Kansas City and St Louis land in top 20 of Urban Sustainability Progress - commercialcafe.com

Headlines are quick hits from media outlets from Missouri and around the world. Follow the headline link for the full story. The source of this headline says:

What makes a city green? The definition refers almost entirely to best practices that ensure sustainable development. According to the 2018 Citizen Centric Cities report released by Arcadis, sustainable urban centers are “places that are planned and managed with consideration for social, economic, environmental impact, providing a resilient habitat for existing populations, without compromising the ability of future generations to experience the same.” In this article, we identify the 50 cities in America that are making the largest strides toward improving the lives of their residents, as well as the ease of doing business, by embracing urban sustainability. . . .

Kansas City lands 11th, with great scores for improvement in median air quality.

[In 16th place] St. Louis’ best scores were for its increase in the number of walking and biking commuters, growth in environmentally focused occupations, and lowering of CO2 emissions.

MoBikeFed comment: This is an interesting ranking system, but note that it ranks "progress" rather than absolute standing.

With that said, it is interesting that Kansas City is noted for improvement in air quality. That is not necessarily an indication that the region has few emissions--if anything the per capita single-automobile miles driven, which is one of the main contributors to emissions, is higher than average.

However Kansas City is in a lucky position for air quality, with steady winds from the southwest and no geographic features to trap air pollution.

St Louis is remarkable for its increase in bicycling and walking commuters, a positive trend we've noted before:


Kansas City has also dramatically increased its proportion of bicycle trips in the past decade or so--its starting position as the worst of the 50 major U.S. cities for bicycling (2007) providing some advantage in creating major scope for improvement:


Nevertheless, the city, prodded forward by BikeWalkKC and other advocates, has made some substantial progress in the past 10 years.