The city of Stockholm, Sweden, in its quest to become the world's first auto emmissions-free city, has begun installing car plug ins for parking spots so that people can park their electric cars, plug them in, and have a fully-charged car when they return.
As people become more concerned with the environment, and fuel efficient, alternative fuel vehicles become more prominent among upscale, environmentally conscious people, more progressive cities are going to be expected to supply new necessity items like plug-in parking spaces. Already, cities that cater to the "creative class" of people are providing these services. And it is these cities that are attracting new business startups, creative services, etc that are fueling economic growth in these cities.
Kansas City is fortunate to house a strong creative class community. Large corporations like Hallmark rely on the creative class of workers. Kansas City also has a strong array of "creative-class" jobs with a thriving advertising community, top architectural firms, and a strong, independent art community (along with the Kansas City Art Institute). These creative people are the types of people that many businesses look for when they build branch offices -- which provides a wealth of business growth opportunities for the city -- no TIF required.
But we're going to have to provide services for these people. But if we do, it will be a great way to encourage them to not only work in Kansas City, but to make their homes here as well -- which can help fill the void of empty housing in our city center.
And before people dismiss this as a pipe dream, that only happens in Sweden, or on the West Coast, might I remind you that even Green Bay, WI has started to step in this direction by offering parking spaces for Hybrid automobiles only. That's right, we're less progressive in this area than Green Bay, WI.
The biggest question is, are our city's leaders future-thinking enough to see where city life is headed?