If you’re unfamiliar with midwestern geography, you may be surprised to learn that Kansas City ranks as the #1 largest city in… Missouri! While its suburbs and outlying sprawl do spill into Kansas, Kansas City lies fully within the borders of Missouri. (For the record, the largest city in Kansas is Wichita.)
With the decreasing emphasis on U.S. manufacturing, some cities in the U.S. have been seeing a population decline over the last several decades. These include neighbors of Kansas City like St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis. However, Kansas City has put in huge efforts toward developing and enriching its downtown areas and has seen a population boost over the last 10 years.
These developments include rejuvenating cultural and economic activity in the Power & Light District; building the 18,500-seat T-Mobile Arena; and opening the new home of Kansas City’s orchestra, the Kauffman Performing Arts Center.
On top of all these grand plans, Kansas City has worked since 2015 to become a leading U.S. Smart City – meaning the city leverages innovative technologies as much as possible to benefit residents, visitors and businesses. Below are some of the most impressive Smart City technologies implemented in KC.
Kansas City was once famous for having the largest network of interconnected streetcars in the whole country. In 1957, the system closed and remained out of service for 50 years. However, the KC Streetcar network was rebuilt and reopened in 2016 with an emphasis on high tech services. The revamped KC Streetcar operates an interactive streetcar tracker on the web and as Android & iOS apps that allows all travelers to get real-time tracking info about their expected pick-up and drop-off times. The KC Streetcar has a reputation for putting on lively events and festivals as well, celebrating everything from local artists, to childrens’ storytime, to Black history. As a bonus, the streetcar is free for all riders!
To emphasize Kansas City’s friendliness to tourists and easy navigability, the Smart City initiative also installed 7-foot tall interactive kiosks throughout the sidewalks of downtown. The touchscreen kiosks can help visitors, residents, and commuters find information about transportation, nearby activities, news, and dining options.
Kansas City rolled out free public wifi for use in the downtown business area. City officials are working to
KC’s Smart Sewers initiative is a collection of many different projects that collectively work to modernize Kansas City’s water systems to make them safer, more efficient and eco-friendly. All Smart Sewers projects place great emphasis on data-driven decision-making, so planners make it a priority to be able to collect data on the functioning of all parts of the sewer system, both the modernized parts and legacy elements.
With its Smart Cities programs, Kansas City has proven its hunger for innovation, which means there is a need for highly skilled tech professionals who can help design new projects, analyze existing initiatives and plan for what’s next.
If the public sector isn’t your cup of tea, know that there are also big private companies in KC that are also looking for skilled programmers and people with computer skills. Some prominent private employers are Hallmark, PopBookings, PayIt, DisruptOps, and Smith Electric Vehicles.
Some tech jobs that are especially popular in Kansas City compared with the rest of the U.S. include network architects, systems administrators, database administrators, systems analysts, web developers, software developers, information security analysts, computer support specialists, network support specialists, programmers, and graphic designers. Below you can get an idea for the average salary you can expect to make in each of these positions as a tech worker in Kansas City.
|Occupation||Average Yearly Salary|
|Information Security Analyst||$91,240|
|Computer Support Specialist||$54,810|
|Network Support Specialist||$69,410|