Coordination with Kansas City Water Services green infrastructure project

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Catalyst Projects > Green Infrastructure Project Opportunities

– See description below for the Catalyst Project –

Following are the projects and programs identified as the most important related to this Catalyst Project:

  1. Develop a public signage/communication system
  2. Community graphic identity roll-out
  3. Mentorship programs
  4. Pedestrian and bicycling improvements
  5. Improve key bus stops and routes with streetscape amenities
  6. Streetcar Planning Process Involvement
  7. Green Infrastructure Growers mentorship program

Catalyst Project Description:
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The Kansas City Water Services Department (WSD) is conducting a project to test the use of innovative, “green infrastructure” approaches to help control stormwater runoff within the City. Green infrastructure includes raingardens, bioswales, sidewalk planters, ponds, wetlands, and permeable pavements – features that integrate stormwater controls into landscaping, streetscaping, and community spaces, as opposed to historic approaches that typically relied on buried systems such as pipes and tanks.

Green infrastructure provides opportunities to create community enhancements in addition to the stormwater controls.  Potential benefits include attractive landscaping, outdoor recreation spaces, habitat restoration, traffic calming and sidewalk buffers, cleaner water, cleaner air, and reduced street noise.

Over the next 25 years, WSD will be conducting work across large portions of Kansas City to reduce sewer overflows, manage stormwater, and improve water quality in our rivers and lakes.  The Marlborough Community is the focal point for the very significant green infrastructure project that is testing innovative approaches to integrate stormwater management systems and community enhancements.  In fact, it is the largest project of its kind in the nation.  It represents a significant construction project in Marlborough, an investment in the community, and an opportunity for national exposure.

The work in Marlborough is sometimes referred to as the “Middle Blue River Green Infrastructure Project” because the work is being conducted in the Middle Blue River watershed, a hidden river that runs through a portion of the Marlborough Neighborhood.  The green infrastructure work is being constructed across an area of 744 acres that stretches from just west of Holmes Road to Prospect Avenue, and from about 73rd Street to 85th Street.

The first phase of work was completed in 2012 and covered an area of 100 acres in the vicinity of 75th Street and Troost Avenue.  In that part of the project about 150 small scale features including rain gardens, curb extension planters, and porous sidewalks were constructed within the public right-of-ways alongside residential and commercial streets.

Future projects are planned to be designed in 2014 and constructed between 2015 to 2017.  They will include larger features such as ponds, wetlands, and large bioretention gardens placed in larger public spaces such as parks, boulevards, and vacant lots.  Projects will be located in the vicinity of the Tower Park and Colonial Point neighborhoods in the southwest area, to Rachel Morado and Arleta Park areas on the northeast.  In addition to green infrastructure, construction will also include repairs to the sewer system (curb inlets, manholes, and pipes).

The WSD project will result in multiple construction activities throughout the Marlborough neighborhoods over the next few years.  While the construction work will create disruptions, it can serve as a foundation upon which to add other projects that make a difference to the community. This is the overarching opportunity provided by Water Services – the ability of this work to serve as a foundation for priority community projects.

The key for Marlborough to take advantage of the Water Services green infrastructure opportunity is to identify an individual or group to stay involved in the planning process, maintain routine contact with WSD throughout the project, identify connections to other opportunities, and serve as a bridge to those connections.

The Water Services Department green infrastructure project is a single example of how one City program can provide a foundation upon which other initiatives might be added, or how a project can create a pathway for greater neighborhood engagement and communication with City staff.  The same approach can apply to interactions with other City departments whose operations affect the community in differing ways, such as:

  • Planning and Development
  • Neighborhoods and Housing Services
  • Parks and Recreation, Public Works
  • City Council Representatives

As the Marlborough Community Coalition builds capacity within its organization, it will be helpful to identify representatives to maintain routine contact with each of these departments and serve as a bridge to the Catalyst project opportunities.

The planning process uncovered many opportunities that relate to the Water Services green infrastructure project. Following are the projects and programs that community–based working groups have identified as the most important related to this catalyst project. This list includes arts , communication and capacity building projectsmobility projects, a development project, and a healthy food access project. Please click on each project link to learn more:

  1. Develop a public signage/communication system
  2. Community graphic identity roll-out
  3. Mentorship programs
  4. Pedestrian and bicycling improvements
  5. Improve key bus stops and routes with streetscape amenities
  6. Streetcar Planning Process Involvement
  7. Green Infrastructure Growers mentorship program

Champions and Their Roles:

Angela Banks and Reginald Newsom expressed interest in coordinating with the Marlborough School Redevelopment Team and exploring youth program opportunities.  Reginald also expressed interest in job training issues.

Partner Organizations:

Kansas City Water Services Department, Overflow Control Program

Project managers for combined sewer projects in Marlborough:
Padmavathi Iyengar (Priya),
Project Manager- Green Solutions Project
Padmavathi.iyengar@kcmo.org
816-513-0579

Karine Papikian
Project Manager – Sewer Repairs
Karine.Papikian@kcmo.org
816-513-0300

Kansas City Public Works Department

Public Improvements Advisory Committee (PIAC)

Kansas City City Council, Districts 5 and 6

Dodson Industrial Association 

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