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12th Street project recognized by Environmental Protection Agency

A major Kansas City streetscape project recently received national attention as a prime example of environmentally conscious design.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Smart Growth and Building Division’s July 23 presentation, entitled “Green Streets: From Gray Funnels to Green Sponges” featured the 12th Street Streetscape Project as a “great example of green design.”

The Capital Improvements Management Office managed the project, which consists of design and construction of streetscape improvements along 12th Street between Wyandotte and Locust streets, and is intended to serve as a template for future downtown streetscape projects. The City Planning and Development Department chose 12th Street as its prototype for future streetscape projects due to its challenging site conditions, including high traffic, narrow sidewalks and presence of surface vaults.

The design includes a number of green elements, using rain gardens and native plantings as integral parts of the storm drainage system. Construction of the project continues and is scheduled for completion in November 2008.

“Green solutions are a major component of the Water Services Department’s Wet Weather Solutions program,” said John Franklin, assistant city manager and acting Water Services Department director. “This project is a prime example of the City’s focus on green solutions that utilize innovative design to reduce stormwater runoff and capture it on-site.”

Media inquiries should be directed to Colleen Newman, public information officer, Water Services Department, or Deanna Nelson, communications specialist in the Capital Improvements Management Office, (816) 513-2757 or e-mail at

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