Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New organizations/forum groups established

The NorthSide plan is generating lots of online interest.

Hat tip to Ecology of Absence for alerting the community at large to the "NorthSide Community Benefits Alliance" group.

Another group, Summer of Solutions, has produced a lot of online content and discussions about the NorthSide plan.

Both forums are linked on the right side of this page.


  1. The only problem I see is too much information spread over too large an area. the focused links on the right side of this page help a great deal.
    A discussion of planning in the area seems to be hit and miss. The Northside Community Benefits Site requires going through several pages to get to discussion. The form of discussion seems more open on these pages, I don't like the design of the Northside Community site as well as this and similar blog sites (urban review, ecology of absence etc) The comment board format does look to be helpful for organizing topics. (Which can become unwieldy also).

    One topic is the 5th Ward Plan.
    The 5th Ward Plan is a good place to start, is the 5th Ward Plan good for the community? How will the McKee Plan relate to the 5th ward plan? What are the faults and the opportunities of the 5th ward plan?
    What was the process of formulating the 5th ward plan?,(The Northside Alliance board say 26 public meetings) should that process be used with the McKee project?, or is a new process more appropriate?

  2. I am still trying to understand how this is all going to come together. Certainly more voices, not fewer is desirable and exactly the opposite of what has happened in recent decades.

    Is it possible to unify blogs and/or posts? And then what are the key questions?

    As an aside the Summers site had a brochure for a listening meeting at St. Louis Place, that is great, good to see. I do think it is important to realize that the role of design (architecture, urban planning etc) is to present alternatives. I assume that is planned, but then I don't know.

    Design is listening to needs and then demonstrating the various ways design (art) can answer those needs.

    So how are clear goals created in a world of multiple blogs and voices? or is it best to ignore all of the voices, do your own thing and see what happens?

    In the end, to be effective, a Northside community plan is necessary, thus the unity question. Or maybe blogs are just reactive discussion?

  3. Elia Powers covered both organizations in a roundtable over at the Beacon:

    Also, the CBA group has had extensive coverage
    here, here and here

    I don't think anyone involved is against development. I think these efforts are happening because everyone realizes this might be the last chance to do it right and that St. Louis development politics as usual will end up with a mediocre if not dangerously flawed result.

    Despite what some have intimated, this is not a power grab. This is about community and taking an opportunity and citizens organizing and working to make their concerns and vision heard. Kind of like what happened 233 years ago.

  4. According to comments at the CBA forum, McKee is renegotiating his TIF proposal. Maybe he senses a lack of political support?

    I wonder how this plan will be met by the Board of Aldermen?