Jan and Curt Skoog, an Overland Park City Councilman, have been named co-chairs of the Sustainable Communities Committee that will oversee a $4.5 million grant from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) over the next three years.
Last fall, Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) was one of only 45 regional organizations to receive a Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant from HUD. The multi-partner, bi-state project represents the type of cooperation that is critical to our region’s overall success .
As quoted in the Kansas City Business Journal, Jan says, “The most promising thing about this massive effort is its ability to knit different communities together while allowing them to develop their own plans that fit their own specific needs.”
MARC applied for the grant on behalf of a broad coalition of partners, including seven counties, 22 cities and 32 business, university and nonprofit organizations. The three-year grant will fund the Creating Sustainable Places initiative, which will develop plans for six key corridors, implement four to six demonstration projects, create technical tools and provide training opportunities. MARC will work with more than 60 local government and other community partners to implement the grant.
The corridor plans will integrate land-use, transportation, housing and environmental sustainability principles along six key corridors across the region:
- State Avenue Corridor (Kansas City, Kan.)
- Eastern Corridor along U.S. 40 (Kansas City, Independence and Blue Springs, Mo.)
- Shawnee Mission Parkway/Metcalf Corridor (Roeland Park, Mission, Overland Park and Shawnee, Kan.)
- North Oak Trafficway Corridor (North Kansas City, Gladstone and Kansas City, Mo.)
- Central City Corridor (downtown to south Kansas City, Mo.)
- Rock Island Rail Corridor (Kansas City, Raytown, Lee’s Summit and Pleasant Hill, Mo.)
The demonstration projects will also include a housing effort in the Green Impact Zone, a 150-square block area in the urban core of Kansas City, Mo., that is the focus of targeted efforts to transform a community that has seen years of disinvestment, and other projects to be selected later. More information about the Creating Sustainable Places initiative is available online.
KCPT’s Imagine KC series highlighted this project in the fourth segment, aired May 5th. Watch it here.