Over the past two years, leaders of the city of Kansas City have directed that sustainability be integrated into all aspects of city operations. As a result, policies enacted by the mayor and city council and implemented by the city manager and city staff are having a significant impact on the quality of life in Kansas City.
These policies promote the bottom line goals of environmental quality, social equity and economic vitality.
Kansas City has been progressive and innovative in its efforts to implement green initiatives, which represent part of a more expansive agenda to make Kansas City a truly sustainable city. The following list includes what the city has done to reach its sustainability goals:
1) Identified being a nationally-recognized green city as a top long-term priority;
2) Adopted the Green Solutions Policy, which directs city departments to incorporate green solutions into projects, program and policies;
3) Adopted a Climate Protection Plan, including goals for a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions community-wide and in city government operations below year 2000 levels by 2020;
4) Adopted an ordinance requiring city construction and renovation projects to achieve at minimum a U.S. Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver rating;
5) Adopted an ordinance requiring housing projects funded by the City (including affordable housing) to be constructed to meet federal ENERGY STAR ratings to reduce energy use and utility bills;
6) Adopted a requirement for fact sheets that accompany proposed ordinances to answer the question: How will this contribute to a sustainable Kansas City?;
7) Adopted an ordinance establishing a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee charged with providing recommendations to make the city more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly; and
8) Adopted an Economic Development and Incentives Policy, which promotes sustainability and green building in economic development projects receiving financial support from the city.