Urban Neighborhood Initiative


Prosperity.  Health and safety.  Education. 
These are the key areas of emphasis in the Urban Neighborhood Initiative’s Action Agenda plan unveiled in October, 2012, after more than a year of research and planning.  The Urban Neighborhood Initiative (UNI) is one of the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s “Big 5” ideas announced in 2011. Co-champions for this initiative are Terry Dunn, president and CEO of JE Dunn Construction Group, and Brent Stewart, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Kansas City.

UNI focuses on a target area on the east side of Kansas City, Mo., bordered by Troost Avenue and Highway 71 from 22nd Street to 52nd Street.  Representatives from the neighborhoods within this area joined in an unprecedented collaboration of business, civic, philanthropic and social services institutions to build the Action Agenda.

Overarching themes for the initiative include connecting people, changing the narrative of the East Side, and collaboration.  Strategies include:

·         Prosperity – increasing economic opportunity, decreasing social disparities and establishing more quality housing within the UNI target area.

·         Health and Safety – supporting the development of clean and safe neighborhoods and improving community health.

·         Education – improving the quality of education opportunities from birth
through career.

Feedback received about the Action Agenda will be used to develop a detailed implementation plan for the initiative, with implementation scheduled to begin in
January, 2013.

Read the Action Agenda.

Keynote speaker at the UNI Symposium on Oct. 4 was Brian Smedley, Ph.D., director of the Health Policy Institute at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C. Dr. Smedley’s remarks focused on the challenges presented by racial and ethnic disparities and the need for “place-based” opportunities. 
To view Dr. Smedley’s PowerPoint presentation, click here.

To view Kelly Edmiston's presentation, A Local Perspective on the Troost Corridor and the Urban Neighborhood Initiative, click here.