A recent aerial view of Kansas City, MO, shows some of the same buildings featured in this 60 year-old postcard. I was surprised not to see more growth so I checked on the city's population trends and found U.S. Census figures that show an actual decrease in population there from the number listed in 1950 and the one in 2000. The majority of the people who left Kansas City likely disbursed into the suburbs and other towns in the Midwest.
Excerpt from the Greenwood Commonwealth, Greenwood, Mississippi:
Midwest flooding another reminder
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The devastating flooding in the Midwest is a stark reminder of the importance of maintaining properly operating infrastructure, something that too often has been postponed or ignored in this country in recent years...
Big-city mayors told Congress this month that they are overwhelmed by the infrastructure needs of their regions and cannot maintain well-functioning water systems, roads and rail networks without more federal help. “We’re having a quiet collapse of prosperity,” said Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Mark Funkhouser (emphasis added by blog author), one of four mayors to testify before the Senate Banking Committee about the state of the nation’s infrastructure, which they agreed was poor and getting worse. They blamed much of the decay on shortsighted thinking by local, state and federal officials.
It's difficult for those of us in the rest of the country and world to fully grasp the heartbreak and suffering of the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the floods in the Midwestern United States this past week. And let's not forget those in the Gulf States who continue to struggle with rebuilding their lives since Katrina. And let's not forget China and The Philippines. This issue of at-risk infrastructure is an international red-flag. Coupled with climate change, the key issue of our time, that is accelerating faster than predicted even five years ago, we can ill afford ignoring either.
Incidentally, I think that Mayor Funkhouser's quote above is profound... One of those I-remember-what-was-happening-when-I-read-this kind of quotes.