Kansas City’s new outdoor ‘living room

It’s not a model for supporting local independent businesses, certainly not a natural cultural district, and its website opens with the words “Greed, lust and gluttony… and that’s only dinner”, but Kansas City’s new $800 million ‘corporate cultural district’ does provide clear evidence that there’s a growing market for pedestrian-only districts in downtowns.

The nine block Power & Light District is a one developer, formula-driven entertainment zone that will be largely familiar to residents of Baltimore and Louisville because it features many of the same national chains, but on the other hand it sure beats a shopping mall and hosts a ton of free entertainment that anyone can enjoy. It also provides a significant factor in getting people out of their cars and wandering pedestrian-oriented streets, plus pedestrian-only streets that even Manhattan doesn’t have (yet).

Check out their promotional video below (and the central ‘campfire’) to get a sense of how people are prioritized over cars. Now if it only had local culture and soul, wow…