A River in the City of Fountains
Founded as a port at the confluence of two great rivers, Kansas City has the waters of the Missouri running through its bloodstream—threading expressways, delivering drinking water, carrying traffic and sewage, and emerging most visibly in the city’s celebrated fountains. Considering the Mighty Mo’s historic connection to the city and importance to its ongoing health, how has it become largely invisible to most Kansas Citians?
Drake University historian Amahia Mallea explores the relationship in a discussion of her new book A River in the City of Fountains: An Environmental History of Kansas City and the Missouri River. She examines how a century of managing the waterway for commerce and flood control has come at the expense of public health and the environment, and how all residents both upstream and downstream, are equally dependent on the health of the river.