Three UMKC Students Place in Urban Planning + Design Competition

The project looked at redeveloping a popular intersection in Kansas City

Three seniors studying Urban Planning and Design at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Science and Engineering won the Nichols Student Prize for work on a fictional redesign of a Kansas City corridor.

The Nichols Student Prize recognizes students for developing innovative urban designs and developments as part of the UMKC Urban Planning + Design Program. This year, students were tasked with examing development at Main Street and Linwood Boulevard, a major corner along the extension of the KC Streetcar south line from Union Station to Westport.

Tianna Morton won the top prize for her design, "The Garden District." Morton's development focused on removing big-box retailers and instead replaced them with a mix of housing types and a new park.

"I felt that in place of Costco and Home Depot, what would benefit growth and promote accessible homeownership would be the addition of a new neighborhood," Morton said. "The neighborhood would consist of tiny homes, small single-family homes, duplexes and a small apartment building to accommodate a myriad of people."

Morton said the project was exciting for her as she used to live in Midtown near the fictional project's location.

"When it was announced that I had won, I was surprised and grateful," Morton said. "All the students proposed wonderful, creative and thoughtful projects."

In addition to Morton's win, Jazmin Bustos and Luke Bertram both took home second place in the competition.

The jury was impressed with Bustos's inclusion of community institutions, like a childcare facility and a library, as part of her plan for the site. Bertram's "appealing sense of urbanism" for a public square helped him place.

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Published: Jul 19, 2022

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