lifespan.

Photo via Downtown Council

When the Imagine Downtown Kansas City 2030 Strategic Plan was announced in 2022, leaders emphasized catalytic projects that would expand the potential of the 22-neighborhood area.

“We felt very strongly that this plan had to be from the grassroots up,” Downtown Council President + CEO Bill Dietrich told us. “More than a year was spent on community engagement.”

One of the main categories for these projects is outdoor spaces. The plan identified five key outdoor projects:

  1. Barney Allis Plaza
  2. The Greenline
  3. Buck O’Neil Bridge Park
  4. Washington Square Park
  5. West Bottoms Open Space

Bill said there’s a steering committee that meets quarterly that keeps things moving forward.
🌳 Barney Allis Plaza
This 68-year-old parking garage and outdoor gathering space was built with a 30-year lifespan, according to Bill. The crumbling underground structure is in need of a total $112 million reconstruction, but city officials have not identified a funding plan.

🌳 The Greenline
This 10-mile loop around downtown has the potential to connect walkers, runners, and bikers to dozens of neighborhoods and amenities. The loop’s sections are currently in various phases, including a three-year engineering phase along the Amtrak rail line.

🌳 Buck O’Neil Bridge Park
Leaders have explored ways to save the existing bridge, but studies show the cost of a bridge park would be high. MoDOT currently has a demolition date “mid to late 2023.” Downtown Council members told us an alternative option could be to at least save some arches. Leaders are also focusing on creating a skate park underneath the new bridge.

🌳 Washington Square Park
Situated between Union Station and Crown Center, this park has the potential for increased activation. Leaders told us further redevelopment depends on other projects that could move into the area, but recent ADA updates recently provided all-new walkways.

🌳 West Bottoms Open Space
West Bottoms residents want more open space + greenery. Various projects near the Rock Island Bridge as well as the SomeraRoad redevelopment plans are working toward a greener neighborhood.