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Sustainable Skylines to Bring Cleaner Air to Greater Kansas City

Release Date: 01/30/2008
Contact Information: Kim Olson, (913) 551-7458,

Environmental News


(Kansas City, Kan., Jan. 30, 2008) - Sustainable Skylines, an initiative to improve the Greater Kansas City environment, was launched today when nine local, state and federal partners signed a "Commitment to Sustainability." The initiative aims to bring together diverse plans for a more sustainable community, focusing on cleaner and healthier air.

Sustainability means meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The Sustainable Skylines Initiative is a joint venture that involves completing short-term projects that have long-term environmental, economic and social benefits for the region. EPA is investing $225,000 for Sustainable Skylines work that will benefit the Kansas City region.

The Kansas City area is the second community chosen to participate in the nationwide Sustainable Skylines pilot program. Under the program, cities choose projects that address issues such as climate change, transportation, energy, land use, resource efficiency, green building and air quality. Projects are chosen for their ability to address these issues and yield measurable environmental benefits within three years.

The nine partners from both sides of the state line that signed the agreement are:
  • Kansas City, Mo.
  • Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan.
  • Johnson County, Kan.
  • Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
  • Mid-America Regional Council (MARC)
  • Missouri Department of Natural Resources
  • Kansas Department of Health and Environment
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards

“Sustainable Skylines gives Greater Kansas City a way to address complex environmental issues like climate, energy and air quality,” said John B. Askew, EPA Region 7 administrator. “The projects undertaken by partners in this initiative will improve the environment and strengthen the economy of the Kansas City area for both the short- and long-term."

Some planned projects include:
  • What if Parking Lots were Parks?: Reducing the urban heat island effect and decreasing storm water runoff
  • Be Water Wise: Water conservation and native landscaping projects that reduce the need to mow and irrigate
  • KC Idle Free: An idle-reduction campaign that works with public and private fleets to establish idle-free zones
  • Solar KC: Installing solar panels and solar hot water heaters in schools and city buildings
  • Constructing Clean Air: Reducing emissions from off-road construction equipment by installing diesel retrofit devices
  • Kansas City Future Forum: Actions by individuals, businesses, and civic groups to reduce our environmental impact and become a green region
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Learn more about Sustainable Skylines: