Using Data to Design St. Louis' Redevelopment Efforts

A HUD funded project has provided the city of St. Louis with a fine-grained map of residential real estate conditions across the city. Officials are hopeful the data will better guide the distribution of precious community development dollars.
January 30, 2014, 7am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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An approach to neighborhood revitalization pioneered in Philadelphia has made its way to the banks of the Mississippi River, reports Tim Logan. "[St. Louis] on Tuesday unveiled a new 'market value analysis' of city real estate — a pile of housing statistics and maps — that it says will help better target public money, and draw private investment, to neighborhood redevelopment."

"It’s a shift from the old ward-based way of determining how to spend development dollars and move from just using experience, intuition and hunches to decide how to use the city’s limited resources, said Jeff Rainford, chief of staff to Mayor Francis Slay."

Backers don't see the analysis as a replacement for local knowledge, but as an objective supplement to help rationalize investments in community development.  

"It’s designed to be the sort of fine-grained analysis that you can feel on a city street but that can get lost from 30,000 feet, said James Heard, director of HUD’s St. Louis field office," notes Logan. "And he hopes it’ll help the city get more bang out of limited federal bucks and make a more sophisticated case to draw private money to redevelopment projects."

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Published on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 in St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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