Resilience in Roeland Park, KS
Roeland Park is a first-ring Kansas City suburb, situated on the Kansas side of the state line. As one of the smaller of the 80 municipalities in the metropolitan region, its residents are highly dependent on neighboring jurisdictions both economically and socially, and the region shares the same ecosystem. Likewise, climate risks such as drought, increased heat and flooding do not stop at human-made borders and must be addressed by multiple jurisdictions working in coordination at the metro-regional level.
The city recognizes this need for cross-jurisdictional collaboration on climate issues, and Mayor Mike Kelly is chairing an effort to establish a Kansas City Regional Climate Compact. Along with his co-chair, Councilwoman Lindsey Constance of the city of Shawnee, the cross-sector collaborative is comprised of dozens of local jurisdictions, non-profit and for-profit organizations, academic institutions, and local utilities and equity partners.
With NLC’s support, Roeland Park will inaugurate an annual summit for regional practitioners and local elected leaders in September of this year to elevate the importance of metro climate action in the Kansas City area. Modeled after the Southeast Florida Climate Change Compact’s annual leadership summit as well as other regional collaborative efforts, Roeland Park leaders and their partners hope to attract and engage a variety of interested parties and highlight key topics at each convening.
With increased attention, education and practitioner recognition of climate and resilience issues in the metro Kansas City region, the team can begin to leverage this widespread regional support to advocate for resilience issues at the state level, and coordinate and actualize key, long-range, multi-jurisdictional projects that will boost the region’s ability to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the current and imminent impacts that climate change will generate.