Regional cooperation and collaboration are critical to the future of our cities, counties and states. As reported by Kevin Collison in the Star in his article titled "Planning Group Exec Says KC Must Grow As Region, Not Separate Cities." There are a number of groups and organizations in the seeking to increase the success of the KC metro area. The Mid-America Regional Council and Kansas City Area Development Council are two such organizations.
Some examples of recent successes in efforts to "regionalize" Kansas City include:
- In 1996, the first "Bi-State Tax" was passed by residents of 4 local counties—Johnson County, Kansas, along with Jackson, Clay & Platte Counties in Missouri—to fund the reconstruction of Union Station. The residents of then-struggling Wyandotte County, Kansas, voted down the ⅛ cent sales tax.
- In the mid-2000s, local leaders won federal designation of the area from Manhattan, Kansas to Columbia, Missouri—an area centered on Kansas City—as the Animal Health Corridor. This bioscience initiative supports and expands on local strengths in agriculture and livestock to foster a local technology cluster based on animal health and nutrition.
- The development of the Silicon Prairie—which includes the cities of Omaha, Nebraska and Des Moines, Iowa—represents an effort to boost local IT and technology startups, and connect entrepreneurs regionally. Bolstered by Google Fiber and the Kauffman Foundation, a Startup Village has emerged in the Hanover Heights neighborhood of Kansas City, KS. Silicon Prairie News is a media startup chronicling the local entreprenurial scene.