We have just arrived in Kansas City where, tomorrow, we will continue our discussion of smart growth and smart planning for America’s metropolitan areas. Special Assistant to the President on Urban Policy Derek Douglas, Special Advisor for Green Jobs Van Jones, and I will be joined by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari. Together, we will meet with local elected officials, stakeholders, and community members to discuss the development of the Green Impact Zone, an initiative which is using federal and local resources to invest in components of sustainable living and to create jobs in one of the city’s most challenged communities. This program, supported partially by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, has already become a model for green investment.
With the leadership of Congressman Emanuel Cleaver in partnership with the Mid-America Regional Council and community members, the Green Impact Zone is a comprehensive place-based plan to invest public and private funding to transform a neighborhood plagued by high rates of poverty and violence, unemployment and abandoned property. The Green Impact Zone will improve housing conditions through the rehabilitation and weatherization of the entire 150 block area neighborhood, develop a green workforce through the training of residents from the urban core in green technology, and invest in sustainable transportation through a green bus rapid transit system. Moreover, investors of the Green Impact Zone believe that the effort will break down cost barriers that make "going green" a luxury. The Green Impact Zone provides lessons for investments in sustainability, workforce development, neighborhood stabilization, transportation, energy efficiency, and inclusion.
We are excited about tomorrow’s discussion and learning first-hand from the American people’s ingenuity that continues to bubble-up around the country, whether it’s providing access to fresh food to underserved communities or transforming challenged neighborhoods into beacons for green living and green jobs.
For questions or ideas for the Urban Tour, please feel free to send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
Adolfo Carrión, Jr. is the Director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs and Deputy Assistant to the President