Nestled along the meeting point of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers is one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the midwest. While most Americans know of Kansas City, many don’t realize that it’s actually a combination of cities, towns and suburbs. At the heart of this urban center exist not one, but two Kansas Cities, each located right across the Kansas/Missouri border from each other.
Even people who have spent their entire lives in one of these cities may not know the story. The truth is that this community has a rich and interesting history. Unique events throughout time have helped shape and forge this regional urban sprawl into the tight-knit community that it is today.
Kansas City was forged through the spirit of entrepreneurship and adventure, a mentality that still exists today. Believe it or not, Lewis and Clark crossed both the Missouri and Kansas rivers where KC currently lies. In the 1830s, John McCoy bought a plot of land along the Missouri River and founded Westport. This was one of the settlements that would grow into what we see today as the Kansas City metropolitan area.
This budding town was known as the City of Kansas, Missouri, and was growing steadily through the 1860s. In 1865, the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad Bridge was built, and this caused the area to explode. Within a few years, it would become (and still is) the second busiest railroad hub in the United States.
In 1872, a few localities on the Kansas side of the border incorporated into Kansas City, Kansas. At this point, we have Kansas City on one side of the border, and the City of Kansas on the other. But in 1889, the City of Kansas would change its name. Thus, through innovation, exploration, and common goals, this metropolis, and twin cities were born.
While a hundred years ago, life revolved around the railroad, today is a different picture. Culture, community and entertainment have replaced industry and farming. The city is still a huge rail hub, but more people are moving to this town for the charm, community and quality of life. Despite residing on opposite sides of state lines, Kansas City, whether in Kansas or Missouri, wants to improve the lives and wellness of those that make up these communities.
Districts like Overland Park offer restaurants, concerts, healthy eating, wellness, sports and entertainment. Mixed-use communities like Bluhawk are part of a broader goal to enrich the lives of those who live in KC. Life in the entire metropolitan area revolves around working together to create a truly unique and enjoyable space.
As the population shifts and technology changes, so too will urban planning. More than any other generation, millennials are looking for a community that can satisfy all of their needs. From healthy eating to entertainment to healthcare and wellness, these shifting demands are giving rise to new solutions.
Bluhawk is a prime example of how development and urban landscapes will evolve. By placing shopping, entertainment, food and community in one place, this type of multi-use center helps answer the demands of modern day life. The Kansas City metropolitan area is doing something truly unique by working to enrich and improve the lives of their residents with these groundbreaking developments.