Executive Summary

Sustainability is about adaptability. Planning with sustainability in mind is about helping people and governments adapt to the future, as the region responds to the changing local economy, the social needs of various communities, and the duty to safeguard the area’s natural assets of water, air and land.

This plan was developed through a three-year collaborative process led by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments. It provides a regional framework for sustainable development that citizens, non-profit organizations, businesses, and local governments can use to make better use of resources and better meet the aspirations and needs of residents. As partners throughout the region use the plan, they will update and revise it based on what they have learned as they improve their communities.

The planning effort was funded by a $4.7 million grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as part of HUD’s $100 million Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program.

At the federal level, priority is being placed on improved coordination of transportation, housing, and environmental spending in recognition of the interdependence of those programs. By showing ways for St. Louis to make wiser use of funding from those programs, the plan will lead to increased economic vibrancy and environmental sustainability on the local level.

In general, sustainable development stresses the efficient and equitable management of natural and financial resources to meet the needs of the present without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Over the last three years, 10 consortium partners joined East-West Gateway to hold 94 public meetings attended by more than 2000 area residents who learned about the process, and expressed their ideas and opinions. Information gathered from those meetings, on-line surveys, and meetings with municipal officials formed the themes that are included in the plan.

More than 200 members who participated in four committees met regularly to discuss priorities and strategies. Through the work of the partners involved, 75 technical plans and reports were completed, including a Fair Housing Equity Assessment, transit oriented development plans and natural resource plans.

The goals of OneSTL were generated though discussions with residents from throughout the metropolitan area. The best practices used to implement these goals, and ideas about the resources available, are accessible to any non-profit group, business, government or citizen who wants them.

OneSTL - Many Communities. One Future. The result of this three-year planning effort is "OneSTL - Many Communities. One Future." OneSTL is a plan for creating a prosperous, healthy, and vibrant St. Louis region. The Plan includes a vision, goals, and objectives that outline what the people of St. Louis want for the future of the region as well as strategies, tools, and resources for achieving the OneSTL vision. OneSTL.org has an abundance of information, reports, plans, and ideas about a vast range of issues, including air and water quality, housing, transportation, energy efficiency, and flooding. By visiting the website, public officials or any citizen can find out what can be done, how it can be done, and what resources are available for "sustainable solutions."

Sustainable solutions for the challenges the St. Louis region faces need to come from the St. Louis region, and many of these solutions are available at OneSTL. org. OneSTL is locally grown and addresses the challenges the St. Louis region faces.

OneSTL is an active plan that will be monitored and measured by East-West Gateway. For the plan to be successful, there needs to be voluntary participation of many partners. OneSTL will provide support, strategies, and models for sustainable development, but the plan has no mandates that require local governments to adopt new rules or ordinances to conform to state or federal goals.

Sustainable solutions for the challenges the St. Louis region faces need to come from the St. Louis region, and many of these solutions are available at OneSTL.org. OneSTL is locally grown and addresses the challenges faced by the St. Louis region.

St. Louis has sustained itself for 250 years through various cycles, including a frontier gateway to westward expansion, America’s fourth largest city in 1900, a manufacturing and railroad center through much of the 20th Century, and a city that struggled with the classic symptoms of urban decline in the late 1900s. Eventually it evolved into its current condition, a resilient metro area that is the country’s 18th largest market, typified by moderate growth and affordable access to modern amenities for its 2.8 million residents.

With world-class universities, first-rate medical and research facilities, convenient neighborhoods with expansive parks, and a skilled workforce that has a history of productive labor, St. Louis has many advantages to go along with its challenges.

OneSTL, by encouraging the efficient use of resources and promoting residents’ concern for quality of life issues, can help ensure that St. Louis sustains itself and meets future challenges.