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CONTACT: Vicki Noteis, Assistant City Manager, (816) 513-2865

Downtown Streetscape Plan consultant team selected

A consultant team headed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of Chicago has been selected to design Kansas City’s new Downtown Streetscape Plan.

A selection committee chose the team today from a field of three impressive finalists interviewing for the project. The other candidates were EDAW, Denver; and Theis Doolittle Associates/Brent Bowman Associates, Kansas City, Mo.

The selection committee consisted of representatives of the Downtown Council, the City Plan Commission, the Metropolitan Arts Council, the Kansas City Art Institute, the Economic Development Corporation, and City staff and elected officials.

The plan will create bold, new streetscape standards for downtown. More than $700 million in public and private investment is now underway in downtown Kansas City, including a new performing arts center, new urban residential projects, a new public library, and a redesign of the interstate highway system that encircles the Downtown Loop.

The plan will include designing five funded streetscape improvement projects within the Downtown Loop. The five districts and one sub-district are:
Quality Hill/Garment District
Convention and Entertainment District Government/Civic District – Eastside Residential District
Financial District
Library District

The physical appearance of streets and open spaces is a major factor in determining perceptions of downtown.

Principle objectives for improving downtown’s streets include:
Reinforce Kansas City’s civic character
Establish unique and recognizable districts
Promote sidewalk activity and economic vitality
Provide for safe pedestrian movement
Maintain a sense of history
Incorporate public art opportunities
Create a safe and attractive environment
Integrate public transit facilities

The design team will perform the following functions:
Implement an energetic “citizen-based” planning process including creating a steering committee and facilitating public workshops.
Provide a comprehensive summary of the policies of existing plans within the area and create an implementation strategy.
Design the streetscape elements and products to be included to create people-oriented public space, including sidewalks, lighting, signage, screening, street furniture and amenities, public art, landscaping, gateways and transitions, and intersection improvements.
Create design and construction drawings for funded City streetscape projects within the Downtown Loop.

Downtown Streetscape Plan consultant team
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Chicago
Consoer, Townsend & Envirodyne, Inc, Nashville, Tenn., (Civil & Traffic Engineers)
Young and Dring, Overland Park, Kan., (Landscape Architecture)
Architectural and Historical Research, Kansas City, Mo., (Historic Consultant)
Phillips-West Public Relations, Kansas City, Mo., (Public Participation)
Schmitz, King & Associates, Olathe, Kan., (Land Surveyor)
Corbin Design, Traverse City, Mich., (Graphic Design and Way-Finding)

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