by Joe Peach at This Big City
Kansas City is no urban utopia. It has the highest ratio of highway lane miles to population and the lowest bike and transit ridership in the US. However, some Kansas City residents know the city needs to change, and they are ready to do something about it. In fact, they have already done something about it. Last year, KC-native Kyle Rogler wrote an article about the city’s cycle hire scheme and how it was built by citizens. No corporate backing, no relying on local government to sort it out. Residents wanted a bike hire scheme, so they helped BikeWalkKC build one.
Further change is coming, and it’s offering the city a unique opportunity for transformation:
Kansas City is on the verge of investing in several rail transportation projects. At this critical juncture, the Kansas City metropolitan region has the opportunity to develop a new vision of its future. – Transform Kansas City
Transform Kansas City is an initiative which aims to encourage discussion about the opportunities of rail transit and facilitate input in the development of a more sustainable built environment. One way they are achieving this is through a call for ideas, asking people to submit their ideas for how rail transit can be used to change the city for the better. Inspired by this project, we’ve decided to host our next #citytalk tweetchat on the topic of ‘transforming cities with transit’.
Rail transit will of course feature, but we’ll also be discussing other forms of transit and how investment can bring maximum benefit to cities. We’ll be asking participants how citizens can get involved and encourage positive change to happen more quickly, as well as looking at best case examples from cities across the globe. And, of course, we’ll be looking to the future, asking those taking part to share their visions for the future of urban transportation.
I’ll be co-hosting the discussion from London, UK along with Future Cape Town‘s Rashiq Fataar from Cape Town, South Africa. We’ll be joined in the chat by two special guests: Transform Kansas City‘s Ashley and Gunnar Hand. We hope you can join in and share your views on how we can transform cities with transit.
#citytalk: Transforming Cities with Transit takes place on June 19th at 7PM BST/8PM CEST/2PM EDT. Simply login to Twitter, follow the #citytalk tag and include it in your tweets to join the discussion. You can read more about how #citytalk works here.