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.

[i] https://www.planning.org/ethics/ethicscode/

[ii] https://www.aia.org/resources/24301-equity-diversity-and-inclusion

Transit Driven Thinking

from UMKC Communications 5/17/2017

Nichols Student Prize contestants inspired by streetcar extension

Kansas City’s new streetcar is already driving development activity along its route. So with an election to decide on an extension plan in the offing, it’s only natural to imagine what changes in the city’s urban environment could follow.

Students in the Urban Planning and Design Studio II course at the University of Missouri-Kansas City took on that challenge, and did more than merely imagine the possibilities. The class, taught by faculty members Michael Frisch, AICP and Ted Seligson, FAIA researched existing land uses along the extension route, selected specific intersections, designed transit-driven developments at those locations that would meet community needs, and drafted implementation plans for their concepts. The student proposals were entered in the annual J.C. Nichols Student Prize competition sponsored by the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design, part of UMKC’s College of Arts and Sciences. Funding for the Nichols Student Prize has been generously provided by the Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation.

Each student selected a strategic node on Main Street from 30th Street to the UMKC campus.

At 31st and Main, Alex Gilbertson envisioned Warwick Ridge, an iconic building composed of stacked, cantilevered and offset layers, with luxury apartments atop first-floor retail shops.

At Linwood and Main, Rawya Alrammah called for a return to historical levels of housing density, with multiple apartment buildings over underground parking, surrounding an open central courtyard.

Billie Hufford recommended an emphasis on enhanced retail services at Armour and Main, anchored by a new Main Market food hall with dozens of micro-businesses in stalls on a first floor that could be opened to the elements in good weather; apartments would occupy the upper floors.

At that same intersection, Thomas Kimmel’s concept focused on adding a variety of housing types to an under-utilized 13-acre tract behind a school and Home Depot, tied together with a pedestrian concourse dubbed “The Circuit.”

A few blocks to the south, Sean Thomas sought to tie together the intersections of 39th and Main with Main and Westport to create a pedestrian-friendly “harmonious urbanism” that would reclaim areas sacrificed to automotive traffic and parking.

Taylor Vande Velde looked at 43rd and Main and saw an intersection physically dominated by huge nearby buildings – the American Century towers and the Marriott hotel. To counter that impression, she called for a human-scaled piece of landmark architecture built along the waterway. Mill Creek Point would include ground-level retail and community space with residences above.

The Nichols Prize jury, however, was most taken with David McCumber’s concept for the intersection of Main and Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard, and awarded him first place in the competition. His pedestrian-oriented concept, Plaza Connections, would reclaim large swaths of asphalt for human use, extend the Trolley Track Trail north of the Country Club Plaza, and add two pedestrian bridges across Brush Creek and three new apartment buildings. But the centerpiece of his concept borrows, as does the Plaza, from Seville, Spain: a half-circle hotel structure outlining a circular public plaza space. The hotel would be built on land owned by the city’s Parks Department, with ample first-floor space open to all, in a new take on public-private partnerships.

The jurors were Prof. Joy Swallow, the AUP+D Department Chair; Bill Bruning, a member of the department’s Advisory Board; Diane Burnette, director of MainCOR; and Gib Kerr of Cushman & Wakefield and the Regional Transit Alliance. They awarded third place to Vande Velde for Mill Creek Point, and second prize to Kimmel for The Circuit.

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:

UMKC-Center-for-Neighborhoods-2016-Annual-Report

Center for Neighborhoods celebrates Grand Opening – April 23rd!

Date: April 23, 2016
Time: 10 AM
Location:

4747 Troost Avenue
Kansas City Missouri
64109


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: http://info.umkc.edu/cfn/

The 2015 JC Nichols Student Prize Reception is Friday, May 8, 2015, 5pm.

The 2015 JC Nichols Student Prize reception is Friday, May 8th, at 5:30 pm in Katz Hall Room 101. The winners of the 2015 student prize in urban planning + design as well as other Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design honors will be announced at this reception. All are welcome.

The JC Nichols Student Prize in Urban Planning + Design has been made possible by a generous contribution of the Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation.