Urban planning | St. Louis Public Radio

Urban planning

From left, Kea Wilson and Scott Ogilvie joined Tuesday's program.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Every city has its nightmare intersections, and many residents could likely cite a personal nemesis or two. In the St. Louis area, the crossroads of North Grand Boulevard and Interstate 64 in Grand Center, and Eager and Hanley in Brentwood, may well come to mind among other notoriously tricky traffic spots.

Frequently stressful for drivers and non-drivers alike, these sections of public infrastructure can seem like a permanent fixture of civic life, along with the honking, confusion and rage they trigger. But change can sometimes happen.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske took a closer look at some of the region’s worst intersections – and discussed how planners work to address trouble spots in an age of crumbling infrastructure across the U.S. The conversation also touched on what residents can do to address problematic roads and contribute to smoother, safer streets for all.

Camp creator Michael Ford with a camper in May 2017.
The HipHop Architecture Camp

About 2 percent of architects in the U.S. are African-American. That’s a statistic Michael Ford wants to change by inspiring young people to think of new ways to solve urban development problems that segregate and marginalize low-income communities.

Ford wants to achieve this goal using  hip-hop music and culture. He created The Hip-Hop Architecture Camp in 2017.

Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

For the next year, a series of forums will examine the issue of regional collaboration. The Construction Forum St. Louis’ directors aim to discuss what has and hasn’t worked to revitalize a city of St. Louis and St. Louis County merger. The first of the forums featured urban policy expert David Rusk, former Wilson and Brookings Scholar and the previous mayor of Albuquerque.

Vacant buildings owned by the Land Reutilization Authority in the 4000 block of Evans Avenue. February 2017.
File photo | Marie Schwarz | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ Land Reutilization Authority has nearly 12,000 parcels of vacant land and buildings and just eight and half employees.

That’s far below the ratio of employees to property in other cities, according to a year-long assessment of the LRA released on Thursday. Urban planning firm Asakura Robinson, which conducted the yearlong study, recommends the agency hire four more employees in the next one to three years.

John Norquist talks streets and St. Louis

Nov 30, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 30, 2012 - “You’re a river town,” John Norquist, president and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism reminded attendees of his lecture Thursday night at Washington University. “[The city] should be a place where you can interact with the river."

His talk, "Rethinking Our Streets: The Value of Flexible Street Design," anticipates two large transportation projects that have the potential to affect St. Louis in a lasting way.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 16, 2012 - Filtered over the shouts from an energetic aerobics class carrying on in the next room, the quiet murmur of conversation in a non-descript meeting space at the modern Richmond Heights community center wouldn’t seem to be much competition.

But as three to four dozen participants – a mix of area workers, residents, political leaders and organizational representatives – huddled over plastic cups and single-serving snack bags trying to plot the priorities of their respective communities decades into an unknown future, it was easy to get the sense that the noisy neighbors weren’t the only ones engaged in an evening of high-impact exercises.

'A communal vision' for Grand Center

Nov 18, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 18, 2011 - A 17-year resident of Grand Center, David Burnett has witnessed many changes in the district such as the imploding of the Beaumont Medical Building for the Contemporary Art Museum to the renovation of the old Woolworth's building to Big Brothers Big Sisters and, most recently, the opening of the new Grand Center Arts Academy.

The district may have even bigger changes coming as architect Donald Stastny works to incorporate the idea of community into St. Louis' major arts and entertainment district to set the stage for new development. On Thursday, Nov. 17, Stastny unveiled the Grand Center Framework Plan, a communal vision for the future development of Grand Center, at the Scottish Rite Auditorium.