Pujols using cardinals; his marriage is not a subject of public debate and no more letters in mind | Letters to the Editor
Regarding Greg Michaud’s guest column “Population Loss and the Future of St. Louis Neighborhoods” (April 9): As an architect, I believe comparing St. Louis and Kansas City on the issue of population gain and loss is invalid due to the drastically different lands of cities. The area of Kansas City is 300 square miles, including non-urbanized areas where development is straightforward. The housing market is strong, which contributes to the city’s population growth.
The land area of St. Louis is 70 square miles and is urbanized. Redevelopment is much more difficult in St. Louis City than the urbanization that contributes to Kansas City’s growth.
While important, neighborhood engagement is not a panacea for population loss in St. Louis. Market factors, existing land ownership, older housing stock, needs of current residents of redevelopment areas, financial, political and environmental conditions make redevelopment difficult. Few of these challenges will be touched by better neighborhood engagement.
Ironically, the Fanning School development example in the article supports this argument. It does not illustrate the potential of neighborhood engagement to increase population. The larger neighborhood association, alderman and developer want to reallocate the building to residential units, increasing the population. But the adjacent neighbors don’t want that. I guess it depends on the definition of “neighbourhood” in the neighborhood engagement. It’s complicated, like all redevelopment projects.
William Albinson • University town