The Green Impact Zone of Missouri: An Analysis of Place Based Investment
The Green Impact Zone of Missouri operated in Kansas City, Missouri from 2009 until 2014 as a national model for place-based investment. Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II is credited with pioneering the initiative, which was overseen for five years by the Kansas City metropolitan-area regional planning organization, the Mid-America Regional Council. During those five years, the Green Impact Zone directed about $166 million dollars into a 150-square block area from 39th Street to 51st Street, including Troost and Prospect avenues as well as Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard. The money came largely from federal funding made available in response to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and went towards neighborhood infrastructure and investments in human capital, with an emphasis on environmental sustainability. The Green Impact Zone was designed to be highly visible, and it benefited to this end from public support from then-President Barack Obama and other White House personnel. When the initiative ultimately shut down in 2014 due to a lack of funding, it did so quietly, receiving much less fanfare in its final days than it did in its early days. The reputation of the Green Impact Zone is unclear at the present moment; although it was successful in raising significant investment in an area that badly needed it, it missed out on major sources of funding. Revitalization of these neighborhoods is a gradual process, and it remains to be seen how much the areas will change in the years following the Green Impact Zone’s efforts.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Literature review -- A history of inequality in Kansas City, Missouri -- The Green Impact Zone of Missouri -- Reflections on the Green Impact Zone of Missouri -- Conclusion -- Appendix