09 July 2006

The Present-Day Result of 1960's "Urban Renewal" in St. Louis

The image above is taken from Google Maps of the St. Louis Place Park area of the City of St. Louis. Block after inner city block in the name of urban renewal and "slum clearance" was bulldozed over 30 years ago and today what remains is a near-deserted wasteland in the "renewed" areas. In those same 30 years, suburban and exurban expansion to the once rural lands to the west and to the south of St. Louis has exploded. New Orleans, for the part, avoided most of the federally-funded urban renewal programs and this decision left New Orleans with most of it's historic neighborhoods and structures intact. It is possible and unfortunate however, that a similar "checkboard" pattern of development (mostly vacant lots populated with sporadic structures here and there) could be the post-KTMB outcome in the heavily flood-impacted areas of New Orleans such as Lakeview, Gentilly, and New Orleans East. Hopefully, this will be minimalized long term.

TAGS: Katrina, New Orleans, NOLA, Urban Planning, St. Louis, Urban Renewal


At July 10, 2006 3:01 AM, Blogger mominem said...

A large part of New Orleans avoiding the fate of St. Louis is there there was relatively little convenient land to expand into beyond Jefferson Parish. There is water everywhere.

At July 10, 2006 3:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They did the same thing to San Francisco in the late 50s in the South of Market area... finally they built the Convention Center, the Museum of Metropolitan Art, and the big hotels 20 years later. That started the homeless population there. (Many retirees and veterans lived there... low rents.)

In the early Seventies they buildozed most of the Western Addition: a Black neighborhood that enjoyed their hard-earned nice homes and businesses. (Sorta like the N. Claiborne area when they decided to build I-10 right through it.)

The area finally recovered in the late 80s, and there was nary a dark complexion to be found, only office buildings and expensive condos.

"Renewal" means only one thing: racial and economic cleansing, period.

This cannot stand here!

Senn Fein!

At July 10, 2006 9:18 AM, Blogger Mark Folse said...

A fabulous example from space of what much of New Orleans could look like, if the current administrations (at all levels)don't get their act together on sensible rebuilding plans. (Yes, that's a phrase with some potentially ugly scenarios hiding behind it, such as condeming some areas of the lakefront or Gentilly in order to encourage filled in development in other areas of those neighborhoods. But we need to get to those ugly discussions sooner rather than later.)

At July 10, 2006 1:00 PM, Blogger Kinch said...

I'm wary of too much central planning of the kind that Mitch Landreu hinted at during the campaign. Mayor Nagin's lack of a plan was accually somewhat of a positive in my view.

Someone having a plan is what resulted in St. Louis.

What New Orleans really should address is zoning and infrastructure. Zoning can be used to guide the rebuilding in the right direction. Infrastructure should follow the anticipated growth. That way residents will drive the rebuilding in a way that avoids the monontony of central planning because the decisions are not funneled through a bottle-neck yet can progress in a manner that is both logical and efficient.

At July 10, 2006 8:09 PM, Blogger Trevor said...

There are still a lot of dark complexions in San Francisco's Western Addition. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Black_sf1.gif

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