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Readers: Planning In The St. Louis Region Is Fragmented

August 1, 2012 Planning & Design, Politics/Policy 4 Comments

Not surprisingly few picked neutral of positive answers in last week’s poll to describe planning in St. Louis.

Q: Which Term Best Describes The St Louis Region Attitude Toward Urban Planning

  1. Fragmented 46 [32.86%]
  2. Lacking 23 [16.43%]
  3. Backwards 19 [13.57%]
  4. Parochial 14 [10%]
  5. Other: 14 [10%]
  6. Dated 11 [7.86%]
  7. Meh 5 [3.57%]
  8. Desperate 3 [2.14%]
  9. Average 3 [2.14%]
  10. Adequate 1 [0.71%]
  11. Progressive 1 [0.71%]
  12. Unsure/No Opnion 0 [0%]
  13. Staid 0 [0%]
  14. Leading 0 [0%]
  15. Appropriate 0 [0%]

Similarly the “other” answers readers used were also mostly negative:

  1. like a Potemkin Village
  2. non-existent
  3. almost non-existent
  4. democratic
  5. Once bitten twice shy
  6. Sluggish – 5-10 years behind
  7. hostile
  8. Insightful and very thorough
  9. opportunistic (for developers, NOT residents)
  10. Uninspired
  11. Anti business
  12. Only used to line the politician’s pockets.
  13. The region is much more focused on development than planning
  14. show me the money!

Well-functioning regions don’t happen by chance with business and political interests looking out for their own interests. Good planning can look past short interests at the long term big picture.  I’m not optimistic we’ll ever find out what that’s like in greater St. Louis.

— Steve Patterson



Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. gmichaud says:

    The fact there is no vision should surprise no one. The lack of comments indicates a wall between what planning means for citizens and what actually happens. There is not a sense that we can control our future.
    Bureaucracies churn out mindless documents such as the St. Louis 1956 Land Use Plan which proposes eliminating businesses over all city neighborhoods (the remnants of which are readily visible) for centralized commercial districts. What’s worse, the section on circulation in 1956 does not even mention mass transit or pedestrians.

    That brings us to today, the same philosophy is in place, some 60 years later. The real question is how to change the misguided philosophy, or better yet, how to even debate that philosophy.
    The Main stream media, the Post, KSDK, Fox and the rest are merely tools. They represent establishment thought that is wrong, if not destructive to civilization. But somehow,  through their own, self fulfilling propaganda, it persists.
    Urban Review offers a new vehicle, the real question is how to convert new thinking into reality? The established, basically dead media, still rule. Conversations about the realities of city planning are far and few between. If it was merely an inconvenience, it might be one thing, but it blocks the creation of a successful city, the results we live with every day are higher crime rates and a city built for no one.

  2. gmichaud says:

     Am I too radical? sorry. I should be nice and not criticize the way urban planning (and much else) is done.I use the 1956 Land Use Plan of St Louis, other plans in this era no doubt are similar.Why are there not special transit land use zones around major rail stations such as at the Grand Ave station?
    At the Grand Ave rail station St. Louis University has built the  Doisy Center and proposed a Medical
    Center divorced from the Grand Ave rail station, the result is to make walking and transit undesirable.
    The attitude matches the 1956 St. Louis Land Use Plan that defines circulation as roads and not pedestrians and mass transit. Destroy pedestrians, transit and the city has been the mantra. Make the city only for autos is reflected in the 1956 Plan and is valid today. The outmoded 1956 Land Use Plan is still the guiding principle of St. Louis. The destruction of the city is proof of its folly.

    The people running everything are not doing a good job. That is the bottom line,
    The main goal seems to be to enrich themselves first and foremost.
    Will the debate go beyond Urban Review?

    • I’ve never seen a 1956 plan, are you referring to the 1947 Comprehensive Plan?

      • gmichaud says:

         No, I have a hard copy in front of me as I type, 1956 Land Use Plan, City Plan Commission, 342 Civil Courts Bldg. Saint Louis, 1. I bought it a number of years ago at one of those book fairs, the $2 tag is still on the front interior page. ex library etc. Oversized, first (and probably only) edition.
        Very serious issue in my estimation, totally ignored by mainstream press (global warming, oil shortages, ha ha, the latest dog groomer is more like it for the Post, Channel 5, 4, 2 and the rest).
        It puts a lot on your shoulders, you are a blog yet you cover wider range of issues than than fab five of local media can pretend to put together with their insipid presentations.
        Sorry to be so cynical, but the local media deserves it.


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