Abby Kinney and Dennis Strait: People-Centered Urban Planning

In this episode, we’re joined by two Strong Towns advocates, architect Dennis Strait and planner Abby Kinney. Both work at the firm Gould Evans, based in Kansas City, MO. You may know Abby because she hosts one of our other podcasts: Upzoned, where she and Strong Towns founder Charles Marohn, discuss a topic from the week’s news with a Strong Towns lens. 

Abby and Dennis have been fighting the good fight in Kansas City for many years now, and they—along with their colleagues and partner organizations like Urban3, the Incremental Development Alliance and, of course, Strong Towns—have helped move Kansas City in a positive direction.

Like many communities, it’s a city that has lost population over the last several decades, and is struggling to regain its financial footing. As Dennis states in our conversation, the problems facing this community—overbuilt and overextended infrastructure, chronic disinvestment in the urban core, redlining and exclusion, fault financial planning—took decades to put in place. So they’re going to take decades to undo. But Abby and Dennis are in it for the long haul.  

Through concerted and creative efforts to know their neighbors, listen to resident concerns and educate people on the city’s trajectory, these planning professionals are going against the grain and fighting for the city they love.

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