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Green Infrastructure Series: Kansas City, MO


Kansas City, Missouri is seeking green infrastructure solutions for combined sewer overflow (CSO). Every year, 6.5 billion gallons of untreated CSO  into the Missouri River and other local waterways. To mitigate CSO pollution, Kansas City had reached an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to pilot green infrastructure (over traditional grey infrastructure) to reduce CSOs. In 2005, Kansas City initiated a 10,000 rain garden goal in the metropolitan region.

See the Natural Resources Defense Council's Rooftops to Rivers piece on Kansas City for more information about their green infrastructure initiatives.


Kansas City as of summer 2016 is halfway through a major streetscape project on 20th street. Five blocks that make up an important segment of the Crossroads Arts District. The streetscape improvements include removing several lanes of traffic, widening sidewalk with a network of rain gardens, and new bike lanes. The extensive network of green infrastructure along the sidewalk captures stormwater from the sidewalks and roadways for the length of the streetscape improvement project. The widened sidewalk allows for pathways through the middle of the rain gardens, with bridges connecting pathways, allow pedestrians to walk through and observe the the green infrastructure on dry and rainy days. Read more about the 20th St streetscape plan here.

Urban street view with cars, traffic lights, and buildings under a clear sky. There's also a Google Street View watermark.
Urban evening scene with cars, pedestrians, traffic lights, and buildings.
A person posing on a path with city background during dusk. Cars and pedestrians are visible.
Half of 20th Streetscape Improvements newly implemented