KC Healthy Kids strives to make the region walk-friendly

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The Step Up, Walk Friendly Summit successfully drew over 80 advocates, engineers, and elected officials. The goal of the summit was to make the Kansas City region more pedestrian friendly.

KC Healthy Kids, Mid-America Regional Council, the city of Grandview, Missouri and the AARP Missouri state office sponsored a two-day workshop to equip Kansas City and surrounding cities with the tools they need to make sidewalks safer and more walkable with the Walk Friendly Community initiative. The workshop took place at the Grandview Community Center.

Community leaders addressed the strides the city has already made to improve walkability conditions and proposed ways to further those efforts. Safety experts from the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center will score applicants on walkability of their respective cities and award them for their contributions.

A good score could increase property values, appealing to new businesses and residents.

“The average American family spends 9,000 a year just to own a car. Take those away and make cities more walkable, it’d be great for the entire economy,” said Sarah Shipley, communications director of KC Healthy Kids.

Shipley also emphasized the significance of walkable sidewalks for aging individuals who want to be more active and intergenerational engagement. “It’s important to keep the community connected.”

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