Kansas City

The Mid-America Regional Council

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Frank Lenk, Director of Research Services


Who we are:

Some issues reach across the boundaries of individual communities. Often they can only be addressed by working together.

The Mid-America Regional Council promotes regional cooperation and develops innovative solutions. We help create a community people are proud to call home.

MARC is a nonprofit association of city and county governments and the metropolitan planning organization for the bistate Kansas City region. Governed by a board of local elected officials, we serve nine counties and 120 cities.

We provide a forum for the region to work together to advance social, economic and environmental progress.

MARC is funded by federal, state and private grants, local contributions and earned income. A major portion of our budget is passed through to local governments and other agencies for programs
and services.

What we do:  our roles in the Greater Kansas City community


  • Identify regional challenges and act as a problem-solving forum
  • Promote consensus and commitment to regional solutions
  • Educate and engage the public in decision-making processes



  • Coordinate policies that guide progress in the region
  • Develop regional plans for transportation, the environment, emergency response and more
  • Conduct research and provide technical support to local leaders



  • Advocate for regional issues at the state and federal levels
  • Provide cooperative services between local governments
  • Allocate resources for regional systems


Program Highlights

Enhanced Response

  • Manage the regional 9-1-1 system, providing technical, administrative and workforce development services
  • Coordinate the development of interoperable communications systems among local jurisdictions
  • Help the region prepare for and reduce risks from disasters, both natural and man-made
  • Coordinate regional homeland security planning and administer grants that provide equipment, training and exercise support to emergency personnel
  • Assist public health agencies with public education and preparedness efforts
  • Support emergency medical service agencies and hospitals with coordinated communications and regional plans and protocols


Caring Communities

  • Ensure that the region's children have access to high-quality early learning programs that prepare them to succeed in school
  • Serve as the Head Start grantee for Clay, Jackson and Platte counties
  • Use grant funds to supplement salaries and provide professional development opportunities for early learning program staff
  • Serve as the Area Agency on Aging for the five Missouri counties, overseeing home-delivered
    meals, congregate meals at senior centers, nursing home ombudsmen and special-needs transportation services
  • Provide support to caregivers for the elderly through an information and assistance line and a comprehensive database of available services
  • Help improve access to health care for the uninsured and underinsured


Efficient Transportation

  • Develop and update plans for short- and long-term regional transportation investments
  • Guide state and federal transportation dollars toward projects that meet long-term goals, developed through public input and evaluation processes
  • Administer Operation Green Light, a system to ease congestion by coordinating traffic signal timing on major roads across city boundaries
  • Lead efforts to implement the Smart Moves regional transit plan
  • Promote transportation alternatives, including bicycle and pedestrian travel, and carpooling and vanpooling through RideShare
  • Support Kansas City SmartPort's development of an international trade-processing center
  • Evaluate the impact of development and land-use patterns on the region's transportation system
  • Promote safe travel through the "Destination: Safe" Coalition's safety planning initiatives


Healthy Environment

  • Encourage action to protect the natural environment through education and outreach
  • Provide SkyCast, a daily forecast of air quality for the region, and develop plans for meeting national air quality standards
  • Work with local governments and other agencies to develop best practices for stormwater management and protection of water quality
  • Foster thoughtful land-use planning and resource protection using the region's Natural Resource Inventory
  • Award grants for waste reduction, reuse and recycling programs through the MARC Solid Waste Management District
  • Coordinate efforts to implement the MetroGreen plan for more than 1,100 miles of trails and greenways
  • Develop "green" technical and leadership skills in the region through the Academy for Sustainable Communities


Effective Government

  • Bring city and county administrators together through the Managers' Roundtable to find shared solutions to common problems
  • Support cooperative purchasing that allows governments to save money by combining buying power
  • Provide high-quality, cost-effective training to government employees, elected officials and nonprofit agencies through the Government Training Institute
  • Address unique challenges facing older communities that surround the urban core through the First Suburbs Coalition
  • Provide administrative, planning and informational assistance to small cities
  • Collect, analyze and share regional maps and data for planning and forecasting
  • Provide a forum for citizen engagement in regional affairs through One KC Voice
Josh Akers
Research Manager
Jay Heermann
Data Services-GIS Manager
Sara Hintze
Digital Services Manager
Frank Lenk
Director of Research Services


April 2020
University of Missouri-Kansas City’s (UMKC) Center for Neighborhoods, a collaborator with the NNIP partner Center for Economic Information, has launched a new initiative called Social Connecting/... [read more]
In the fall of 2013, in collaboration with Children’s Mercy Hospital (CMH) of Kansas City, CEI was awarded grant funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for research... [read more]
One of our collaborators at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Center for Economic Information is Jacob Wagner at the UMKC Center for Neighborhoods. He's been collaborating with the ... [read more]


January 5, 2024
Blog post - By: The Mid-America Regional Council

The Mid-America Regional Council

Blog Post
September 5, 2023
Blog post - By: The Mid-America Regional Council

The Mid-America Regional Council

Blog Post
June 26, 2023
Blog post - By: The Mid-America Regional Council

The Mid-America Regional Council

Blog Post
April 4, 2023
Blog post - By: The Mid-America Regional Council

The Mid-America Regional Council

Blog Post

Partner Webinars

December 31, 1969

... [read more]

Presenters Jason Cheung, CTData, Jill Walsh, CTData, Joshua Akers, Mid-America Regional Council, Tommy Pearce, Neighborhood Nexus, Nikolai Elneser, Neighborhood Nexus