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Wed September 2, 2009
Green Zone Builders Boosted By White House
Kansas City, Mo. – The White House is intent on making the Kansas City Green Impact Zone a national model for urban rebirth. Cabinet level attention made it clear what the Obama Administration wants as the stimulus venture is just beginning to take shape. KCUR's Dan Verbeck reports.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and a deputy secretary for transportation brought the message as the zone opened its office to direct spending of stimulus money, for jobs, for transit, for weatherization.
KCP&L gave notice of a $24 million investment in technology in the 150 block midtown district. In a KCUR interview, Donovan was asked about the limited distance and scope of the planned Troost BRT, bus rapid transit. As Donovan put it,"it doesn't make sense to just think about building the Troostline without then saying, OK, that's a huge opportunity for folks to connect to jobs within the region. We ought to make sure that housing gets built close to those transit stops."
Joining the HUD Secretary promoting the stimulus investment package, the head of the White House Office of Urban Affairs inspected the fledgling program. Adolfo Carrion said almost 90 percent of gross domestic product is generated in metro areas, noting, it is the obvious place to invest 'stim money'. In Carrion's words, "strong urban markets sustain rural, exurban, suburban communities, and so this is about finally getting it right in terms of smart investment."
Project sponsor, Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver promises accountability on the multi million dollar venture.