The Kansas Chapter of the American Planning Association has recognized Downtown Overland Park as a Great Place in Kansas.
Great Places awards recognize gold standards in planning and highlight neighborhoods, streets and public spaces that make communities stronger and bring people together.
Downtown Overland Park, through several decades of successful urban planning and support from the Overland Park Governing Body, Downtown Overland Park merchants, shoppers, neighbors and others, has become a cultural centerpiece of Overland Park.
“Today, Downtown Overland Park is a destination. Just mention Downtown Overland Park in metropolitan Kansas City and you are likely to encounter people who are familiar with its increasing appeal, vibrancy and artistic presence,” said Mayor Curt Skoog. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done downtown and look forward to continuing to support this wonderful neighborhood.”
The Great Places award highlights long-term vision and guidance for development initiated by urban planning, including:
- Adoption of the Vision Metcalf plan in 2008;
- Establishment of a form-based code for Downtown Overland Park in 2011;
- Addition of new office, housing and retail space;
- Improving a street network that accommodates vehicles, public transit, cyclists and pedestrians;
- Promotion of public art;
- Creating pedestrian-friendly spaces, such as Thompson Park;
- Consideration of the future of the Overland Park Farmers’ Market pavilion;
- Development of community partnerships, including the Downtown Overland Park Partnership; and more.
City staff accepted the APA Kansas award at the APA’s ceremony during the 2022 Kansas Planning Conference in October at the Cyrus Hotel in Topeka, and shared the award with the City Council at tonight’s meeting.
Past Great Places Kansas award winners include Massachusetts Street in Lawrence and Old Town in Kansas.