Suburban Centers, Activity Nodes, Edge Cities:

Transportation and Land Use Relationships in the Denver and Kansas City Metropolitan Areas

A Yale University Senior Thesis studying metropolitan growth patterns, nodes of activity, and transportation options:
Summer 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri and Denver, Colorado

The author would like to thank the Environmental Studies Summer Research Fellowship and the Richter Fellowship for their generous support of this research.

Initial Research Prospectus (for the junior seminar in Environmental Studies)

Application for the Fellowship (describes project in brief)

Some Preliminary Findings from KC

Kansas City is a fascinating metropolitan area, with deep-rooted problems for sure, but also a healthy economy and optimism for the future. The core city is steadily revitalizing, even while the vast majority of growth is still going to the periphery. The Power and Light District has re-energized downtown with new life, although it certainly does breed sentiments of racism and exclusion. The MAX express BRT-light is making people look at transit again in this very, very auto-dependent city, and this model is being expanded on new corridors throughout the metro.

For more, visit the KC Main Page.

Peruse a corridor summary that I did while I was there.

Research in Denver

Visit the Denver Main Page.

Denver does a lot of things right. The region works together well as a unit, with individual governments realizing that improving one area improves all of Metro Denver. Voters decided in 2004 to tax themselves to pay for RTD's FasTracks transit expansion program, with over 100 miles of new rail lines. The region is experiencing continued economic growth, and while the CBD is still strong, many of those new jobs are going towards the edges of the region (where there is land), continuing structural auto dependency.

Some thoughts about urban planning in general are being posted on the blog.