Kansas City's comprehensive plan
FOCUS (Forging Our Comprehensive Urban Strategy) is Kansas City's Comprehensive Plan. The City of Kansas City, Missouri and its residents partnered to develop an action plan the entire community can support. Its goal is to make Kansas City a thriving, people-centered community and a successful model for other American cities to follow in the future.
FOCUS Kansas City started in 1992 under Mayor Emanuel Cleaver. Kansas City, like many other American cities, was facing a variety of issues such as urban poverty, blight, and shifts in the structure of the economy. Recognizing that short term solutions to these problems would not provide adequate long term benefits, the Mayor and City Council embarked on a process to identify long-term strategies to address neighborhoods, jobs, education, the expenditure of public funds, and other issues important to our citizens and to our city. The result is the FOCUS Plan, a comprehensive and integrated plan to guide the future of Kansas City.
Thousands of citizens participated in the making of the FOCUS Kansas City Plan. During the planning phase, participants organized into 12 perspective groups to work through key issues facing Kansas City. The process revealed that the groups shared many common values with one another. These common values became the foundation of the Vision for the Future and the Principles for Policy.
Citizens participated in the implementation of the plan as well. Citizens and civic leaders were organized into seven work teams, consisting of 30 to 40 citizens, to develop strategic implementation plans for the vision and policies. A Community Advisory Team supported the work teams, and each work team received support from a consultant and a staff planner. More than 3,000 citizens loaned countless hours to complete this important phase of the plan, making FOCUS a true community based planning effort.
FOCUS vision for the future
"We, as Kansas Citians, envision our city as a people-centered community. From economic development to the readability of street signs, we consider people first. Kansas City shapes and guarantees its future by examining first and foremost the impact of every decision on future generations.
We, as Kansas Citians, are full of hope. We demonstrate this hope through our investment in our families, our homes, or neighborhoods, our schools, our businesses and our city."
FOCUS principles for policy
- Reaffirm and Revitalize the Urban Core
- Advance and Encourage Quality Suburban Development
- Plan for a Well Designed City Framework
- Strengthen Neighborhoods
- Ensure Environmental Stewardship
- Create a Secure City
- Respect Diversity
- Advance Education, Culture and the Arts
- Develop Jobs for the Future
- Create Opportunity
- Create a Better Future for Our Young People
Plans and reports
Many action steps recommended in the FOCUS plan have already been carried out. The Implementation Achievements
document lists many of them, including renovation of the Liberty Memorial, a transit center at 39th and Troost, revision of the zoning ordinance, the Clean Sweep program, a bicycle master plan, the Riverfront Heritage Trail, the Downtown Streetscape Plan, and multiple neighborhood, corridor, and development plans.
FOCUS Component Plans
The FOCUS Component Plans outline the vision, goals, and action steps for the future of Kansas City:
FOCUS Building Blocks
The FOCUS Building Blocks are core elements that will lead to a thriving, people-centered community. These building blocks formed the source material for the construction of the component plans. They include:
Neighborhood Self-Assessment Process
The Neighborhood Self-Assessment Process allowed residents to evaluate their own neighborhoods and classify them as one of four different categories depending on their condition: conservation, stabilization, developing, and redevelopment. Residents also identified priorities for improvement by developing "to do" lists for the City, neighborhood, and neighborhood parnters.