{NEWS} Urban Land Institute to Advise Kansas City, Missouri on Creation of an Equitable Park System

Renowned Panel of Land Use, Planning Experts to Visit Area from December 1-6

NOTE: The public and media are invited to the presentation of the findings on Friday, December 6, at 9 a.m. at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, 3700 Blue Parkway, Kansas City, Missouri. For more information contact Justin Arnold, 202-448-8717, justin.arnold@uli.org

November 26, 2019 . . . A group of nationally renowned land use, urban planning and resilience experts representing the Urban Land Institute (ULI) will be making recommendations next week to Kansas City, Missouri, on the creation of an equitable park system. ULI is a global, multidisciplinary real estate organization whose work is driven by more than 45,000 members dedicated to responsible land use and building thriving, sustainable communities.

The Advisory Services panel is being conducted in conjunction with the 10-Minute Walk Campaign, a national movement striving to ensure that residents of urban neighborhoods throughout America have access to a high-quality park within a ten-minute walk from their homes. The 10-Minute Walk Campaign, which has been endorsed by over 230 mayors, involves a partnership between the Urban Land Institute, The Trust for Public Land, and the National Recreation and Park Association.

The ULI representatives, convened through ULI’s renowned Advisory Services Program, will be visiting the city from December 1-6. Sponsored by the Kansas City, Missouri, Parks and Recreation Association, the Advisory Services panelists will consider and provide strategic recommendations on:

  • The primary factors Kansas City parks should consider when aligning use of park resources and missions;
  • How the parks system should incorporate community input in the design of facilities and open spaces to mitigate inequity;
  • How the system can balance newer growth areas of the city to the north with deferred maintenance of existing, older parks south of the river;
  • How the parks system can maximize its existing resources and partnerships to meet the needs of the community; and
  • The best strategy for developing resources necessary to fulfill the department’s mission.

The panel will be chaired by leading ULI member Carlton Brown, principal, Direct Invest, New York, New York. “The panel is excited to come to Kansas City and offer our assistance in making smart investments into public space.” said Brown. “We look forward to learning more about the parks system and outlining a plan to create more diverse and equitable areas across the city.”

Brown will be joined on the panel by Karen Abrams, program officer, Equitable Development, The Heinz Endowments, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; David Abraham, lecturer/research scientist, Rice University, Houston, Texas; Kate Humphrey, director of development, Public-Private Partnerships Division, Housing and Revitalization Department, City of Detroit, Detroit, Michigan; Emeka Moneme, senior vice president and managing director, The Menkiti Group, Washington, D.C.; Bonnie Roy, partner, SWT Design, St. Louis, Missouri; and Allison Schapker, director, capital projects, Fairmont Park Conservancy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In addition to interviewing stakeholders, the panel will tour the surrounding areas before developing recommendations that will be presented at the conclusion of the panel’s visit.

Now in its 72nd year, the ULI advisory services program assembles experts in the fields of real estate and land use planning to participate on panels worldwide, offering recommendations for complex planning and development projects, programs and policies. Panels have developed more than 700 studies for a broad range of land uses, ranging from waterfront properties to inner-city retail.

According to Thomas Eitler, senior vice president of ULI’s advisory services program, the strength of the program lies in ULI’s unique ability to draw on the substantial knowledge of its 46,000-plus members, including land developers, engineers, public officials, academics, lenders, architects, planners and urban designers. “The independent views of the panelists bring a fresh perspective to the land use challenge,” Eitler said. “The advisory services program is all about offering creative, innovative approaches to community building.”

Past sponsors of ULI advisory service panels include federal, state and local government agencies; regional councils of government; chambers of commerce; redevelopment authorities; private developers and property owners; community development corporations; lenders; historic preservation groups; non-profit community groups; environmental organizations and economic development agencies.