Urban renewal planners received their first assessment of what people who live and work in the Troost Corridor want from a multi-year makeover. More than 350 people listed concerns and hopes.
They clustered at tables in groups of 8 to 10 inside the Linwood Boulevard Scottish Rite Temple to help the United Way and Greater Kansas City Area Chamber of Commerce plot the ambitious retooling of the East side.
The Urban Neighborhood Initiative will first revitalize an area stretching from 23rd to 51st and from Troost to U.S. Highway 71.
The brainstorming session asked about the 3 to 5 changes people most wanted in their neighborhoods. Concerns ranged from anti-crime security to educational opportunities.
Robert Scudder is allied with plans for a new school near 43rd and Troost, and he wants to see the "kind of community with family and friends and more open doors, less need for locked doors, open porches where you're going down the street and they know your name and you know their name. Caring and trusting and I want to see children playing, openly."
The United Way hopes to make the project a template for nationwide renewal of older city neighborhoods. Initiative director Sylvia Robinson says the work may take many years with no quick remedies.