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White House Hails Kansas City’s Stimulus-Backed ‘Green Impact Zone’

4:49 PM EDT on September 1, 2009

Cities have been rather shortchanged by the stimulus law's road funding -- though transit money has been more amply directed to large urban areas -- but the Obama administration found a stimulus success story today in Kansas City.

kc_green_zone001_rc.jpgRep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) shows off a map of his home district's 'Green Impact Zone.' (Photo: Brookings)

The city's "Green Impact Zone," a 150-block area where residents are receiving help with home weatherization and construction has begun on a new bus rapid transit line, today hosted three senior presidential advisers: Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, White House urban affairs director Adolfo Carrion, and "green jobs" czar Van Jones.

The White House aides visited Kansas City to evaluate how its use of $200 million in stimulus aid to help revitalize the urban center could be replicated in other cities around the country.

In addition to energy-efficiency projects and the bus line, which would use biodiesel vehicles, the "Impact Zone" is aiming to provide job training in transit and park-building for the neighborhood's population of ex-parolees.

"We'll do this one neighborhood at a time," linking transportation, energy, and housing investments, Carrion told the local Fox TV station in an interview this morning.

The stop at Kansas City's "Impact Zone," spearheaded by Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), will be followed by Obama administration visits to Chicago, Flagstaff, Los Angeles, and other cities as part of a broader urban tour.

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