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Watch: "At the Corner of the Future: Kansas City's World Building Pilot" | 4:59

At the corner of the future

What happens when a diverse cross-section of a community works together to “build” a future of their city – one intersection at a time?

At the corner of Linwood Boulevard and Troost Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri, there is an empty lot. A mural painted in black and white. A Family Dollar store. There is a boarded-up building with a bus stop out front and a discount restaurant equipment warehouse that used to be a showcase Firestone Building in the 1930’s.

There is east of Troost and west of Troost – and there isn’t a city in America that segregation didn’t scar in that same way.

A Kansas City resident uses a virtual reality prototype at Future 20, June 2018. | El Torreon KC + David K. Pugh
A Kansas City resident uses a virtual reality prototype at Future 20, June 2018. Venue: El Torreon KC. Photo by: David K. Pugh.

But what if a truly diverse cross-section of people, with a wide range of perspectives, discovered a common set of ideas? If taken together, they could form the basis of a future for all of us – for an inclusive community. What would this intersection, this city, look like in 20 years?

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation organized a two-day workshop focused on capturing local residents’ response to that question. Facilitated by Pigeon Hole Productions, 15 Kansas Citians were asked to shake off perceived limitations, and work with their fellow citizens to “World Build.”

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