Statement of Solidarity with the African American Community

The UMKC Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design (AUPD) stands in solidarity with the African American community and communities of color in Kansas City and nationwide against racism and injustice.

The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner and too many others, and the police brutality that continues to threaten the quality of life in American cities, is untenable.

We are deeply concerned for the safety of our students, our neighborhood partners and leaders, our colleagues, and their families.

We know that many African American families have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID19 pandemic and were already suffering from great personal and family losses. Our heart goes out to you – our colleagues, friends and neighbors.

As educators and professionals, we are well aware of our responsibility to promote the values of equity and social justice. Hate, white supremacy, and racism have no place in our society – and especially in the public institutions that have been established to serve and protect.

The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Code of Ethics makes it abundantly clear that social justice is our responsibility:

We shall seek social justice by working to expand choice and opportunity for all persons, recognizing a special responsibility to plan for the needs of the disadvantaged and to promote racial and economic integration. We shall urge the alteration of policies, institutions, and decisions that oppose such needs.[i]

The American Institute of Architects has also adopted policies and programs related to equity, diversity and inclusion.[ii] We support the local and national American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Planning Association (APA) statements against racism and violence against African Americans and communities of color. We urge these professional organizations to invest significant financial and professional resources to help rebuild urban neighborhoods equitably, to fight racism within the professions across the country, and to expand access to planning and architecture for marginalized communities.

The AUPD faculty commit ourselves to anti-racism as a core principle of our approach to social justice in our teaching, research and service. The UMKC Center for Neighborhoods in AUPD reaffirms its mission to serve the Kansas City community, including many neighborhoods that have struggled to survive and thrive despite generations of disinvestment and racially-biased policies, through research and outreach.

For more information, please contact: 816-235-1725.



J. ONeil Cole student presentation

AUPD congratulates Pendulum Studio on 10 year anniversary!

Congrats to Jonathan, Devan and Pendulum Studio on 10 years well spent!

Ten years ago, architect Jonathan O’Neil Cole was kind enough to donate his time to work with our Urban Planning and Design students on a 3-day charrette exploring how to (re)connect 18th and Vine to the Crossroads (sound familiar?)…

This month his firm with Devan Case celebrates ten years in the business.


In the spring of 2007, we worked with Jonathan and guest designer Walter Hood of Hood Studio to explore four themes that would help to bridge the gap between east and west along 18th Street: Architecture, Infrastructure, Monument and Landscape – a four part design process informed by the 4/4 time signature of Kansas City jazz. It was a blast and we all enjoyed working with Jonathan, Walter and a variety of awesome designers. You can check out the work here:

Recent alumni honoree Stephen Risse and KCMO city planner Ashley Winchell were among the students that participated.

Thanks to Pendulum and all of the Kansas City firms that make our studio-based design pedagogy possible.



Center for Neighborhoods 2016 Annual Report

Center for Neighborhoods releases annual report.

The staff of the Center for Neighborhoods at UMKC, which is housed in the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design (AUP+D) – is pleased to share the first annual report. The report explains our mission and activities in 2016 since the opening in late April. The report details our impact so far, with maps and data about the neighborhood organizations and leaders who participated in the first two cohorts of the neighborhood leadership program.

The Center would like to thank all of the supporters who made this first year such a great success.

To open a PDF copy of the report – please follow this link:


UPD Faculty present at the 2017 Community Development Workshop

Faculty from Urban Planning and Design participated in the 5th Annual Community Development Workshop in Kansas City.

The workshop was well-attended by community members, city staff, students and local professionals in community development and planning.

This year the Center for Neighborhoods was a sponsor and participant in the event.

Dr. Michael Frisch, Dr. Clara Irazabal-Zurita, Dr. annalise fonza, and Jacob Wagner all participated in an event focused on developing a shared understanding of gentrification. The session was very well-attended and participants worked in groups to generate mutual knowledge about the different definitions of gentrification as well as the implications of this controversial concept.


Students from Augsburg Germany collaborate with UPD students on Prospect Charrette

Students from Augsburg Germany’s University of Applied Sciences joined UMKC students in Urban Planning and Design (UPD) for a five day charrette in Kansas City. Four teams of students worked together to develop architecture, urban planning and urban design concepts for the Prospect Avenue corridor in Kansas City, MO.


Students worked in an intense and quick environment over five days to develop their ideas. Each team built a model to illustrate their ideas and to explore two sites on Prospect Avenue.


Students developed new friendships and learned about planning and architecture in Germany. Faculty shared different approaches to urban design and learned from their colleagues through a collaborative design process.

Several professionals joined the students to review their final presentation, including staff from Gould Evans, Zahner Design & Fabrication, Populous Architecture, REACH Collaborative, and Taliaferro and Browne. Staff from the Center for Neighborhoods also participated in the charrette and final review.



Center for Neighborhoods welcomes first group of Neighborhood Leaders

Date: June 6, 2016
Time: 5:30 p.m.

4747 Troost

UMKC Center for Neighborhoods Welcomes First Cohort Group of Community Leaders!

Group will engage in 12 weeks of interactive classes and workshops that begin Monday June 6, 2016.

The UMKC Center for Neighborhoods in the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design (AUP+D), will welcome the first group of neighborhood leaders who will participate the Center’s program. The event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 6 at 4747 Troost Ave., Kansas City, Mo.

The initial cohort is the first of several groups, drawn from 35 people representing 17 neighborhoods, who will participate in the Center’s program.

Areas of focus will include: Neighborhood Governance and Leadership; Technology and Communications; Neighborhood Health and Safety; and Neighborhood Planning and Development. Cohort 1 represents neighborhoods located throughout Kansas City, Missouri and covers a wide range of neighborhoods in size, location and capacity from the Missouri River to South Kansas City.

“As an urban-serving university, UMKC has a charter-based responsibility to meet the needs of the urban population in the Kansas City region, and the Center of Neighborhoods is poised to serve as the catalyst for university-community partnerships that help meet the needs of these neighborhoods,” said Dina Newman, Director of the Center.

While Cohort 1 is full, interested neighborhood leaders are invited to sign up for Cohort 2, which is scheduled to begin in the fall.

After the kickoff event, the regularly scheduled Monday night classes will take place at Katz Hall, 5005 Rockhill Road on the UMKC campus.

For more information, please contact: Dina Newman at 816-235-6931, or visit our website: Center website

Center for Neighborhoods celebrates Grand Opening – April 23rd!

Date: April 23, 2016
Time: 10 AM

4747 Troost Avenue
Kansas City Missouri

Please join the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design (AUP+D) in the College of Arts and Sciences at UMKC to celebrate the grand opening of the Center for Neighborhoods and welcome our new staff.

The opening ceremony will begin promptly at 10:25 a.m. on Saturday April 23rd at the Center for Neighborhoods – 4747 Troost Avenue, KCMO.

The event is free and open to the public. There will be light refreshments and music.

The Center for Neighborhoods is located at 4747 Troost Avenue, Suite 222 – Kansas City MO 64109. The Center is a research and outreach unit based in the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design.

For more information, please visit our new website:

Center for Neighborhoods

The Center for Neighborhoods is our new outreach and research center based in the Department and located at 4747 Troost Avenue in Kansas City Missouri. We will serve neighborhoods leaders in Missouri through a series of programs, technical assistance and university-community partnerships to build the capacity of local neighborhood organizations and homeowner’s associations. This Center is funded by the State of Missouri and is a direct result of leadership provided by State Senator Shalonn “Kiki” Curls of Missouri.

It’s that time of year… Final reviews! You’re invited.

Our students have been busy all semester….

Please swing by Katz Hall in the next few days and see our students in action during final reviews and presentations…

Pavilion Project – first year studio
9 December / Katz Hall, 101, 107

Valentine Neighborhood / Site alternatives for
Urban Planning and Design I
2:30 pm
Katz Hall 101

Lafitte Greenway opens in New Orleans!

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, the Friends of Lafitte Greenway and the City of New Orleans have announced the opening of the Lafitte Greenway. Students and faculty from UMKC’s Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design were some of the first planners to work on the greenway idea in 2006. The work was completed as part of a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). UMKC was one of only 16 universities to receive a HUD grant as part of the Universities Rebuilding America Program (URAP).

UMKC worked with the Urban Conservancy in New Orleans to establish a new advocacy group called the Friends of Lafitte Corridor (FOLC). This group worked to advocate for the construction of the Lafitte Greenway in all of the City’s post-disaster recovery plans. Dr. Wagner, Dr. Frisch, Vincent Gauthier and a team of UMKC students worked on the early plans to establish the greenway and the Friends of Lafitte Corridor in 2006 as part of a grant from HUD’s Office of University Partnerships.

UMKC_Lafitte Greenway Continue reading