Homogenization of KC

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ToDactivist
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Homogenization of KC

Post by ToDactivist » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:43 pm

This one is for you wizards...you know the concept...forget gentrification and think about homogenization of cities...Tulsa looks like KC which looks like Indy, etc. WHAT MAKES KC UNIQUE and how do we focus and protect this in the architecture, culture and vibe???

https://www.fastcompany.com/40558241/we ... _p=6563433

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Re: Homogenization of KC

Post by rxlexi » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:00 pm

My two cents is that we have done a very poor job developing/sharing what is "unique" about KC among American cities. I am not worried at all about "protecting" anything, rather, investing in/pushing/developing those aspects unique to our culture/sense of place.

This includes our two major contributions to American culture:

1. Jazz. The Mutual Musicians Foundation should be a national treasure, known far and wide. 18th and Vine as a district should be vibrant, on the "must see KC" experiences like Beale in Memphis, and deserving of the accolades. The big attempt at a Jazz Fest a la Nola and the Jazz Museum are failures. Embarrassing, have to do better.

2. BBQ. We do well here, obvs. Would be cool if the Royal was still in the bottoms, also if we had a centralized HoF through KC BBS or something. A sort of mecca, full of stockyards and the history of meat smokery.

I would argue that the Flint Hills and tallgrass prairie ecology to our west is also unique nationally, but our own region and certainly the greater national consciousness seem to have no interest in enjoying or exploiting it.

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Re: Homogenization of KC

Post by TheLastGentleman » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:25 pm

Architecturally, I think we should celebrate the city's art deco more. It could even be used as a style to base new development off. I'm not advocating for full on imitations, but more as inspiration. Just something other than the grey shipping containers we've been getting. We should also show off our new buildings like the Kauffman Center and the Nelson. Make it clear to people how special they are.

Also, we need a gimmick, something to make people say "oh yeah, kansas city. That's the place with ____." I suggest gondolas, but I'm open to other options

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Re: Homogenization of KC

Post by ToDactivist » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:50 pm

gondolas? All ideas and thoughts are needed. KC was born and raised on logisitics. A trading post. French traders selling furs downstream and wares shipped upstream. Getting here was one thing as steamboats seemed to last about two trips before blowing up or sinking. Crossing the chasm of the great prairie was daunting even after rail. Not something you can grab and promote though as it seems industrial warehousing/logisitics is still huge. BTW, heard a talk where if trucks were autonomous every city in US is only 24 hours from KC. Thats a huge advantage but again not a moniker...Jazz good but so is ST Louis Jazz or NoLa. Blues? BBQ yes but shirley more to KC than eating burnt ends? boulevards, fountains...funny I was helping a Japanese couple search for fountains a few weeks ago...using google they ended up at 9th and Baltimore??

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Re: Homogenization of KC

Post by tower » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:40 pm

I think the trick here is feeding the different aspects of our culture into a single narrative. I was in Columbus, OH recently, and while it has a lot of cool aspects, they do not feed into any broader narrative, which makes the city forgettable. It's just another rust belt city. I mentioned that to a friend who recently moved here who reminded me that most people probably think the same about KC when passing through...

I think that we should push the loose, rough and tumble frontier city and trading post narrative. We need to really own up to that, even if it seems like something that is best forgotten. BBQ and Jazz both feed into that narrative, so do Westport and the name of the Crossroads. We need to do other stuff that feeds into the same narrative.

Also, no matter what people in STL think, KC is the real gateway to the west. Kind of like Rivendell in LoTR, KC is the edge of civilization. west of here, there is nothing of note till Denver, and Denver, SLC, etc. are just bright spots of civilization in an otherwise wild landscape. We could do something with that as well.

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Re: Homogenization of KC

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:22 am

tower wrote:Also, no matter what people in STL think, KC is the real gateway to the west. Kind of like Rivendell in LoTR, KC is the edge of civilization. west of here, there is nothing of note till Denver, and Denver, SLC, etc. are just bright spots of civilization in an otherwise wild landscape. We could do something with that as well.
KC, the gateway to the west. If one looks at KC being the start of the three trails one would be correct. But how did those many settlers get to KC? From St. Louis. A better nickname might be the last outpost of civilization

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Re: Homogenization of KC

Post by ToDactivist » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:13 pm

I agree with both comments. I have studied the history for a couple of years now and while the burbs are already lost to the oblivion of commodization, the genesis of the KC core is still that outpost, trading or jumping off spot into the great unknown that either pushed settlers forward or kept them here. It is really unique in the US with the Big Muddy, wagons, then rail, then tons of rail and highways. is there a wrapper here? maybe not, or maybe yet to be put forth by marcom wizards but its not "show me". That breeds followers not leaders and KC was born from the latter. Lose the MO moniker. I suggest "show them".

So embracing the "crossroads" and edge of civilization is kind of cool (then and now?). Like Austin's "keep it weird", KC has this crossroads with civility, refinement, home base stability with portals to beyond if so inclined.

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Re: Homogenization of KC

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:58 pm

One has to remember the trails were originally started in Independence. And even before that close to Franklin MO.

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Re: Homogenization of KC

Post by ToDactivist » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:00 pm

And before that the longboats of the french...but its not the pioneers that get the glory, its the exploiters who can jump 'n shout.

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Re: Homogenization of KC

Post by flyingember » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:39 am

aknowledgeableperson wrote:One has to remember the trails were originally started in Independence. And even before that close to Franklin MO.
And before that, St. Louis.

Trailheads moved west every few decades.
Like the cattle drives moved out to central Kansas with the railroads crossing the plains
The Pony Express started at St. Joseph because a railroad ended there

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