Friday, October 30, 2009

Kansas City: a zone of sanity

This is not supposed to happen to Kansas City. However, yesterday, Joel Kotkin, on a national radio program, yes national, told the national audience how he thought Kansas City is beautiful, settled, stable….this really worries me.

Our special secret will have people flocking here now.

Kotkin spoke on Robin Young’s “Here and Now” (listen to the show called "There'a No Place Like Home"). He’s a bit of an urban historian and geographer. He studies the movement of Americans; why they move, where they move.

In the second half of the show he talks about “placeness”, that sense of having an identity with the past. He likes Kansas City in that way and he likes our "placeness"...

Did he enjoy our BBQ, too?

He says that Kansas City is in a “zone of sanity”. We did not have a boom. Our foreclosures, while bad, are not as bad as other places. Our economy is stable and our quality of life, he says, is wonderful. But he has a warning for us…

He thinks that we have “cool city envy”…two examples:

- we need light rail too
- we want this town to be “hip”

Kotkin believes we need to grow organically instead of trying to impress people from out-of-town…

Have a listen and judge for yourself. To save time, jump forward to “7:20” in the show, about halfway, and hear the last 5 minutes.

Check out his blog, newgeography

What’s our special secret?…you know it…don’t tell anyone. OK?

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