Streetcars Are More Than Transportation in an Urban Environment
They connect isolated districts, stimulate economic development and help transform an aging metropolis into a 21st-century smart city. In Kansas City, Missouri, that vision became reality when voters approved construction of a 2.2-mile streetcar for the city’s downtown.
“In their quest to make Kansas City a smart city, local leaders envisioned a streetcar system that would connect riders, both physically and digitally, to everything their city has to offer,” says David Rowe, strategic consultant for Burns & McDonnell. “But updating a busy downtown region with a streetcar is no simple task.” Kansas City’s smart city implementation is among the most comprehensive in North America, going beyond the streetcar to include street lighting, video sensors and interactive digital kiosks with smart city Wi-Fi along the streetcar corridor.