Comment of the Week

Kansas City’s downtown renaissance was on display again with last night’s NBA preseason game. It came a week after KCPT-TV aired The Next American Dream, which our David Martin called “part history lesson, part infomercial” after watching the doc’s premiere

Martin wrote:

Funded by the Greater Kansas City Area Development Council, Dream

paints a portrait of a city a bit more dynamic and progressive than it

really is. But by the end credits, even cynics of the way business gets

done in Kansas City will feel excited by what’s taken place over the

last five to 10 years.

Martin wasn’t the only one turning a critical eye to the doc. So did thePhantom*, who issued a lengthy but insightful review of his own in the comments section:

The

good thing about this documentary is that it might just raise the pride

of KC ( the ACTUAL CITY / DOWNTOWN). Perhaps those abroad will

recognize KC. Also, it showed before footage of KC in it’s heyday and

then to its blighted condition.

The bad thing about this documentary is that it was a ton of hype

and not enough substance of WHY Kansas City’s urban-core became a

ghosttown – essential for preventing it to happen in the future! It,

for the most part, just say’s people left the city…

..wonder why?

This brings me to the UGLY: The Documentary damn near completely

ignores the reason why KC’s downtown and urban-core in general needed

to be revitalized: R-A-C-I-S-M. Something this town has been ignorance

since it’s essence. The almost cliche White Flight then BLACK flight!

NOW Gentrification. Now, don’t get me wrong the gentry are more than

welcome in the city – they bring jobs and love to spend money on

fostering culture (something the working class can’t do) – but lord if

this city turns into an inverted donut, where the poor/working class

gets pushed to the burbs, that’d be an ugly situation.

This city spends too much on infrastructure, simply because we’ve

spread out. We have enough geography for three Kansas Cities. We need

smart growth and an anti-node mindset. We need people in city hall who

know what the HELL they’re doing. GOOD urban planners.

The failure with Power & Light is that there was no housing

attached to the project! That’s a no no. Almost every major Development

project in Johnson County is developing mixed-use areas with HOUSING.

I am glad, however, that things are turning inward. We’re at a time

with the burbs have to compete with the “URBAN”. Urban is becoming cool

– simply because we want walkability and diversity. The new development

that was just allotted funding on 135th street in OP is an example of

this. But unfortunately, they’ll have to do a lot more — essentially

rebuild its city to be truly urbane.

Bottom line, this documentary was very VERY cute and endearing. They

interviewed the most typical guests and had a black man narrate the

thing meanwhile avoiding the reason the city looks like a friggin third

world country. We as a diverse city, must stand up and mold these guys

into properly representing where we stand and where we WANT to stand.

That’s our job.

That folks, is the Comment of the Week.

Categories: News