Rebuilding the South Side: A Community Driven Plan with a Racial Equality Focus/Rebuilding Momentum: Ground Up Engagement

APA Missouri Chapter


Thursday, October 19, 2017
3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. CDT

CM | 1.50

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The first part of the session will be a joint presentation by John Cruz and Brian Hurd, the two urban planners at Rise Community Development (Rise) to discuss the many challenges related to a neighborhood master planning effort that is in the final stages covering the South St. Louis neighborhoods of Benton Park West, Gravois Park and the northeast portion of Dutchtown. 

They will discuss the challenges planning in a city where there is no government financial support, but instead a list of guidelines that must be adhered to in order to get a recommendation from the planning director for the planning commission to adopt the plan. In going through this process from conception to adoption, the discussion will start with why an affordable housing‐based non‐profit took the initiative to plan a unique geography, how funders were assembled, what partnerships and coalitions needed to be built, how to balance policy recommendations with feasibility, how to engage youth, and more.

The presentation will also focus on the efforts used to engage residents, local stakeholders and elected officials to work through the public engagement process in a way that was inclusive from the beginning. Working with Forward Through Ferguson and the Dutchtown South Community Corporation, Rise worked to build an approach that allowed them to look at the planning process through a racial equity lens. Attendees will learn how this was helpful not just through the public participation process, but also during the writing of the plan and the prioritization of platform points by the resident steering committee. 

While the presentation will largely focus on process and inclusion there will also be discussion on the direction of content for the planning document itself and identifying ways to carry out some of the recommended policies. Many master plans have a focus entirely on land use, housing and economic development, we will discuss the reasons behind inclusion of public health, attention to the area’s youth population, and social services as being part of the plan.


The second half of the session will enable participants to step into the life of planning efforts and community engagement in the recovering communities of Ferguson and Dellwood, Missouri.  The West Florissant Avenue Great Streets team will share unique approaches employed to deeply engage and build momentum among community residents and businesses including a road show introduction shared with over 50 local community groups and organizations and a tactical pop-up demonstration with real-time analysis and data results. Participants will be able to discuss alternative approaches to community engagement, assess the challenges and opportunities in working with diverse and vulnerable communities, and apply planning steps to implement alternative engagement methods to build and maintain momentum and consensus in the communities in which they work.      


Bonnie Roy, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Bonnie Roy is a Partner of SWT Design, a landscape architecture, urban design and planning firm with offices in St. Louis and Kansas City. With more than 10 years of experience, Bonnie focuses on a collaboration of landscape architecture, architecture and infrastructure in the metropolitan landscape. Her project experience covers ... Read More

Cassie Reiter

Confirmed Speaker

Cassie Reiter has been with Crawford, Murphy & Tilly for nearly 19 years in their St. Louis and Indianapolis offices. She is a licensed engineer, as well as an Envision Professional through the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. She helps communities realize that transportation and infrastructure projects can transform public spaces into ... Read More

John Cruz

Confirmed Speaker

John is the Data Management Coordinator at Rise Community Development, where he uses geospatial and census data to tell a visual story of what is happening with land use in the St. Louis region while tracking neighborhood change metrics. As an intermediary between data sources and human consumption, he assists ... Read More

Brian Eads

Confirmed Speaker

Brian Eads is a Project Manager with Crawford, Murphy & Tilly in St. Louis. Brian focuses on finding innovative, cost efficient transportation solutions that are efficient for all users. Brian manages transportation projects including detailed highway design, traffic engineering, and environmental planning studies. Brian holds a B.S. from the University of Illinois and a M.S. from North Carolina State University. Brian has been active in the research community; co-authoring chapters in the 2000 and 2010 versions of the Highway Capacity Manual. Brian currently serves as the President of the local Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) chapter in St. Louis. Read More

Brian Hurd

Confirmed Speaker

Brian is the Technical Assistance Program Manager at Rise Community Development, providing organizational capacity building and management, training along with housing development consulting services to nonprofit organizations, financial institutions and government partners. He has over two decades of urban planning and community development experience. Prior to relocating to the St ... Read More

Contact Info

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