|Kansas City metropolitan area
|Kansas City, MO-KS
|Coordinates: 39°06?N 94°35?W / 39.1°N 94.58°W
|| - Missouri
||Kansas City, Missouri
|| - Overland Park
- Kansas City, Kansas
- Lee's Summit
- Blue Springs
- Bonner Springs
- De Soto
| o Total
||8,472 sq mi (21,940 km2)
||1,1601 ft (353.51 m)
||6901 ft (210.31 m)
| o Total
| o Rank
||30th MSA (2,087,471), 24th CSA (2,428,362) in the U.S.
| o Density
||260.0/sq mi (100.4/km2)
The Kansas City metropolitan area is a 15-county metropolitan area anchored by Kansas City, Missouri, that straddles the border between the U.S. states of Missouri and Kansas. With a population of about 2,340,000, it ranks as the second largest metropolitan area with its core in Missouri (after Greater St. Louis). Alongside Kansas City, the area includes a number of other cities and suburbs, the largest being Overland Park, Kansas; Kansas City, Kansas; Olathe, Kansas; and Independence, Missouri; each over 100,000 in population. The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) serves as the Council of Governments and the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the area.
Kansas City satellite map. The larger Missouri River
is zigzagging from west to east; the much smaller Kansas
is approaching from the south and joins it at Kaw Point
. Kansas City, Missouri, is located immediately south of their intersection; North Kansas City, Missouri, is to its northeast; and Kansas City, Kansas, is to the west.
The larger Kansas City Metropolitan Area as seen on a map can be visualized roughly as four quadrants:
The map's northeast quadrant is locally referred to as "north of the river" or "the Northland". It includes parts of Clay County, Missouri including North Kansas City, Missouri. North Kansas City is bounded by a bend in the Missouri River that defines a border between Wyandotte County, Kansas and Clay County, Missouri running approximately North-South and a border between North Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Missouri running approximately East-West. The river band's sharpest part forms a peninsula containing the Kansas City Downtown Airport.
The southeast quadrant includes Kansas City, Missouri and surrounding areas in Missouri. It includes the notorious Grandview Triangle.
The southwest quadrant includes all of Johnson County, Kansas, which includes the towns in the area known as Shawnee Mission, Kansas. Interstate 35 runs diagonally through Johnson County, Kansas from the southwest to downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
The northwest quadrant contains Wyandotte County, Kansas and parts of Platte County, Missouri. Wyandotte County, Kansas, sometimes referred to as just Wyandotte, which contains Kansas City, Kansas, Bonner Springs, Kansas and Edwardsville, Kansas is governed by a single unified government. Often the Wyandotte government is referred to simply as "The Unified Government". Another bend in the Missouri River forms the county line between Wyandotte County, Kansas and Platte County, Missouri to the north and northeast.
Divisions of the Kansas City metropolitan area
Downtown almost always refers to downtown Kansas City, Missouri. Downtown is the Kansas City's historic center, located entirely within Kansas City, Missouri, and containing the city's original town site, business districts and residential neighborhoods. Downtown is bounded by the Missouri River on the north, the Missouri-Kansas state line on the west, 31st Street on the south and the Blue River on the east. The downtown area includes the Central Business District and its buildings, which form the city's skyline. The downtown loop is formed by Interstates 670, 70 and 35. Within the downtown loop are many of the tall buildings and skyscrapers that make up the city's skyline. Also within the downtown loop are small, distinct neighborhoods such as Quality Hill, the Garment District, the Financial District, the Convention Center District, and the Power and Light District.
Other neighborhoods within downtown are the River Market and Columbus Park, both located between the downtown loop and the Missouri River. Between the downtown loop and the state line are the Westside neighborhood and the West Bottoms, located at the bottom of the bluff adjacent to Kaw Point. East of the loop are the 18th & Vine District, the North Bottoms, East Bottoms, Northeast, and Pendleton Heights. South of the loop is the Crossroads District, Union Hill, Crown Center, Hospital Hill, Longfellow, Wendell Phillips, and Washington Wheatley.
The Kansas City Convention Center, Municipal Auditorium, City Hall, Lyric Theater, Midland Theatre, Ilus Davis Park, and Barney Allis Plaza are within the Central Business District inside the downtown loop. The Sprint Center and the College Basketball Experience are within Power & Light District, also within the downtown loop. The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is perched upon a high point immediately south of the downtown loop. South of the loop is the Crossroads District, Union Station, Crown Center, the National World War I Museum, Liberty Memorial, Penn Valley Park, Truman Medical Center, Children's Mercy Hospital, and the 18th & Vine District. North of the loop are City Market within the River Market and Richard L. Berkeley Riverfront Park. West of the loop within the West Bottoms are Kemper Arena and Hale Arena.
Midtown is entirely within Kansas City, Missouri, just south of downtown, and bounded by 31st Street on the north, the state line on the west, West Gregory Boulevard (71st Street) on the south, and Troost Avenue on the east. Midtown is the core of the metropolitan area, as it contains numerous cultural attractions, shopping and entertainment areas, large hospitals, universities, and the metro area's most densely populated neighborhoods.
Midtown consists of numerous distinct and historic neighborhoods such as Westport, Hyde Park, and Southmoreland. Shopping is centered on the Country Club Plaza, which contains numerous luxury retailers, hotels, and restaurants. Brookside and Westport also contain smaller-scale, neighborhood-oriented, and niche-market retailers. Midtown is home to Saint Luke's Hospital and Research Medical Center. Cultural attractions include the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Uptown Theater, Starlight Theater, the Kansas City Zoo, Loose Park, and Swope Park. The last of these contains a soccer complex that is home to FC Kansas City of the National Women's Soccer League and the Swope Park Rangers, a United Soccer League team that is the official reserve side for the area's Major League Soccer club, Sporting Kansas City. Major educational institutions include the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Rockhurst University, Kansas City Art Institute, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Midwest Research Institute, and Penn Valley Community College.
South Side of the Metro (or "South KC")
Also known as "South Kansas City", this area consists of the southern half of Kansas City, Missouri, as well as the suburbs of Grandview, Harrisonville, Belton, Loch Lloyd, Peculiar and Raymore.
The Northland is the area north of the Missouri River, bordered by the Kansas state line on the west and Missouri Highway 291 on the east. The southern half of Platte County, and much of Clay County make up the area. The economy of the Northland is dominated by Kansas City International Airport, Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant, the Zona Rosa shopping community and three riverboat casinos. The metro area's largest amusement park, Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun, is located in the Northland. Communities of the Northland outside the city limits include Parkville, Kearney, Liberty, Platte City, Gladstone , Riverside, Smithville, North Kansas City, and Weatherby Lake.
East Side of the Metro ("Eastern Jackson County")
East Side of the Metro is primarily eastern Jackson County which is an area of the Kansas City Metro that contains the far-eastern urban side of Kansas City, Missouri and the following large suburbs of Blue Springs, Independence, and Lee's Summit. Also included in this area is western Lafayette County Missouri and the far northeast portion of Cass County Missouri. The East Side of Metro includes the following Missouri suburbs of Independence, Blue Springs, Raytown, Lees Summit, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, Sugar Creek, River Bend, Lake Lotawana, Lone Jack, Greenwood, Unity Village, Buckner, Pleasant Hill, Bates City, Odessa, and Lake Tapawingo. Arrowhead Stadium, home of the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs and Kauffman Stadium, home of the MLB's Kansas City Royals are located on the eastern edge of Kansas City. The Silverstein Eye Centers Arena home of the ECHL's Missouri Mavericks and the MASL's Missouri Comets is located in Independence.
KCK and Johnson County
In Wyandotte County lies Kansas City, Kansas, which is locally called "KCK" to distinguish it from the larger Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO). It contains many residential neighborhoods, the Fairfax Industrial District, and the Village West entertainment district. The General Motors Fairfax Assembly Plant is located in the Fairfax Industrial District. Village West contains many area attractions. This includes many sporting venues such as Children's Mercy Park, home of the area MLS soccer team Sporting Kansas City, the Kansas Speedway, which hosts many NASCAR races, and Community America Ballpark, home of the independent baseball team, the Kansas City T-Bones. Other Village West attractions include the Legends shopping district, the Providence Medical Center Amphitheater, and Schlitterbahn Waterpark.
Johnson County, Kansas is home to many local suburbs. These suburbs include Overland Park, Olathe, Shawnee, Leawood, Lenexa, Prairie Village, Gardner, Merriam, Mission, Roeland Park, Fairway, Lake Quivira, Mission Hills, Mission Woods, Westwood, and Westwood Hills. Many local area attractions and shopping districts are located in Johnson County, such as Oak Park Mall, Town Center Plaza, and Prairie Fire.
||Chicago & Alton Hotel Museum
||The oldest business building in Blue Springs, Missouri. In 1978, the hotel, which originally served the railroad, moved from the original site, just south of Main Street, to its present location.
||Dillingham-Lewis House Museum
||Built in 1906, the only native limestone structure in Blue Springs. The house is named after two families.
||Fort Osage National Historic Site
||Part of the early 19th century U.S. factory trading post system for the Osage Nation.
||Jackson County Jail and Marshal's House
||Former jail site, operated by the county historical society, which housed thousands of prisoners including Frank James and William Clark Quantrill.
||Leila's Hair Museum
||A museum of hair art dating back to the 19th century.
||Lone Jack Battlefield Museum
||The only Civil War Museum in Jackson County, Missouri, and one of the few battlefields where the soldiers - who perished during the battle - are still buried on the battlefield.
||Midwest Genealogy Center
||The largest freestanding public genealogy research library in the USA.
||National Frontier Trails Museum
||A museum, interpretive center, and research library about the history of principle western U.S. trails.
||Home built on the Santa Fe Trail in 1844 by Archibald Rice and his family.
||Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
||A 5,800-seat multi-purpose arena that hosts the Missouri Mavericks ice hockey team.
||Harry S. Truman Historic District
||Independence and Grandview
||Truman Sports Complex
||Two major sports venues:
* Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City Chiefs (football)
* Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City Royals (baseball)
||Kansas City, KS
||A home built in 1857 by one of the earliest settlers.
In recent years, the Kansas City metropolitan area has been experiencing continued growth. Between July 2000 and July 2007, the population of the Kansas City MSA grew from 1,842,965 to an estimated 2,037,357, an increase of 10%.
- Anchor city
- Municipalities with 100,000+ inhabitants
- Municipalities with 50,000-99,999 inhabitants
- Municipalities with 20,000-49,999 inhabitants
- Leavenworth, Kansas - Pop: 35,980
- Leawood, Kansas - Pop: 34,579
- Liberty, Missouri - Pop: 30,450
- Raytown, Missouri - Pop: 29,401
- Gladstone, Missouri - Pop: 26,861
- Grandview, Missouri - Pop: 25,256
- Belton, Missouri - Pop: 23,168
- Prairie Village, Kansas - Pop: 21,877
- Gardner, Kansas - Pop: 20,868
- Raymore, Missouri - Pop: 20,374
- Municipalities with 10,000-19,999 inhabitants
- Grain Valley, Missouri - Pop: 13,379
- Ottawa, Kansas - Pop: 12,387
- Lansing, Kansas - Pop: 11,767
- Excelsior Springs, Missouri - Pop: 11,486
- Merriam, Kansas - Pop: 11,288
- Municipalities with 5,000-9,999 inhabitants
- Harrisonville, Missouri - Pop: 9,986
- Cameron, Missouri (partial) - Pop: 9,933
- Mission, Kansas - Pop: 9,491
- Kearney, Missouri - Pop: 9,423
- Smithville, Missouri - Pop: 9,233
- Pleasant Hill, Missouri - Pop: 8,289
- Oak Grove, Missouri - Pop: 7,937
- Bonner Springs, Kansas - Pop: 7,606
- Roeland Park, Kansas - Pop: 6,827
- Parkville, Missouri - Pop: 6,296
- De Soto, Kansas - Pop: 6,074
- Spring Hill, Kansas - Pop: 5,981
- Richmond, Missouri - Pop: 5,595
- Greenwood, Missouri - Pop: 5,569
- Paola, Kansas - Pop: 5,527
- Basehor, Kansas - Pop: 5,403
- Tonganoxie, Kansas - Pop: 5,248
- Odessa, Missouri - Pop: 5,178
- Municipalities with 1-4,999 inhabitants
- Peculiar, Missouri - Pop: 4,885
- Platte City, Missouri - Pop: 4,833
- Higginsville, Missouri - Pop: 4,662
- Lexington, Missouri - Pop: 4,598
- Edwardsville, Kansas - Pop: 4,390
- North Kansas City, Missouri - Pop: 4,354
- Osawatomie, Kansas - Pop: 4,297
- Louisburg, Kansas - Pop: 4,276
- Fairway, Kansas - Pop: 3,970
- Mission Hills, Kansas - Pop: 3,601
- Sugar Creek, Missouri - Pop: 3,320
- Riverside, Missouri - Pop: 3,150
- Buckner, Missouri - Pop: 3,067
- Pleasant Valley, Missouri - Pop: 3,056
- Lawson, Missouri - Pop: 2,409
- Plattsburg, Missouri - Pop: 2,291
- Lake Lotawana, Missouri - Pop: 2,018
- Weatherby Lake, Missouri - Pop: 1,848
- Wellsville, Kansas - Pop: 1,818
- Edgerton, Kansas - Pop: 1,736
- Westwood, Kansas - Pop: 1,719
- Garden City, Missouri - Pop: 1,625
- Gower, Missouri (partial) - Pop: 1,526
- Claycomo, Missouri - Pop: 1,468
- Lone Jack, Missouri - Pop: 1,124
- Drexel, Missouri - Pop: 999
- Lake Tapawingo, Missouri - Pop: 723
- Glenaire, Missouri - Pop: 578
- Dearborn, Missouri (partial) - Pop: 496
- Avondale, Missouri - Pop: 440
- Osborn, Missouri (partial) - Pop: 423
- Sibley, Missouri - Pop: 356
- Oaks, Missouri - Pop: 129
- Unity Village, Missouri - Pop: 84
- Levasy, Missouri - Pop: 83
- Randolph, Missouri - Pop: 54
- River Bend, Missouri - Pop: 10
The MSA covers a total area of 7,952 sq mi (20,600 km2) including 97 sq mi (250 km2) of water.
Kansas City Metropolitan Statistical Area
Often associated with Kansas City, the cities of Lawrence, Kansas, and St. Joseph, Missouri, are identified as separate Metropolitan Statistical Areas.
The Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, Missouri-Kansas Combined Statistical Area, which encompasses the Kansas City MO-KS MSA, the Warrensburg, Missouri Micropolitan Statistical Area (µSA) (in Johnson County, Missouri), and the Atchison, Kansas µSA (in Atchison County, Kansas), covers a total area of 9,220 sq mi (23,900 km2) including 103 sq mi (270 km2) of water.
The Kansas City metropolitan area has more freeway lane miles per capita than any other large metropolitan area in the United States (over 27% more than the second-place Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex), over 50% more than the average American metro area, and nearly 75% more than the large metro area with the least: Las Vegas.
The Kansas City area is a confluence of four major U.S. interstate highways:
Other interstates that cross through the area include:
- - A bi-state loop through the city's suburbs in Missouri and Kansas. It is the second-longest single-numbered beltway in the U.S., and the fourth-longest in the world.
- - Connects South Kansas City with Lee's Summit and Independence.
- - Connects the Kansas suburbs with Kansas City, Kansas, and I-29, I-70, and I-35.
- - A southern bypass of I-70 and the southern portion of the downtown loop. The roadway is designated on road signs as East I-70, when exiting from I-35 while traveling north.
U.S. Highways serving the Kansas City Metro Area include:
- - Running from Independence Ave. and Winner Rd., between downtown Kansas City and Independence, Missouri, it serves as a street-level connection to Independence.
- - U.S. 40 is one of six east-west U.S.-numbered routes that run (or ran) from coast to coast. It serves as a business loop and an alternate route for I-70.
- - Enters the area in southern Johnson County, follows I-435 from the west to I-470, then splits off of I-470 in Lee's Summit to continue eastward to Jefferson City and St. Louis as a regular highway. Its former route through Raytown and southeast Kansas City was renumbered as Route 350. U.S. 50 is also one of the six east-west highways that run coast-to-coast through the United States.
- - Enters the area concurrent with I-35 until the Shawnee Mission Parkway exit. It runs east along the Parkway into the Plaza area of Kansas City before terminating at US-71.
- - Connects Excelsior Springs, Missouri, in the north and serves as a freeway in the suburbs of Johnson County.
- - In the north, concurrent with I-29 to Amazonia, Missouri, and serves as a freeway (Bruce R. Watkins Drive) south from downtown, joining with I-49 at the Grandview Triangle.
- - Connects Smithville, Missouri, in the north.
Kansas state highways
Kansas highways in the area include:
- - A minor freeway bypassing the north of Kansas City, Kansas, connecting the GM Fairfax plant with I-635. K-5 continues as Leavenworth Road west to I-435 then on to Leavenworth, Kansas.
- - A freeway linking Leavenworth, Wyandotte and Johnson Counties in Kansas.
- - A freeway linking I-435 to De Soto, Eudora and Lawrence.
- - A highway that links Leavenworth and Wyandotte Counties in Kansas.
Missouri state highways
Missouri highways in the area include:
- - An important state highway serving the eastern suburbs of the metro. Primarily running north and south through Jackson and Cass Counties. Connecting the following communities: Independence, Blue Springs, Lake Lotawana, Pleasant Hill and Harrisonville. It is the commercial backbone for Blue Springs, Lake Lotawana and Pleasant Hill.
- - A minor freeway northwest of North Kansas City, and serves as a commercial backbone to North Kansas City, Riverside, Platte Woods and Parkville.
- - Known as Tom Watson Parkway in the Kansas City vicinity until it intersects with I-435, it is a highway that spans 42 miles from I-29/US-71 to US-59/MO-273 in Lewis & Clark Village, Missouri (right east of the larger city of Atchison, Kansas). It is also known as NW 64th Street from NW Klamm Drive to I-29/US-71. The highway runs through the northern part of Parkville, Missouri and across Riss Lake. The National Golf Course is located off of MO-45.
- - A state highway serving the southern suburbs of Belton and Raymore.
- - A highway linking southern Lee's Summit and Grandview to the Kansas suburbs at State Line Road.
- - A freeway contained entirely in Kansas City's Northland, stretching from Liberty in Clay County west until it intersects with I-435 near Parkville, Missouri.
- - A minor freeway east of North Kansas City that, as a two-lane road, stretches to Richmond, Missouri.
- - Formerly an eastern bypass route of U.S. 71, this minor freeway connects Harrisonville and Lee's Summit to Independence, Sugar Creek, Liberty and Kansas City North. The roadway is designated on road signs alongside I-470 north of Lee's Summit.
- - This road crosses through Raytown as Blue Parkway.
Other notable roads
Other notable roads in the area are:
- 18th Street Expressway - a freeway carrying US-69 through central Wyandotte County from I-35 to I-70.
- Ward Parkway - A scenic parkway in Kansas City, Missouri, near the Kansas-Missouri state line, where many large historic mansions and fountains are located.
- Broadway - A street that runs from the west side of downtown Kansas City to Westport. The street has long been an entertainment center, with various bars, live jazz outlets, and restaurants located along it. It also forms the eastern border of Quality Hill, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Kansas City.
- The Paseo - Part of the city's original system of parks and boulevards developed beginning in the late 1880s, it is the longest of the original boulevards, and the only one that runs the entire length of the pre-World War II city boundary, from the Missouri River bluffs in the north to 79th Street on the south.
- Shawnee Mission Parkway - Former alignment of K-10 serving the Johnson County, KS suburbs in the area.
- Troost Avenue - A north-south thoroughfare located 11 blocks east of Main Street, named for an early Kansas City settler and dentist, Benoist Troost. The street roughly divides the city's mostly black neighborhoods to its east from its mostly white ones to its west.
- Swope Parkway - Running on the south side of the Brush Creek valley eastward from The Paseo, then southward from its junction with Benton Boulevard, this street is the main route from the city's midtown to its largest city park, Swope Park.
- North Oak Trafficway - A major road located in the Northland. The roadway is designated as MO-283 from MO-9 to I-29. It is a major commercial road in the Northland and serves as the main street in Gladstone, Missouri.
- Barry Road - Runs along the former route of Military Road, which ran from Liberty to Fort Leavenworth. It is now a major commercial street in the Northland, although it has been paralleled by MO-152 for its entire route and effectively replaced it east of Indiana Avenue.
- 87th Street Parkway - a major parkway that extends from Overland Park to De Soto.
The Kansas City metropolitan area is served by several airports. It is primarily served by Kansas City International Airport, located 15 miles northwest of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, was built to serve as a world hub for the supersonic transport and Boeing 747. The airport's gates were positioned 100 feet (30 m) from the street; however, since the September 11, 2001 attacks, these have undergone expensive overhauls, retrofitting it to incorporate elements of conventional security systems.
The much smaller Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, located to the immediate north of downtown near the Missouri River, was the original headquarters of Trans World Airlines (TWA) and houses the Airline History Museum. It served as the area's major airport until 1972, when Kansas City International (then known as Mid-Continent International Airport and was home to an Overhaul Base for TWA) became the primary airport for the metropolitan area after undergoing $150 million in upgrades that were approved by voters in a 1966 bond issue. Downtown Airport is still used to this day for general aviation and airshows.
There are two general aviation airports in Johnson County, Kansas. New Century AirCenter borders southwest Olathe and northeast Gardner. The primary runway at New Century AirCenter is the second longest runway in the region next to those at Kansas City International Airport. It is located 7 miles from the Logistics Park Kansas City Intermodal Facility. The other airport, Johnson County Executive Airport has one runway on 500 acres and is the fourth busiest towered airport in the state of Kansas.
Rail and bus
Union Station serves as a hub for Amtrak, which maintains daily service by long-distance trains to and from Kansas City, Missouri.
Public transportation in the Kansas City area is only provided by city buses operated by the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA). The Metro Area Express (MAX) went online as Kansas City, Missouri's first bus rapid transit line in July 2005, and operates and is marketed akin to a rail system as opposed to a local bus line; the MAX links the River Market, Downtown, Union Station, Crown Center and the Country Club Plaza. Buses in Johnson County, Kansas, are operated by Johnson County Transit (known as "The JO").
The Kansas City Downtown Streetcar is a 2.2-mile modern streetcar line in downtown Kansas City opened to the public in May 2016, and is maintained and operated by the Kansas City Streetcar Authority, a non-profit corporation made up of private sector stakeholders and city appointees. A ballot initiative to fund construction of the $102 million line was approved by voters on December 12, 2012. The system will run between River Market and Union Station, mostly on Main Street, with extensions to the starter line planned for addition at a later date.
See related article: voy:Kansas City (Missouri) at Wikivoyage
The Missouri side of the metropolitan area shares a grid system with Johnson County on the Kansas side. Most east-west streets are numbered and most north-south streets named. Addresses on east-west streets are numbered from Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri, and on north-south streets from St. John Avenue (or the Missouri River, in the River Market area). The direction 'South' in street and address numbers is generally implied if 'North' is not specified, except for numbered 'avenues' in North Kansas City. In the northland, east-west streets use the prefix N.E. or N.W., depending on the side of N. Main on which they lie.
- Kansas Citians tend to express U.S. and Missouri highway designations with the number before the word "highway," (e.g., 40 highway, 71 highway). This colloquialism tends not to apply to interstates or Kansas route numbers (e.g., "I-70", "K-10").
- 69 Highway, known as "The Overland Parkway", runs southbound on I-35 from Kansas City, Missouri towards Johnson County. There are two exits marked South 69 on the roadway. The first - or northern - exit on Metcalf Ave/I-635, is a left lane exit and leads to Metcalf, an at-grade trafficway, before turning west along Shawnee Mission Parkway, to rejoin I-35. The southern US-69 exit is a two-lane right lane exit between the 75th and 87th street exits and begins a four-lane highway known as the Overland Parkway.
- Bruce R. Watkins Drive is the name of the new section of U.S. Route 71 in Kansas City, Missouri. The old U.S. 71 ran mostly on Prospect Avenue.
- When traveling north on I-35 from Johnson County, the first signs that are designated as I-70 East actually guide drivers through the southern portion of I-670, which takes motorists into the southern part of the Downtown Freeway Loop, and runs underneath the Bartle Hall Convention Center and some downtown overpasses. This is sometimes referred to as "going under downtown".
- The downtown freeway loop is a complex layout of freeways in downtown Kansas City, Missouri involving 23 exits, four Interstate highways, four U.S. highways and numerous city streets. Each exit in the freeway loop is numbered "2" and suffixed with every letter of the alphabet - except I, O and Z (which would resemble 1, 0 and 2 on the exit signs), although some of the exits are currently under construction/renovation and closed to traffic. The entire circumference of the loop is just over 4-mile (6.4 km).
- The KCTV-Tower is a 1,042 feet (318 m) pyramid-shaped television and radio tower used primarily by local CBS affiliate KCTV (channel 5). It is located at the corner of 31st and Main Streets, next to the studio facilities of PBS member station KCPT (which formerly housed the original studios of KCTV), and is visible from many parts of the city, especially at night due to the string of lights adorning the tower.
- The twin red-brick towers of the American Century Investments complex are oriented north and south along Main at 45th Street, just north of the Country Club Plaza (the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is located slightly east, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is located east and slightly south).
- Kansas City Community Christian Church, located at 4601 Main Street, has a group of lights that shoot a beam upwards to the sky at night. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1950s, it is located slightly south of and across the street from the American Century Investment Towers (the Nelson Atkins is located to the east, and the Kemper Museum is to the north and slightly east).
- Bartle Hall has a section that somewhat resembles a north-south suspension bridge, crossing over I-670 at the southwest corner of the downtown loop. It has four towers, with metal sculptures on top of each tower.
- The Veterans Affairs Medical Center, located near the intersection of I-70, Linwood Boulevard and Van Brunt Boulevard, has a large "VA" emblem.
- The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, located at 16th Street and Broadway (just south of the downtown loop), with its tiered glass and steel half-domes, has a design reminiscent of the world-famous Sydney Opera House.
Areas of the metropolitan area
The center of Kansas City is roughly contained inside the downtown loop (shaded in red).
- Downtown Kansas City is a section of western Kansas City, Missouri, where a large concentration of the area's employees work, and where much of the city's entertainment facilities are located. The area has been undergoing a massive revitalization since 2000, and increased its population by over 7,000 people between 2000 and 2005. The Power and Light District and the Sprint Center are located in the downtown area.
- "The Northland" refers to a section of the metropolitan area located north of the Missouri River, comprising Clay and Platte Counties in Missouri. This area includes the northern half of Kansas City, Missouri, which is referred to as "Kansas City, North" to distinguish it from the rest of the Northland and the city of North Kansas City. The area is also referred to as "North of the River" by local residents and by local television stations in news and traffic reports.
- River Market is an area located north of downtown, south of the Missouri River and west of Highway 9, and is home to a large farmer's market.
- "North Kansas City" (abbreviated as NKC, and also known as Northtown) is a separate city that is completely surrounded by Kansas City, Missouri.
- Shawnee Mission is an area recognized by the United States Postal Service that includes many towns in Johnson County, Kansas.
- The Waldo Residential District (also known as simply Waldo) is area of Kansas City, Missouri, located near 75th Street and Wornall Road.
- Country Club Plaza (also simply known as "the Plaza") is an upscale shopping district built by the J.C. Nichols Company in 1923, and was the first suburban shopping district in the United States.
- The Country Club District is an associated group of neighborhoods built along Ward Parkway by J.C. Nichols, which is located just south of the Country Club Plaza and includes Sunset Hill, Brookside, Crestwood, and Mission Hills, Kansas.
- 39th Street (also referred to as the Volker neighborhood or "Restaurant Row") is a small section of West 39th Street between State Line Road and the Southwest Trafficway in Kansas City, Missouri. The area has many restaurants, bars and shops, and is located just across the state line from the University of Kansas Medical Center.
- University of Kansas Hospital (KUMED) is the corporate name of the hospital on the KU Medical Center campus.
- Benton Curve is a curve located at the cross-section of Interstate 70 and Benton Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri; the area has long been prone to traffic accidents.
- Pendleton Heights is a historic neighborhood in the northeast side of Kansas City, Missouri, which is bordered by Cliff Drive to the north, Chestnut Trafficway to the east, Independence Avenue to the south and the Paseo Trafficway to the west. It is Kansas City's oldest surviving neighborhood, and is home to the city's largest concentration of Victorian homes.
- The Grandview Triangle is the intersection of three major highways: Interstate 435, Interstate 470, and U.S. Route 71 (Bruce R. Watkins Drive). Notorious for fatal accidents, the Triangle has undergone improvements and upgrades in recent years.
- Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard, named for former mayor and current Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, comprises recently renamed portions of 47th Street and Brush Creek Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri.
- 18th and Vine Historic District (known simply as 18th and Vine) is a district on Kansas City, Missouri's north side that contains the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the American Jazz Museum.
- The Library District is a recently defined district around the new Central Library at 14 West 10th Street in Kansas City, Missouri.
- Strawberry Hill is a historical area in Kansas City, Kansas that was home to many eastern European immigrants. Later, the neighborhood became home to many Latino/Chicano families. However, in recent years, Strawberry Hill has seen residents emigrating to the area from Eastern Europe.
- Hospital Hill is an area near 23rd Street and Holmes Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri, and consists of two major hospitals (Truman Medical Center and the Children's Mercy Hospital) and the University of Missouri-Kansas City's School of Medicine, School of Dentistry, School of Pharmacy and School of Nursing.
- Argentine is a part of Kansas City, Kansas, near 30th and Argentine Streets. It is one of the oldest Mexican/Latino neighborhoods in Kansas City, with Mexican immigration to that area dating to the 1800s.
- The Crossroads Arts District is a neighborhood in the downtown area between the Central Business District and Union Station, centered around the intersection of 19th Street and Baltimore Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri. It contains dozens of art galleries, and is considered to be the center of the arts culture in the metropolitan area. Local artists sponsor exhibits in the district on the first Friday of each month.
- Quality Hill is a residential and commercial neighborhood located atop of a western hill in the Central Business District of Downtown Kansas City, across the river from the Charles B. Wheeler Airport.
- Washington-Wheatley is a historically Black neighborhood, located southeast of the 18th and Vine Historical District.
- The Westside is a historically African American and Chicano/Latino neighborhood near Southwest Blvd. and Interstate 35.
- Westport is a historic district which is home to much of the metropolitan area's entertainment and nightlife.
- West Bottoms is home to many of downtown's oldest buildings and where the city's stockyards were once located. It is now known for its arts community, the American Royal, Kemper Arena, antique stores, and First Fridays events.
- Union Hill
- Armordale is a residential and commercial neighborhood in Kansas City, Kansas, and is one of the historically Chicano(a) neighborhoods of the Kansas City metropolitan area.
- East Bottoms Also known as the Industrial District, it is primarily known for its industrial businesses and railroad activity. There are however burgeoning cultural attractions at the intersection of Montgall and Guinotte Avenues related to handmade goods, food, music and a distillery.
- Brookside is a pedestrian-friendly district built in the 1920s, centered on the Brookside Shopping District at 63rd Street and Brookside Blvd.
- Hanover Heights is a small neighborhood in Kansas City, Kansas that was once primarily noted for the antiques shops located along 45th Street, with the neighborhood's boundaries running mainly between Rainbow Blvd. and State Line Road, running south of the KU Medical Center to the Johnson County border.
- The Historic Old Northeast District (or simply Northeast) is a working-class immigrant collection of neighborhoods, located between downtown Kansas City and the smaller city of Independence.
- The Truman Sports Complex, located at the corner of I-70 and I-435 (east of downtown Kansas City, Missouri), is home to several professional sports attractions. It is anchored by Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs NFL franchise; and Kauffman Stadium, home of Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals.
Other nearby institutions:
- University of Saint Mary
- University of Saint Mary, Overland Park Campus
- Park University
- William Jewell College
- Wentworth Military Academy and College
- University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg
- Graceland University - Independence, Missouri
- Northwest Missouri State University - Maryville, Missouri
- Missouri Western State University - St. Joseph, Missouri
- MidAmerica Nazarene University - Olathe, Kansas
- Baker University - Baldwin City, Kansas
- Friends University - Lenexa, Kansas
- Kansas City Kansas Community College
- Johnson County Community College - Overland Park
- University of Kansas - Lawrence, Kansas
- Ottawa University - Ottawa, Kansas
- University of Kansas School of Medicine - Kansas City, Kansas
- University of Kansas Edwards Campus - Overland Park
- Johnson County Library
- Blue Valley
- Cedar Roe
- Central Resource
- De Soto
- Leawood Pioneer
- Oak Park
- Shawnee Mission
- Spring Hill
- Kansas City, Kansas Public Library
- Kansas City Public Library (Missouri)
- Linda Hall Library
- Mid-Continent Public Library
- Olathe Public Library
The Kansas City Star is the metropolitan area's major daily newspaper. The McClatchy Company, which owns The Star, is also the owner of two suburban weeklies, Lee's Summit Journal and Olathe Journal.
The Kansas City Kansan serves Wyandotte County, having moved from print to an online format in 2009. Additional weekly papers in the metropolitan area include the Liberty Tribune, Sun Newspapers of Johnson County, The Examiner in Independence and eastern Jackson County, and The Pitch. The area is also served by two newspapers focused the area's faith-based population: The Metro Voice Christian Newspaper and the Jewish Chronicle. The city's Hispanic and Latino American community is served by Dos Mundos, a bilingual newspaper with articles printed in Spanish and English, and Mi Raza magazine, the area's only weekly Hispanic publication printed in Spanish. The Kansas City Call serves the African American community publishing its paper weekly.
According to Arbitron, about 1.5 million people over the age of 12 live within the Kansas City DMA, making it the 30th largest market for radio and 31st for television according to Nielsen. The Kansas City television and radio markets cover 32 counties encompassing northwestern Missouri and northeast Kansas.
Television stations in the Kansas City metropolitan area, with all major network affiliates represented, include:
- WDAF-TV, channel 4 (Fox)
- KCTV, channel 5 (CBS)
- KMBC-TV, channel 9 (ABC)
- KTAJ-TV, channel 16 (TBN)
- KCPT, channel 19 (PBS)
- KCKS-LD, channel 25 (simulcast of sister station WROB-LD)
- KCWE, channel 29 (The CW)
- KSHB-TV, channel 41 (NBC)
- KMCI-TV, channel 38 (independent)
- KUKC-LP, channel 48 (Univision)
- KPXE-TV, channel 50 (Ion Television)
- KSMO-TV, channel 62 (MyNetworkTV)
The Kansas City television market is in very close proximity to two other media markets, St. Joseph and Topeka. As such, most of the television stations in the Kansas City area are receivable over-the-air in portions of both markets, including their principal cities; likewise, stations from Topeka are receivable as far east as Kansas City, Kansas and stations from St. Joseph are viewable as far south as Kansas City, Missouri's immediate northern suburbs.
Over 30 FM and 20 AM radio stations broadcast in the Kansas City area, with stations from Topeka, St. Joseph and Carrollton also reaching into the metropolitan area. The highest-rated radio stations, according to Arbitron are:
- KPRS (103.3 FM) - Urban
- KCMO-FM (94.9) - Classic Hits
- KQRC (98.9 FM) - Rock
- KRBZ-FM (96.5) - Alternative
- KMBZ (98.1 FM) - News/Talk
- WDAF-FM (106.5) - Country
- KZPT (99.7) - Adult Top 40
- KCSP (610 AM) - Sports, Kansas City Royals flagship
- KMXV (93.3) - Top 40
- KFKF (94.1) - Country
- KCFX (101.1) - Classic Rock, Kansas City Chiefs flagship
- KCHZ (95.7 FM) - Top 40/Rhythmic
Public and community radio
- KCUR (89.3 FM) - NPR affiliate
- KANU-FM (91.5) and KTBG (90.9 FM) - both college radio stations; also NPR affiliates
- KKFI (90.1 FM) - Locally owned not-for-profit station
- KGSP (1480 FM) - Park University college station
Hispanics, which account for 5% of the market's population, are served by three AM radio stations:
The Kansas City metropolitan area's largest private employer is Cerner Corporation. Cerner, a global healthcare IT company which is headquartered in North Kansas City, employs nearly 10,000 people in the area with a total workforce of nearly 20,000 people including global employees. In August 2014, the company announced its acquisition of competitor Siemens Healthcare, which, if approved, will further increase Cerner's total number of employees. Cerner has several campuses across the area with its World Headquarters building in North Kansas City, Innovations Campus in South Kansas City, and Continuous Campus in the Kansas City, Kansas area.
Other major employers and business enterprises are AT&T, BNSF Railway, Asurion, Sprint Corporation, Citigroup, EMBARQ, Farmers Insurance Group, Garmin, Hallmark Cards, Harley-Davidson, Husqvarna, H&R Block, General Motors, Honeywell, Ford Motor Company, MillerCoors, State Street Corporation, The Kansas City Star, and Waddell & Reed, some of which are headquartered in the metropolitan area. Kansas City also has a large pharmaceutical industry, with companies such as Bayer and Aventis having a large presence.
The following companies and organizations, excluding educational institutions, are among the larger ones that are currently headquartered in or have since relocated from the metropolitan area (headquarters of most companies are located in Kansas City, Missouri, unless otherwise noted):
- American Century Investments, an investment management firm
- AMC Theatres, a movie theater chain
- Andrews McMeel Universal, a syndication and publication company which represents media/entertainment features such as Dear Abby, Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes and Doonesbury
- Applebee's, a restaurant chain (Lenexa, Kansas)
- BATS Global Markets, a stock exchange (Lenexa, Kansas)
- Black & Veatch Corporation, engineering firm (Overland Park, Kansas)
- Burns & McDonnell Engineering, an engineering and architectural firm
- CenturyLink (formerly Embarq Corporation), telecommunications company (headquarters in Monroe, Louisiana)
- Cerner, supplier of healthcare information technology solutions (North Kansas City, Missouri)
- Church of the Nazarene
- Commerce Bancshares, a bank serving Kansas, Missouri and Illinois
- Community of Christ, International Headquarters (Independence, Missouri)
- DST Systems, provider of information processing and computer software services and products
- Engineered Air, worldwide supplier and manufacturer of industrial air conditioners (De Soto)
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
- Ferrellgas, retailer and distributor of natural gas (Liberty, Missouri)
- FishNet Security, a provider of information security services and technology resale - Overland Park, KS
- Fort Dodge Animal Health, an animal health pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturer and a division of Wyeth (Overland Park, Kansas)
- Freightquote.com, largest online third party logistics provider
- Garmin, largest maker of GPS-based electronics (Olathe, Kansas)
- Goodcents Sub's and Pasta's, notable midwest restaurant chain (De Soto)
- Hallmark Cards, largest maker of greeting cards in the U.S.
- HNTB Corporation, architectural and engineering firm
- H&R Block, financial corporation and former parent company of CompuServe, known mostly for their income tax preparation services
- Hostess Brands Maker of Twinkies and other snack cakes.
- Huhtamaki, makers of Chinet paper dinnerware (De Soto)
- Inergy, L.P., retailers and distributors of natural gas
- International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers
- J. E. Dunn Construction Group, construction contractor
- Kansas City Board of Trade, a commodity futures and options exchange
- Kansas City Power and Light Company, a regulated provider of electricity and energy-related products and services
- Kansas City Southern Industries, operators of a Class I railroad
- Lockton Companies, the largest privately held insurance brokerage in the U.S.
- Merck Health Institutions, pharmaceutical corporation (De Soto)
- MK12 Studios, a filmmaking, animation, and design studio
- National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
- Newport Television - privately held broadcasting company
- North Kansas City Hospital (North Kansas City, Missouri)
- People to People International, a voluntary organization founded by President Dwight Eisenhower
- Perceptive Software, makers of "Image NOW" software (Lenexa, Kansas)
- Polsinelli, AmLaw100-ranked national law firm
- Populous (formerly HOK Sport + Venue + Event), a major sports architectural firm
- Russell Stover Candies
- Sprint Nextel Corporation, a telecommunication company (Overland Park, Kansas)
- Tradebot, a high-frequency trading firm
- Triumph Structures Kansas City, An Aerospace manufacturing leader.
- UMB Financial Corporation, a commercial bank serving a multistate area of the Midwest
- Unity Church
- Veterans of Foreign Wars
- Waddell & Reed, an investment management and brokerage firm (Overland Park, Kansas)
- Walton Construction, a construction contractor
- YRC Worldwide Inc., known mostly from its former name and brand "Yellow Freight", one of the largest transportation service providers in the world (Overland Park, Kansas)
The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank is one of twelve such banks located in the United States.
- Shortridge, James R. Kansas City and How It Grew, 1822-2011 (University Press of Kansas; 2012) 248 pages; historical geography