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Old 07-06-2016, 03:23 AM
 
Location: South St. Paul, Minnesota
32 posts, read 22,935 times
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Over 300 square miles and only 475'000 people. I have never been there.
I'm from Minneapolis and the population of Minneapolis is similar in about 1/6 the space.
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:41 AM
 
1,298 posts, read 984,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joots View Post
Over 300 square miles and only 475'000 people. I have never been there.
I'm from Minneapolis and the population of Minneapolis is similar in about 1/6 the space.
You've got it backwards. The question is why is Kansas City's land area so big for its population?

It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with urban density. KC simply annexed a ton of empty land, trying to prepare for outward growth. Not only is this a common practice, many cities have done it to a much greater extent. Indianapolis, for instance, barely has any suburbs, because it annexed virtually everything around it as it grew. Jacksonville, Florida is 747 square miles. Oklahoma City is over 600. Nashville is 475, and San Antonio is 461. All of these cities are smaller than KC, but took an aggressive approach to annexation.

It's important to recognize that the size of a city's land area has absolutely no connection to the urban character of the city itself. It's just a political boundary. However, cities with more area tend to have larger and wealthier tax bases, which enables them to better fund city services. It doesn't always work out this way, but I believe that's the idea.
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:52 AM
 
2,195 posts, read 2,147,204 times
Reputation: 1916
The short answer is that the city underwent a massive annexation spree in the 50s and 60s, hoping to capture future suburban growth, especially north of the Missouri River, but it also annexed enormous swaths to the south and east. But most of the metro's postwar suburban growth marched southwest into Johnson County, Kansas. In the last 15 years, suburban growth has begun in earnest in KC's northland, but those population gains have been partially offset by severe population decline (akin to rust belt cities' population losses) on the city's east side. To this day only about 1/2 of KC's total landmass is developed, and enormous swaths of land in the city limits are woods, waterways or even working farmland.

But even in it's prewar core, KC is not as densely populated as Minneapolis, though the 2 cities share a very similar built environment and historical development vernacular. A comparable area of urban KC to Minneapolis's 58 square miles only holds about 225,000 people. KC suffered (and continues to suffer) considerably more from the effects of white flight, segregation and ghettofication than Minneapolis.

However, had it been able to annex it's primary suburban centers (which was impossible because they are in a different state), in the way that Indianapolis, Jacksonville, San Antonio, Louisville, Nashville or Columbus did, KC's city-proper population could be more akin to those annexation-happy cities, easily pushing 800,000 in about the same landmass.

Last edited by SPonteKC; 07-06-2016 at 12:20 PM..
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Chicago
2,357 posts, read 2,012,452 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.davis View Post
The short answer is that the city underwent a massive annexation spree in the 50s and 60s, hoping to capture future suburban growth, especially north of the Missouri River, but it also annexed enormous swaths to the south and east. But most of the metro's postwar suburban growth marched southwest into Johnson County, Kansas. In the last 15 years, suburban growth has begun in earnest in KC's northland, but those population gains have been partially offset by severe population decline (akin to rust belt cities' population losses) on the city's east side. To this day only about 1/2 of KC's total landmass is developed, and enormous swaths of land in the city limits are woods, waterways or even working farmland.

But even in it's prewar core, KC is not as densely populated as Minneapolis, though the 2 cities share a very similar built environment and historical development vernacular. A comparable area of urban KC to Minneapolis's 58 square miles only holds about 275,000 people. KC suffered (and continues to suffer) considerably more from the effects of white flight, segregation and ghettofication than Minneapolis.
Do you happen to know what KC's population would have been today had it not annexed land?
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:59 AM
 
2,195 posts, read 2,147,204 times
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Originally Posted by PerseusVeil View Post
Do you happen to know what KC's population would have been today had it not annexed land?
Depends on when you would cut off the annexations. 1900? 1920? 1940?
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:00 AM
 
2,195 posts, read 2,147,204 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joots View Post
Over 300 square miles and only 475'000 people. I have never been there.
I'm from Minneapolis and the population of Minneapolis is similar in about 1/6 the space.
You should visit. It's a quick drive, you could watch us beat up on the Twins and marvel at what Minneapolis would be like if it had more character and less good sense.
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Chicago
2,357 posts, read 2,012,452 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.davis View Post
Depends on when you would cut off the annexations. 1900? 1920? 1940?
When did they take off in earnest? Or have they been slow and steady additions?
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:07 PM
 
Location: South St. Paul, Minnesota
32 posts, read 22,935 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by s.davis View Post
You should visit. It's a quick drive, you could watch us beat up on the Twins and marvel at what Minneapolis would be like if it had more character and less good sense.
Or I could watch Karl Anthony Towns, Andrew
Wiggins and the rest of the Timberwolves beat up on the... Oh wait
Never mind
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:09 PM
 
1,298 posts, read 984,056 times
Reputation: 658
Quote:
Originally Posted by PerseusVeil View Post
Do you happen to know what KC's population would have been today had it not annexed land?
It's a bit of a false dichotomy to compare "annexation happy" cities with the other kind. Every big city had some kind of annexation boom in its history, otherwise they would never have topped 1 square mile. It's more a question of when they annexed, how much they annexed, and when they stopped annexing.

There's also the question of what happened to that land after it was annexed. Did people set out to develop it right away? Or did it sit vacant for decades, serving more to hamper development than encourage it?
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:09 PM
 
Location: South St. Paul, Minnesota
32 posts, read 22,935 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by s.davis View Post
Depends on when you would cut off the annexations. 1900? 1920? 1940?
I would be interested in seeing photos of urban Kansas City. I would also like to know what the city population in its core is and the square milage.
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