Green Impact Zone

Elle Moxley / KCUR

The sidewalk outside of Wanda Taylor's house on Tracy Avenue in Kansas City, Mo., is cracking – it's bad enough that her dog, Faith, steps gingerly around it during an evening walk.

All of the sidewalks in Troostwood, where Taylor is neighborhood association president, used to look like this. But two years ago, the sidewalks north of 51st Street were replaced as part of the Green Impact Zone project. The fresh, new concrete is stamped "GIZ 2012."

“Now see how nice sidewalks – the difference that they make?” asks Taylor.

Monica Sandreczki / KCUR

Two years ago, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce led a community-wide brainstorming session to generate five "big ideas" for improving our metropolitan area. One of those "big ideas" is to revitalize our urban neighborhoods. 

KCP&L’s new “Smartgrid Innovation Park” is parked between the back wall of a pretty downtrodden, urban core grocery store, and an old humming electric substation. 

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Frank Morris / KCUR

Kansas City, Mo. – A company called QM Power has moved its headquarters from Boston, Massachusetts to Kansas City, Missouri.

QM holds patents on technology the company claims can make electric motors and generators many times more efficient than they are today. It's moved into a University of Missouri-Kansas City building on Troost Avenue.

Company CEO P.J. Piper says QM will be hiring about 20 people over the next year.