KC region selected to convene international cooperative on climate change

KC region selected to convene international cooperative on climate change

Through the leadership of Climate Action KC, the Kansas City metropolitan area was recently selected to participate in the International Urban and Regional Cooperation (IURC) North America program.

Paired with Górnośląsko-Zagłębiowska Metropolia (commonly referred to as GZM) in Poland, delegates from the Kansas City region will participate in an exchange program, visiting their paired city to discuss themes around climate change and the impending building renovation wave, education, job creation and economic innovation. Kansas City will welcome 18 international cities participating in the program to Climate Action KC’s Annual Summit in April 2022, with the culmination event taking place at Johnson County Community College on April 9. This will be an opportunity to convene an international community around the topics of climate mitigation and how to best move our region toward a net-zero economy.

The Kansas City cohort leading the IURC effort locally includes local elected officials and staff from various municipalities, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Mid-America Regional Council, the Keystone Innovation District and KC Rising, among others. 

“We’re excited to welcome this international opportunity to Kansas City,” said Roeland Park Mayor Mike Kelly, chairman of Climate Action KC. “Through this partnership, we’ll have the opportunity to show off the leadership of the metro area and hopefully create connections, open our businesses to new marketplaces, and work together to recognize the global scale of the climate crisis.”

“The IURC program is an opportunity for Kansas City to learn from and share our best practices, and the KC Chamber is excited to be a part of this initiative,” says Joe Reardon, president and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Chamber. “The vision is to build an international network of reference to bolster urban innovation and sustainable urban development. We’re looking forward to working with our peer city, GZM, Poland, on ways to address issues facing both of our regions and collaborate on long-term solutions for a more sustainable future.”

Established in 2017, IURC North America is an initiative of the European Union that partners European regions with Canadian and U.S. regions tackling similar sustainable urban development and innovation challenges. The project facilitates knowledge exchange through a combination of online tools and face-to-face support, such as study visits, thematic and networking events, and capacity-building activities. IURC cities become part of a wide community of over 300 local and sub-national governments and stakeholders from academia, business and civil society who benefit from international cooperation. “This year’s Climate Summit will center around ‘What connects us,’ as a region, and so what better way to celebrate the connections and linkages between communities than with international partnerships focused on climate action. Climate Action KC is thrilled to be a part of this exciting endeavor,” said City of Shawnee, Kansas, Councilwoman Lindsey Constance, president of Climate Action KC.

Photo courtesy of Kris D – originally posted to Flickr as Katowickie wieżowce – zdjęcie rodzinne., CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10887115