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Readers: City & County Will Show Population Loss In 2020

March 15, 2017 Featured, St. Charles County, St. Louis County Comments Off on Readers: City & County Will Show Population Loss In 2020

In a non-scientific Sunday Poll two years ago, just over half the respondents thought the city’s population would decline in the 2020 census.  In the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll I asked about the city AND county population.

Q: Agree or disagree: St. Louis (city) AND St. Louis County will both lose population in the 2020 Census.

  • Strongly agree 6 [16.67%]
  • Agree 8 [22.22%]
  • Somewhat agree 8 [22.22%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat disagree 6 [16.67%]
  • Disagree 6 [16.67%]
  • Strongly disagree 1 [2.78%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 1 [2.78%]

More than 60% think both city & county will lose population when the next census is held in 3 years. I agree.

The city’s 2010 loss was less than 10%
In 2010 St. Louis County experienced a population decline for the first time since St. Louis City left in 1876

The factors that led to the declines in both remain — the county had its first decline in 2010. Since the 2010 census St. Charles County has continued to grow. school districts are struggling to keep pace with more students. The middle class continues to leave St. Louis County for St. Charles County and the city’s poor continue to move to St. Louis County for better schools & housing.

It was very different 55 years ago, as noted by a 2013 STL 250 Facebook post:

This Day in St. Louis History, March 15, 1962:
St. Louis County overtakes St. Louis City in population

The American Statistical Association’s St. Louis Chapter Metropolitan Census Committee listed the population of St. Louis County as 762,000, and the population of St. Louis City at 740,000. For the first time in history, the population of St. Louis County exceeded that of St. Louis City. The recent creation of the Interstate Highway System would drastically change the lives of American cities forever, with St. Louis taking a particularly extreme stance as those with means fled outwards from the center. St. Louis County’s population had begun rising steadily around the turn of the century, but in the post-World War II years, it jumped with shocking speed. From 1950 to 1960, the population of St. Louis County jumped from 406,349 to 703,532. Meanwhile, St. Louis City had experienced its first population loss in history in the 1960 census. Dark days were still ahead… from 1970 – 1980, St. Louis City would lose 27% of its population.

In the 1947 Comprehensive Plan Harland Bartholomew had predicted St. Louis’ population would reach 900k by 1970:

The City of St. Louis can anticipate a population of 900,000 persons by 1970, based on these assumptions:

  1. That the population of the St. Louis Metropolitan District continues to maintain its present proportion to total urban population of the United States.
  2. That an attractive environment for living will be developed throughout the city to counteract current decentralization trends.
  3. That the city is, nevertheless, a maturing urban center that can never expect to attain the tremendous past growth of certain earlier periods.

Bartholomew knew the big population increases wouldn’t happen, but he still anticipated modest gains in 1960 & 1970 — not the huge losses that actually occurred. I’ll be highly surprised if both city & county don’t show continued loss of residents.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Sunday Poll: Will City & County Both Lose Population In Upcoming 2020 Census?

March 12, 2017 Featured, St. Louis County, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Will City & County Both Lose Population In Upcoming 2020 Census?
Please vote below

Every Census since 1940, except 1950, the City of St. Louis has lost population. In that same period, St. Louis County has gained population — except the most recent Census in 2010.  Today’s poll is pretty straightforward, will both lose population in the 2020 Census to be held just 3 years from now? Or do you think one (perhaps both) will show an increase?

Missouri Route 364 (aka Page Ave Extension) opened on December 13, 2003 — which helps explain the county’s first population loss other than the 1880 loss following the city leaving the county in 1876.

 

As always, the poll is open until 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Design Issues With Well-Intentioned Monarch Butterfly Garden

In the news lately has been Alice Hezel’s front yard in Maplewood:

Woman defends native plants in her yard; city says clean it up

She and the City of Maplewood are in opposite corners on the issue of her garden. I see both sides. Yes, the Monarch butterfly is critical — we need them pollenating. Like most things, there’s a right way and a wrong way. First, the results from the non-scientific Sunday Poll:

Q: Finish this statement: Monarch Butterfly Gardens in residential neighborhoods…

  1. …are ok if it’s not allowed to grow wild 9 [24.32%]
  2. TIE 8 [21.62%]
    1. …are more important than local “weed” laws
    2. …are a wonderful change from boring lawns
  3. TIE 5 [13.51%]
    1. …are great if the yard is large enough to have shorter natives around tall milkweed
    2. Other:
      1. Fine if they are kept out of the PROW
      2. Are maintained and in the backyard.
      3. should be encouraged, and perhaps rewarded.
      4. shorter natives plus annual flowers like zinnias, which monarchs love
      5. Irrelevant and belong in rural areas
  4. …are a nuisance 2 [5.41%]

Like many of you, I’m bored with manicured lawns — I much prefer a front-yard garden that produces fruits &/or vegetables or provides habitat for birds, butterflies, etc. Ferguson

However, as I’ve experienced with previous yards, getting the non-lawn garden to look like a planned & cared-for outcome is very tough.

The controversial butterfly garden on Cambridge Ave on August 13th
The controversial butterfly garden on Cambridge Ave on August 13th

Though I’d admire Hezel for her effort to create an environment for the Monarch butterfly, she’s ignored some basic rules of good garden design.

There's no physical barrier between the neighbors lawn and her garden. This makes it impossible to keep the grass out.
There’s no physical barrier between the neighbors lawn and her garden. This makes it impossible to keep the grass out.

The tall plant is milkweed — a must for the Monarch butterfly. There are numerous varieties of milkweed, some aren’t as tall as the common variety. I don’t know the variety she has but my guess is it’s the tallest, not the shortest. There are tall ornamental grasses that look great when contrasted with shorter plants — but you wouldn’t fill your entire yard with pampas grass, for example.

The massing of the plants just doesn’t work. I tried to find examples of good butterfly gardens with milkweed but I had no luck. They must exist, but the people I contacted were unable to point me to any. There are great gardens with natives, but not specific Monarch butterfly gardens.

I think Hezel needs to start over, creating a barrier to the North to keep grass our of her garden. Donate the tall milkweed, and get shorter varieties.

Further reading on Monarch butterfly gardens:

— Steve Patterson

 

 

I Woke Up Two Years Ago

August 9, 2016 Featured, Ferguson 6 Comments

The shooting of an unarmed African-American by a white Ferguson police officer was what opened the eyes to myself and other whites to what blacks had been saying for years. Two years ago this morning Michael Brown died on Canfield Drive.

Heading east on Canfield Dr I spotted the line of red roses in the center of the street. August 22, 2014
Heading east on Canfield Dr I spotted the line of red roses in the center of the street. August 22, 2014
Next to the sidewalk there are more items as a tribute to Michael Brown. August 22, 2014
Next to the sidewalk there are more items as a tribute to Michael Brown. August 22, 2014
By the first anniversary a plaque had been placed, photo date 9/7/15
By the first anniversary a plaque had been placed, photo date 9/7/15
We visited again on Sunday 9/7/16; more than a year later, the concrete still appears new
We visited again on Sunday 9/7/16; more than a year later, the concrete still appears new
9/7/16
9/7/16
Looking East down Canfield Dr toward the spot where he died
Looking East down Canfield Dr toward the spot where he died
Too far for me to walk to the spot, but we slowly drove by it to look at the items people have left
Too far for me to walk to the spot, but we slowly drove by it to look at the items people have left

We weren’t the only ones stopping by on Sunday. Signs indicated Canfield Dr will be closed Tuesday morning for a vigil “planned at the memorial site on Tuesday, August 9th at 10:30 a.m.”

The list of incidents in the last two years it two long to mention — evidence much work remains to be done.

In March 2015 I did three posts on a future Empowerment Center at the site of the former QT:

  1. Will the Urban League’s New Ferguson Center Be Urban or Suburban?
  2. Two Community Plans Intersect at Former Ferguson QuikTrip Site
  3. Top-Down Auto-Centric Thinking Continues In Ferguson, Still Time To Change
The plan was a building set back behind a parking lot. 
The plan was a building set back behind a parking lot.
As of Sunday, the site has been cleared. The opportunity still exists to build a more urban building up to the public sidewalk
As of Sunday, the site has been cleared. The opportunity still exists to build a more urban building up to the public sidewalk

The ground breaking was in July 2015, but in March of this year it was announced it would be triple the original size. No mention of the site planning.

 

— Steve Patterson

 

Two Years Since Jamestown Mall Was Closed

Jamestown Mall in North County closed two years ago. It was over five years ago discussions were going on about redeveloping the site:, see Readers Split on New Urbanist Village at Nearly Dead Jamestown Mall (June 2011)

At the time the mall was still open…barely.

May 2011Two anchors remained in May 2011
Two anchors remained in May 2011
The Jamestown Mall food court was mostly dead
The Jamestown Mall food court was mostly dead

From July 18, 2014:

With the Jamestown Mall quietly locking its doors, officials hope the passing creates an opening to transform a site that has long troubled north St. Louis County residents and leaders.

“The goal is to put the property in a condition where we have reasonable hope to develop it to serve the citizens of North County,” said Andrew Ruben, a senior vice president of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership.

The County Planning Commission is expected to begin the process Monday by approving a declaration to mark the 1.2 million-square-foot parcel as a “blighted area.” (Post-Dispatch)

A few weeks later Darren Wilson shot & killed Michael Brown.

In late 2014 someone went exploring inside the shuttered mall, followed by others who broke in and damaged stuff.

How long will it sit?

— Steve Patterson

 

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