2022 Nichols Student Prize Winners

Tianna Morton wins First Prize in the 2022 Nichols Student Prize competition for Urban Planning + Design students.

The Garden District
The Garden District, FIRST PRIZE

Tianna Morton’s project reimagined the area adjacent to Main and Linwood as “The Garden District.” Her project starts with a examination of whether big-box retail will still be viable in the future. Taking the site of Midtown Marketplace, she redevelops Linwood Boulevard as the site for apartments with an adjacent community of a mix of housing types. The Garden District will expand housing opportunity in Kansas City while providing a new park.

Two other projects received prizes in the competition. Jazmin Bustos received a Second Prize for her project Imagine the Possibilities. The jury was impressed with the attention to community institutions as part of her program for the site at Main and Linwood.

Imagine the Possibilities
Jazmin Bustos, Second Prize

Jazmin Bustos’ project included a child care facility, a library, and a community center with the aim of providing the services that could bring families back into this portion of Midtown Kansas City. Finally, the jury awarded a Second Prize to Luke Bertram’s project Baltimore Square.

Baltimore Square
Luke Bertram, Second Prize

Baltimore Square proposes the extension of Baltimore Avenue north across Linwood Boulevard up to 31st Street. Around the area of 32nd Street, Baltimore Avenue would intersect a public square providing a quiet respite from the bustle of Main St, Linwood Boulevard and 31st Street. The jury thought this design reflected an appealing sense of urbanism.

The Nichols Student Prize is awarded to students in competing to develop innovative urban designs and developments as a part of their education in UMKC Urban Planning + Design program. Support for the Nichols Student prize has been generously endowed by the Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation.

Shaping Cities: The Architect as Community Organizer

John Ruble
Moore, Ruble, Yudell Architects & Planners

Please RSVP here.

As co-founder and partner in the Santa Monica, California-based architectural firm Moore, Ruble,
Yudell, John Ruble has collaborated on a broad spectrum of residential, academic, cultural,
and urban design work in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Ruble examines urban design issues now confronting Kansas City and other metropolitan areas in
the latest Kivett/Seligson Lecture. Ruble also discusses his work, and that of his firm,
and its emphasis on creating meaningful, memorable, and sustainable places.

Kivett / Seligson Lecture Series, Sponsored by the UMKC Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design

BNIM Urban Planner Josh Boehm presents at SxSW Eco


SxSW Eco Presentation: Josh Boehm (2013 UP+D Alumnus, and Trustee’s Scholar) 

Josh’s presentation at SxSW Eco will illustrate some of the emerging innovations of Kansas City’s Smart + Connected City initiative. Kansas City’s Smart City infrastructure will accompany the City’s nearly complete 2.2-mile downtown streetcar route, and will be the largest network in North America. While built by a public-private partnership between the City, Cisco, and Sprint, the Smart City project is built on a foundation of openness, with opportunities for other collaborators to find entrepreneurial uses of Smart City data.

BNIM’s entrepreneurial focus is on ways to build and retrofit living environments that are good for people and the environment. With new Smart city infrastructure in its backyard, BNIM has a unique opportunity to study the health of the urban environment – from the volume and quality of water runoff from excessive surface parking lots, to the quality of the air near interstate freeways, to pedestrian and cyclist activity around streetcar stations, and planned bike lanes.

Now in its fifth year, SxSW Eco is an international forum for debate and discovery that brings together individuals from diverse backgrounds who are passionate about advancing solutions that achieve Triple Bottom line results — driving economic, environmental, and social change.

Eco-Innovation District: Smart City + Sustainability
Tuesday, October 6
Austin Convention Center 8BC

excerpt from BNIM log post September 2015

Urban Planning + Design in the News!

Five do-gooders quietly make it easier for KC to heart itself
By David Hudnall @davidhudnall / excerpt from: The Pitch, 2/10/15


Photos by Angela C. Bond

Idris Raoufi, 2013 Urban Planning + Design Alumnus
816 Bicycle Collective
The past couple of years, we’ve marked Valentine’s Day by talking to our crushes: men and women around town who are doing things cool enough to make us swoon a little. This year, we went looking for people who had crushes of their own: on the city. We’re not talking about garden-variety hometown-priders, the “I share too much pro-KC clickbait on Facebook” types. We mean folks who spend their time actively contributing to the improvement of Kansas City and its citizens.
The five individuals we picked — and yes, we know, our list is a couple of thousand people short — direct their energy toward a variety of civic endeavors, from battling predatory lenders to educating teenagers through theater about HIV/AIDS. What they have in common: They impress and inspire us. We hope they impress and inspire you, too.

 Idris Raoufi’s views on urban planning in Kansas City border on bleak.

“KC is one of the most underplanned municipalities in the United States,” Raoufi says. “We’re 30 years behind the curve with land use, neighborhood preservation, municipal services, community health. There’s been almost no emphasis on planning for the future.”

But even in challenging environments, dedicated souls tend to locate niches in which a difference might be made. Raoufi’s niche: the 816 Bicycle Collective, where he focuses his energy when he’s not working his day job as a transportation planner for Wilson & Co., an engineering and architecture firm.

The 816 Bicycle Collective is a free community bike shop, staffed by volunteers who repair bikes and teach commuters how to do the same: how to adjust the brakes, how to change a flat, how to fix a derailleur, even how to build a bike from scratch. “People who rely on a bike to get to work — many of whom realistically can’t afford to ride the bus — are in large part the people who visit us,” Raoufi says. “There’s a large population of people in this city that gets around by bike, and our main function is to empower those people with the knowledge to fix their own bikes.”

Raoufi co-founded the collective in 2008 with Suzanne Hogan, Kirk McDowell-Shafer, Bri Lauterbach and Sean Eagan. For now, it’s located in a back alleyway off Troost, at 3116 Forest. But in late spring or early summer, it’s moving to a more visible location, in the Union Hill neighborhood. Two years ago, at the Jackson County delinquent-tax auction, the organization purchased three buildings near the corner of 31st Street and Cherry.

“We got these three buildings on the same parcel in incredible condition, in a great location,” Raoufi says. “We had no intention of actually getting them. But nobody else bid on them.”

Thanks to donations at the shop, heavily discounted services from a friendly contractor and $32,000 netted from a 2013 crowdfunding campaign, the 816 Bicycle Collective has gradually renovated the properties. The new space will be multifaceted, housing the collective as well as its parent organization, the KC Bicycle Federation. The goal is to have leasable spaces in the other buildings that will generate revenue to fund the operations of the bike collective and pay for expenses associated with upkeep. “Ideally, we’d be leasing to like-minded nonprofits,” Raoufi says.

A self-sustaining hub for cycling advocacy: not bad for a town that historically has been less-than-progressive on transportation issues.
“There’s a lot you can do here that you can’t do in other cities,” Raoufi says, sounding a little more optimistic. “It’s why the collective has been able to do what it’s done so far. The work I’m passionate about is taking technical abilities I learned in school and helping advance disenfranchised communities to take better hold of the development of their neighborhoods. If you tried to do that in lots of other cities, you’d be dealing with higher real estate [costs], scarcer resources, more competition. This is a city of great opportunity if you’re aware of it.”

excerpt from: The Pitch, 2/10/15

Planning Student Receives Scholarship



In 2014 the Kansas City Metro Section of the American Planning Association (KC/APA) created a scholarship program to recognize outstanding academics in the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design (UMKC / AUP+D). In 2014 one scholarship recipient was chosen, Brandon Keller, a junior in the Urban Planning program. Beginning in 2015, the scholarship program will annually allocate funds to provide two $500 scholarships to Urban Planning students at UMKC /  AUP+D. One scholarship will be awarded to an incoming junior and one will be awarded to an incoming senior. Applicants must be a current member of KC/APA and reside within the geographic area served by KC/APA. This scholarship program is supportive of KC/ APA’s goals to foster the next generation of young planners in Kansas City.

Brandon Keller, First Scholarship Recipient
My name is Brandon Keller, and I am from Raytown, Missouri. I am currently a junior in the Urban Planning and Design Program at the University of Missouri Kansas City. After high school I attended Pittsburg State University and received a certificate of Electrical Technology. After a change of heart, I decided to go back to school for Planning. Over the summer I interned for the City of Belton, Mo and currently I am an intern at LANE4 Property Group. I hope to have a long and successful career in the planning field, and being a lifelong member and supporter of the American Planning Association.

excerpt from KC Metro Connection, Vol. 6, issue 1, January 2o015

Washington University in St. Louis Honors Ted Seligson, FAIA

Theodore “Ted” Seligson has committed his career to advancing architectural practice, education, and service to the community. For more than forty years, he served as principal and designer at his Kansas City-based architectural office, which became known as one of the most innovative design practices in the Midwest.

After earning his degree from Washington University, Seligson joined Kivett & Myers Architects in Kansas City. During his tenure, he became head of design and was responsible for some of the signature work produced by the firm, which was known for its “modernist” designs. In 1962, Seligson established his own practice, which focused on the disciplines of architecture, interior design, and urban design. Projects ranged widely in scale—including small residential interiors, residences, public buildings, banks, office and commercial buildings, and urban planning—and received more than 25 local and national honors.

For the past twenty-five years, Seligson has taught at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, serving as a visiting professor in the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design since 2002. Among his previous appointments, he taught a master’s studio at Washington University from 1975 to 1992.

Influenced by courses in art and archaeology that he took at WUSTL, Seligson has developed his expertise in art studies and collections. He has advised and assisted in acquiring art for collectors, and did volunteer work at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, where he was a guest co-curator for two major exhibitions. A devoted community leader, he also has been instrumental in the preservation movement. Examples of his influence can be seen at Union Station, the Wainwright Building, and the west front of the United States Capitol Building.

Seligson was elected to the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows in 1979. In 2011, he was awarded the Presidential Award by AIA Kansas City, and the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Historic Kansas City Foundation