<i>Design Snapshot</i> — Kansas City’s Green Impact Zone: Targeting ARRA for Neighborhood Uplift

The Green Impact Zone is a 150-block area in Kansas City’s urban core that has been devastated over the years by high rates of poverty and violence, high levels of unemployment and crime, and high concentrations of vacant and abandoned properties. For that reason, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), from Kansas City, conceived the idea—quickly endorsed by other local and regional leaders—of connecting a range of stimulus-funded programs over the next two years to target dollars to this one area to jump-start its economic recovery and community revitalization.

The Green Impact Zone advances interconnected goal-setting to turn around every aspect of this one, central-city area of Kansas City, Missouri, to make it an attractive place to live and work. While historically underserved, the zone includes some substantial assets, including several strong neighborhood groups; community, cultural and health centers; and proximity to an important health sciences cluster and major roadways. To build on these assets and develop others, the zone is pursuing a multi-faceted strategy— motivated by stimulus funding opportunities— around enhancing the area’s sustainability, public safety, stabilization, housing conditions, access to jobs and services, and economic vitality.