Tag: Missouri

More than a year from operation, Kansas City’s Streetcar is already driving investment downtown

Kansas City Streetcar
A rendering of Kansas City’s future streetcar. Image via PlanningKC.

In a sign of things to come for downtown Kansas City, MO, a site along the city’s forthcoming streetcar line is being transformed from a parking lot into a mixed-use development. The developer of Crossroads Apartments, who has never built in Kansas City before, told the Kansas City Star that “the streetcar is the big thing that drew us, absolutely.”

The Kansas City Downtown Streetcar Project is comprised of a streetcar loop that will mostly run along Main Street in downtown Kansas City, and will link the city’s main entertainment venues with transit centers and arts districts.

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Partnership in the News: Planning for transit-oriented development in St. Louis, MO

Transit-oriented development in St. Louis
St. Louis hopes to spur growth around existing transit hubs including MetroLink stations (pictured above). Photo via OneSTL.

Building near transportation hubs can create vibrant new places to live and work while supporting job growth and economic development. St. Louis, MO is working to use this smart growth strategy, and a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is helping make their vision a reality.

In 2010 the East-West Gateway Council of Governments was awarded a $4.7 million Regional Planning grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to create OneSTL, a regional plan for sustainable development. The St. Louis Development Corporation, CORTEX and the Missouri Botanical Garden also joined the effort with additional funding for the project.

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Blue Springs, MO hosts workshop on sustainable land use code audit

Blue Springs MO

Blue Springs officials and local residents met with representatives from Smart Growth America on September 19 and 20, 2013 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshop aimed to provide a “code audit”—a review of development regulations—that will help Blue Springs leaders understand the various smart growth development options available to them, specifically with regard to the Unified Development Code. The City is in the process of updating both the Unified Development Code and Comprehensive Plan.

“The City of Blue Springs is a very fortunate recipient of a Smart Growth America technical assistance grant,” said Blue Springs Director of Community Development Scott Allen. “This code audit will focus on community health, alternative energy codes, and sustainable stormwater infrastructure, and will help Blue Springs move forward with sustainable development alternatives. This technical assistance from Smart Growth America and Cision Associates has come at a most opportune moment for Blue Springs. We are currently updating both the Comprehensive Plan and Unified Development Code, and the knowledge gained from this assistance can be incorporated into both the Plan and Code to move Blue Springs towards a more sustainable development type.”

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Startup Places and the companies that call them home

Crossroads District
Baltimore Street in Kansas City, MO’s Crossroads District. Photo by Chris Murphy via Flickr.

This Thursday we’re hosting Tech in the City: Startup Communities in Startup Places, a conversation about DC’s startup companies and the neighborhoods they call home. Follow the conversation on Twitter later this week at #TechintheCity.

Small tech startups are coming together in cities across the country to build communities of innovation and collaboration. Why are these communities taking root in the places they do? And what can cities do to foster these leaders of the new economy?

It may seem counterintuitive for competing companies to move close to one another, but there are reasons for startups to work together. As Brad Feld explains in his book Startup Communities, startups can be more successful, create more jobs, and attract more talent by working together to create an inclusive community of people who gather together to share ideas.

Dozens of cities in the United States are now home to one or more startup communities. These clusters of companies are often grouped around a shared resource like co-working space, a tech accelerator or university. It takes more than that, though, for a startup community to flourish. In city after city these communities are forming in neighborhoods with a common set of characteristics.

I call these neighborhoods Startup Places. Whether in former industrial neighborhoods, a city’s downtown or an historic district put to innovative new use, Startup Places have places to gather, a dynamic mix of people nearby, and affordable commercial spaces. These neighborhood features meet the needs of startup communities by giving startup leaders places to meet fellow entrepreneurs, mingle with new ideas, and find flexible office space affordable enough for a new business. Here’s a closer look at how neighborhoods like these come about.

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Photo Gallery: Smart Growth America’s 2013 Leadership Awards

Guests at Smart Growth America’s 2013 Leadership Awards cheered (literally!) for smart growth, as well as the three recipients of this year’s awards.

Progressive Insurance was honored for its Snapshot program, the most widely available usage-based auto insurance program on the market today. Mayor Laura McConwell and the City of Mission, Kansas were honored for their commitment to investing in infrastructure. And Mayor Randy Rhoads and the City of Lee’s Summit, Missouri were honored for their focus on healthy, active transportation systems.

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Mayor Randy Rhoads and Lee’s Summit, MO: Regional leaders in smart growth

Yesterday we announced the winners of our 2013 Leadership Awards. Mayor Randy Rhoads and Lee’s Summit, MO were one of the winners.

In one Missouri city, a mayor’s leadership has helped foster a culture that values sustainability and public participation, with significant smart growth accomplishments on the ground to show for it.

Lee’s Summit, Missouri is a city of just over 91,000 people located 20 miles from downtown Kansas City. During the last decade, Lee’s Summit experienced rapid growth, with the city’s population swelling by nearly 20 percent from 2005 to 2010. This created an emerging sense in the community that property developers – rather than citizens themselves – were charting the course for the future of Lee’s Summit. Development questions were thrust to the forefront of civic conversation as the community grappled with how to grow in a fiscally and environmentally sustainable manner.

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Announcing the winners of Smart Growth America’s 2013 Leadership Awards

Two mayors and one company are being honored this week with national awards for their leadership on better development strategies.

Mayor Randy Rhoads of Lee’s Summit, MO and Mayor Laura McConwell of Mission, KS have been selected to receive Smart Growth America’s 2013 Leadership Awards. They are joined by Progressive Insurance, for its Snapshot pay-as-you-drive auto insurance.

“This year’s award winners are doing remarkable work,” said Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America. “Lee’s Summit and Mission are creating vibrant neighborhoods through strategic policy and investment decisions. Progressive Insurance is an industry leader in recognizing new trends among American drivers. Smart Growth America is proud to honor them with this year’s Leadership Awards.”

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Multitude of Unfunded TIGER Grant Applications Points to Need for Continued Funding

The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, provides a unique opportunity for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to invest in road, rail, transit, and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives. Now in its fourth round, the program remains critically underfunded. DOT received 703 applications, totaling $10.2 billion in requests. Out of those, 47 projects were selected to receive a total of close to $500 million.

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Partnership in the News: The Buzz Around TIGER 2012 – Part II

The TIGER grant program provides a unique opportunity for DOT to invest in road, rail, transit, and port projects that promise to achieve critical national objectives. Now in its 4th round, the TIGER 2012 grants are attracting media attention nation wide. Read Part I of this coverage.

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Economic growth through transit-oriented development in Kansas City

As Kansas City prepares for a special election on a proposed downtown streetcar line, KCPT and the Mid-America Regional Council‘s Imagine KC series examines the impact of transit-oriented development on Kansas City’s metro. KCPT’s Randy Mason and LOCUS President Chris Leinberger toured some of Kansas City’s streetscape along the proposed line, and discussed the commerce and development streetcar proponents predict will follow.

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