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As an urban-serving university, UMKC has a charter-based responsibility to meet the needs of the urban population in the Kansas City region. Further, the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design (AUP+D) has a strong track record of excellence in community-based partnerships with neighborhoods, community organizations and nonprofits, municipalities and government agencies in the Kansas City region and beyond.
The Center for Neighborhoods is a catalyst for the urban-mission and community-based research and outreach in the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design at UMKC.
The Center serves as a resource center and catalyst for neighborhood revitalization.
We are a catalyst for university-community partnerships that meet the needs of neighborhoods in the Kansas City Missouri region.
We draw upon the existing resources at UMKC to better serve neighborhood leaders, advocates and organizations.
We increase access to publicly available neighborhood data and information to improve the effectiveness of neighborhood organizations in our region.
The Center for Neighborhoods at UMKC provides leadership training, organizational development, applied urban planning research, and technical assistance to neighborhood organizations and their leaders.
We assist neighborhood organizations through partnerships using an asset-based community development model
We conduct collaborative outreach and research to address community-identified priorities for Kansas City neighborhoods.
We work with partner organizations to build the capacity of local neighborhood organizations and homeowner associations.
We cooperate with other existing centers, programs, faculty and students with a specific interest in the health and welfare of neighborhood organizations in our region.
We recognize the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach to address the issues faced by neighborhoods in our region.
The UMKC Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design (AUPD) stands in solidarity with the African American community and communities of color in Kansas City and nationwide against racism and injustice.
The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner and too many others, and the police brutality that continues to threaten the quality of life in American cities, is untenable.
We are deeply concerned for the safety of our students, our neighborhood partners and leaders, our colleagues, and their families.
We know that many African American families have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID19 pandemic and were already suffering from great personal and family losses. Our heart goes out to you – our colleagues, friends and neighbors.
As educators and professionals, we are well aware of our responsibility to promote the values of equity and social justice. Hate, white supremacy, and racism have no place in our society – and especially in the public institutions that have been established to serve and protect.
The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Code of Ethics makes it abundantly clear that social justice is our responsibility:
We shall seek social justice by working to expand choice and opportunity for all persons, recognizing a special responsibility to plan for the needs of the disadvantaged and to promote racial and economic integration. We shall urge the alteration of policies, institutions, and decisions that oppose such needs.[i]
The American Institute of Architects has also adopted policies and programs related to equity, diversity and inclusion.[ii] We support the local and national American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Planning Association (APA) statements against racism and violence against African Americans and communities of color. We urge these professional organizations to invest significant financial and professional resources to help rebuild urban neighborhoods equitably, to fight racism within the professions across the country, and to expand access to planning and architecture for marginalized communities.
The AUPD faculty commit ourselves to anti-racism as a core principle of our approach to social justice in our teaching, research and service. The UMKC Center for Neighborhoods in AUPD reaffirms its mission to serve the Kansas City community, including many neighborhoods that have struggled to survive and thrive despite generations of disinvestment and racially-biased policies, through research and outreach.
For more information, please contact: 816-235-1725.