Originally Posted by Centropolis
kansas city is a midwestern city with plains characteristics (so is indianapolis)
So is Minneapolis.
In a lot of ways, Denver is a Great Plains city overlaid with a strong, if recent, western culture.
It also bears mentioning a lot of the smaller Great Lakes and Western NY cities share a similar built environment to the rust belt/plains transition cities like KC, Omaha, Des Moines and Minneapolis. I'm thinking of Buffalo, Rochester, Toledo, Syracuse (and to some degree Detroit and even Cleveland).
I think what you are talking about its largely a function age and the relative importance of a given city's industrial history.
As I've mentioned earlier and elsewhere, though:
"Rust Belt" and "Midwest" are not synonyms, any more than "farmland" and "Midwest" are.