• Ongoing coronavirus / COVID-19 discussion: how is the pandemic affecting your community, workplace, and wellness? 🦠

    Working from home? So are we. Come join us! Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing.

Kansas City MO vs Cleveland OH

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,816
Points
69
Dan's old home versus Dan's new home.

Cities and metro regions have about the same population.

Chiefs vs Browns ...gloves off ... start fighting!
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Well, I have only been to Cleveland once, and KC three times. I spent a great deal of time in the KC area last year, on a couple of trips to interview for jobs. Mostly, I came away disappointed with the place. Some of the surrounding countryside is nice, and there are some good neighborhoods in the city or region, but overall it struck me as having little desirable character. Both KC and Cleveland have bad neighborhoods, for instance, but I can look at a bad neighborhood in Cleveland and see some things worth preserving and rehabbing, whereas I mostly thought the bad areas in KC should be torn down to start over. Add to that Cleveland's better climate and the proximity to the lake, and I think Cleveland even beats KC on setting alone.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
Its been awhile.

Cleveland:

Much more interesting suburban towns (Cardinal's point about "character"). Kansas City felt more "generic." Of course, I was comparing KC to St Louis on that trip-so it may be unfair.

Great setting on the lake and all. The countryside to the east of Cleveland was beautiful. Proximity to even more interesting countryside-the hill country of western Pennsylvania, and the like. I need terrain. Kansas City borders Kansas (sorry, EG) Though, the Missouri River Valley is lovely, of course.

Shaker Heights has to be one of the more beautiful early 20th century "planned suburbs" if you like that kind of thing.

The Arcade was pretty cool. I like downtown overall better.

Kansas City:

More "nice" neighborhoods in the City Limits. Is there really any place nice in the city limits of Cleveland? I tend to agree with Dan's characterization when he was comparing Buffalo and Cleveland. There is nothing in Cleveland like the whole southern part of Kansas City-all those fountains and boulevards are pretty cool.

Country Club Village-the original "lifestyle center" real tile and stucco instead of fake foam build-ups that look bad.

In the end, I would have to give Cleveland the nod, because of location and setting.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,816
Points
69
Some of my thoughts:

Natural setting: Kansas City is set in gently rolling hills and prairie. Cleveland's topography is a little bit flater, but there's the North Ridge, and Lake Erie right nearby. Winner: Cleveland

Economy: Kansas City is growing, and is the home to several Fortune 500 companies. Cleveland also has corporate headquarters, but its economy is less diverse than that of KCs. Cleveland has no real edge cities, either; they can be an indicator of the economic prosperity of a region. Winner: Kansas City

Downtown: Both cities have hurting downtowns, but Cleveland still has a vibrant theater district, the clubs and lofts of the Warehouse District, and the struggling yet still viable party scene down in the Flats. Cleveland also has retail in Tower City, and scattered throughout downtown. Downtown Kansas City has some limited loft development, but is otherwise a poster child for dead downtowns. Winner: Cleveland.

City proper: Kansas City has the Country Club Plaza, healthy middle-class and upper middle class neighborhoods, some gentrification, and tons of new development in the Northland. Cleveland doesn't have much of a middle class in the city limits; the East Side is still recovering from riots in the 1960s, and the West Side is still mostly working-class. Winner: Kansas City.

Suburbs: In Kansas City, the majority of suburbs either have a Denver/Phoenix-like planned community feel (Overland Park, Olathe, Leawood, Lenexa, Shawnee), or they're places where you can smell the meth cooking a mile away (Independence, Blue Springs, Raytown, KCK). Cleveland's suburbs, with the exception of the City of East Cleveland, are demographically all over the map, and they seem universally pleasant. There are nice urban suburbs (Cleveland Heights, Lakewood), upscale old-money towns (Shaker Heights, Rocky River), large estate communities (Pepper Pike, Hunting Valley, Kirtland Hills), comfy middle-middle towns (Lyndhurst, South Euclid, University Heights), new-money towns (Beachwood, Solon, Concord), and not-too-bad working class burgs (Euclid, Parma, Garfield Heights). There's ethnic variety; reform Jewish Beachwood, orthodox Jewish University Heights, Slavic Seven Hills, Italian Wickliffe, Italian and Jewish Lyndhurst, Polish Parma, African-American Warrensville Heights, gay Lakewood, integrated-and-proud-of-it Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights. Winner: Cleveland.

Culture: Simply stated, Cleveland wipes the floor with Kansas City. Old money, old money culture, museums galore, lots of colleges and universities, and a huge cultural center around University Circle.

Recreation: Lake Erie, Metroparks, and skiing nearby versus ... uhh, the Ozarks are a few hours away. Cleveland.

Food: No need for discussion here ... Kansas City. Restaurants, BBQ ... the options are endless, and the quality is outstanding. Cleveland could do better.
 

bocian

Cyburbian
Messages
212
Points
9
That's an easy one, Dan.
Of course it's Cleveland all the way... Architecture, mass transit, history of community planning in their planning department, rocknroll hall of fame, music scene, museums, ethnic neighborhoods, the lake, proximity to detroit, toledo, colombus, pittsburgh, toronto, etc...

kansas city seems undistinguishable from any other huge sprawl "city." although their "paris"-style boulevards can appeal to folks in vehicles - but not really to pedestrians..

ps. harder choice in the same states: see my thread cinncinati vs. st.louis...
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,523
Points
23
I've never been to either City so I have to rely on running dog capitalist western media to conclude that Kansas has Toto but Cleveland rocks.

Winner, Cleveland.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
KCgridlock said:
None of you know what the hell you are talking about.

I have never been to either city, so I'm not commenting. But if there is a dissenting opinion here, could you fill the rest of us in as to the reasons behind your opinion? The rest of us would learn more that way.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,889
Points
26
vistors impresssions

KCgridlock said:
None of you know what the hell you are talking about.

Remebering that a visitors impression is usually dramatically different from a citizens impression, please inform us of the positives you've realized from living in/near KC.

I've only been to KC for a White Sox/ Royals 3 game series in the early 90s. I didn't see much of the city beyound a train station, a shopping mall, and the sports complex.

I did however, walk from the Adams Mark hotel to Royals Stadium, and that is a plus in the KC column!

Havn't been to Cleveland...or east of Indianapolis for that matter.

edited to fix expression/impression error
 
Last edited:

KCgridlock

Member
Messages
33
Points
2
Photo album of KC:

http://imageevent.com/kcgridlock

Some StL guy is totally clueless, this happens often, getting someone from StL to open their eyes up and enjoy KC is like pulling teeth, they just refuse to accept the fact the KC and StL are about the same thing, StL has more suburbs and that’s about it. I like StL though.

Bringing Toto in the argument? Get a map. Everything that is KC is in Missouri. There is one blue collar suburban county (Wyandotte) and a white collar suburban county (Johnson) in Kansas.

KC has nice burbs all the way around the city and for those who don't want the blandness and boring terrain that Overland Park and Olathe offer, kc has some very nice suburbs in the north and east parts of town that are set in scenery few outside of KC would ever image exist in KC. Sure Parts of Independence and KCK are run down and might have meth labs, but every city has run down areas. Parts of Independence and KCK are pretty nice too. And I am glad you were in KC long enough to learn all these stereotypes, sounds like you spent too much time in Overland Park. Fact is there are more upscale homes in Missouri than Kansas, they are just all over the place where in Johnson County, the are in one big concentrated area.

Urban neighborhoods? KC has plenty of really cool urban neighborhoods like Valentine, Hyde Park, South Plaza, West Plaza, Westport, Midtown and more, not to mention three big urban centers in Crown Center, Plaza and Downtown all of which are adding urban condos and lofts faster than just about any comparable city in the country. Not to mention new large loft and condo districts popping up in River Market, Crossroads etc.

KC’s biggest drawback has been Downtown being dead after hours. The biggest reason for this is KC has Crown Center and the Plaza. The Plaza has more going for it than most cities Downtown do. But in the next few years over 3 Billion dollars worth of construction will be going on in Downtown alone, it will be simply incredible and with a Bus Rapid Transit line connecting Downtown all the way to the Plaza via Crown Center and Midtown, KC’s urban core will rival cities twice it’s size.

Culture? KC has more than any of you will ever know. KC is an arts community. Between the Nelson expansion, the Performing Arts Center and other venues like Kemper Modern Art, KC Ballet, the city has raised several hundred million in private money alone for new construction. KC has lots of live theater in several very popular venues. Events like the Plaza art fair which is one of the largest and most respected in the country to First Fridays where the entire Crossroads art district opens into the streets, KC has plenty of culture.

Museums and History? Same deal…KC has restored it’s Liberty Memorial into a fascinating museum. The city also has unique and interesting museums like the Negro League Baseball Museum and Jazz Museum, the Steamboat Arabia and of course the Nelson Gallery, one of the top art museums in the nation if not world. And places like Union Station and all the other art deco buildings and towers that have or are going to be restored are incredible.

Speaking of art and culture, have you really notice how many fountains and public art KC has? It’s a lot especially for the size of the city.

KC has major league sports and will soon spend hundreds of millions renovating the twin stadiums and another few hundred million on a new Downtown arena that should expand our sports scene even more in not only major leagues but also big-time college games and tournaments.

Anyway there is a reason KC is growing faster than Cleveland and St.Louis in both urban and suburban growth and I think KC is just getting started.

BTW, I have been to Cleveland and just about every other major city in North America. I like Cleveland too, but wouldn’t want to live there.
 

JivecitySTL

Cyburbian
Messages
115
Points
6
When it comes to size, prominence, economy, etc., KC vs. Cincinnati would be a better comparison, as would St. Louis vs. Cleveland.

KC has a metro of 1.9 million
Cincinnati has a metro of 2.0 million

Cleveland has a metro of 2.9 million
St. Louis has a metro of 2.7 million

KCgridlock-- I disagree with your statement that "KC and STL are about the same thing, STL just has more suburbs, that's about it." Come on, STL has many more options than KC when it comes to urban living. KC is not built nearly as dense or historic as St. Louis. St. Louis has more urban and suburban attributes than Kansas City. That is a fact.

As for Cleveland vs. KC-- I think Kansas City is a more aesthetically pleasing city, but Cleveland is so much bigger, it's not even fair to compare. There are 1 million more people in Cleveland.
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,523
Points
23
KCgridlock said:
...Bringing Toto in the argument? Get a map.
Sorry if I annoyed you - poorly researched attempt at humour. You could fix all the confusion if you just renamed all cities that use state names other than their own state. Cleveland still wins because they are more polite.
 

KCgridlock

Member
Messages
33
Points
2
Rem said:
Sorry if I annoyed you - poorly researched attempt at humour. You could fix all the confusion if you just renamed all cities that use state names other than their own state. Cleveland still wins because they are more polite.

Sorry pet peve of mine, we are nice too ;).

Jive, come on I know the cities are bigger than KC but you really don't notice it. Regardless most cities are about the same thing till you get into the real big cities. Cleveland is bigger but KC has more potential and is a more desirable place to live now and will be for quite some time. Like StL the gap is closing. But I go to StL all the time and even though it's an awesome town, it's not that different than KC.

I'm just defending KC, I'm not saying any city is better than the other.
 

Miles Ignatius

Cyburbian
Messages
368
Points
12
That Fire's Been Out For A Long Time

Yes, it was the Cuyahoga River, which snakes its way through a formerly intensive industrial area on its way to Lake Erie which caught on fire in 1969. But since then, the EPA and deindustrialization have brought that type of occurance to an end...thankfully!

Now, if they can find a way to get the jobs back without the sludge......
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
Bullymag.com just released their completely subjective list of the Ten worst cities in America and Cleveland, along with the rest of Ohio, didn't fare too well.

As for Cleveland vs. KC... well, I can't give an honest opinion because I was 16 when I drove through KC and really didn't get to see anything other than the skyline. And upon moving to Pittsburgh I was forced to sign a contract stating that I would never say anything positive about Cleveland. ;-)


EDIT: I looked around the bullymag.com website a little more and found some language and tasteless humor that may not be work safe. Just something to be aware of if your employer is strict.
 
Last edited:

bestnightmare

Cyburbian
Messages
61
Points
4
Great photo page, KCGridlock. I've never been to KC and never really thought much of it one way or another, but the photos of neighborhoods like Old Hyde Park seem to demonstrate that bastions of pedestrian-scale urbanity are alive and well in KC. Were these neighborhoods always in pretty good shape, or were places like Hyde Park gentrified more recently, invaded by latte-sipping yuppies?

Cleveland...has very nice suburbs and shiny sports stadiums. The city's neighborhoods could use some TLC though.
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,496
Points
27
Not having spent much time in either location, I would have to give my nod to Kansas City. Cleveland, although wrong, conjures up images of a dirty, run down steel town. Before you chastise, me, I know that is a wrong assumption. As far as the Cleveland name goes, I do play with (Roger) Cleveland golf clubs.:)

 
Top