The Community Partnership Project Seminar Series links research and practice and promotes the sharing of information and ideas on issues that impact the St. Louis region. These seminars are sponsored by the Community Partnership Project at UMSL, working in cooperation with University of Missouri Extension.
Learning from the Field: Lessons in Neighborhood Housing Redevelopment
When: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 | 3-4:30 PM
Where: UMSL at Grand Center, Community Room, 3651 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63108*
As local housing markets slowly lurch back to normality, community leaders are looking for strategies that have been successful in stabalizing and redeveloping neighborhoods. What are the key roles that political and public officials and private investors play in the process? How can strategies incorporate local market conditions and the vision of neighborhood actors and officials? Join us for this panel discussion exploring efforts in Benton Park and the West End, and lessons for future revitalization efforts.
This panel discussion explored the state of neighborhoods and community development in St. Louis City and St. Louis County. Questions discuessed included: What neighborhoods have retained or increased their value and what neighborhoods have declined? What regional trends support the renewal of urban neighborhoods and what trends undermine revitalization? What can local activists and community developers do in the face of these larger trends?
Panelists: Todd Swanstrom, Des Lee Professor of Community Collaboration and Public Policy Administration, UMSL; Jessica Eiland, Associate Director, Skinker DeBaliviere Community Council; Reginald Scott, Executive Director, Lemay Housing Partnership; Sean Thomas, Executive Director, Old North St. Louis Restoration Group
The St. Louis Beacon was on hand to cover the event. Click here to read their story.
Community gardening organizations and health advocates have lauded community gardens as a means to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables in urban food deserts. A review of the literature about community gardens reveals that there are links between health and community gardening, but they may not be what you think. Plus, what else is growing in community gardens across the country and around the globe? Evidence shows that the benefits of community gardening extend far beyond nutrition, including creating connections among neighbors and increasing tolerance for diverse cultures.
With many urban and inner suburban neighborhoods still in decline, St. Louis needs to increase its capacity for strategic community development. Strategic community development requires a system that coordinates housing with economic development, education, transportation, parks and other functions – ideally under the leadership of a community development corporation (CDC). Todd Swanstrom and Karl Guenther will present the findings of their survey of 34 CDCs in the region, with panel responses from both a national and local perspective. Explore questions including: Are St. Louis area community development corporations focused on strategic community development? Do CDCs have the organizational capacity to make a difference in St. Louis neighborhoods? How should governments, foundations and banks contribute to developing a more supportive environment for community development?