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St. Louis Using Parks as Tool of Renewal

In our posts, we’ll be looking for older, industrial cities that are using parks as tools for renewal – both as ways to transform abandoned industrial land and as drivers for economic development. (See our post on Detroit for one example.) In the October, 2008 issue of Landscape Architecture we learn of the many ways St. Louis is investing in parks and public spaces as part of its renewal strategy. According to the article:

  • City Garden, the two-block sculpture garden in the Gateway Mall (under construction)
  • Gateway Mall master plan (completed)
  • Old Post Office Plaza, an exciting $8.2 million project that places a valuable open-space attraction in the central core (under construction)
  • New streetscape for an emerging loft district (completed; streetscape guidelines are now in place for additional downtown phases)
  • Development of downtown housing for a growing residential population, a high priority for the area’s revival (ongoing)

Other projects that are pending include the Chouteau Lake park and parkway project on the edge of downtown that will connect to the city’s famed Forest Park (phase one construction awaits pending federal funding); and an effort to connect the downtown to its riverfront and redevelop the Arch grounds on the riverfront. This latter effort could involve decking the below-grade freeway that currently tears the downtown and riverfront asunder. (For more information on city’s decking highways, see this article by the Center for City Park Excellence.)

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