The Planning Process

In 2009 East-West Gateway initiated Renewing the Region, a regional discussion about the St. Louis Metropolitan region and our shared future. That community conversation provided an important basis for an application, in 2010, to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for a Sustainable Communities Planning Grant. In October 2010 HUD announced that the St. Louis region would receive a Regional Sustainable Communities Planning Grant “to build economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.” The grant is part of the federal government’s new emphasis on integrated planning, where transportation, housing and environmental issues are linked to create more sustainable and economically vibrant communities. The program is part of a growing recognition that rising fuel prices, a struggling economy, and an unstable housing market affect the quality of life in regions, cities, and neighborhoods. Eleven consortium partners came together and provided matching funds and a broad-based approach to planning and community engagement that has produced this plan (see Figure 2).

In addition to being good stewards of the environment and natural resources, sustainable communities and regions should pursue high-quality economic development that is supportive of the community as a whole.

Early in 2011, East-West Gateway and partners organized four standing committees: a Steering Committee, Technical Planning Committee, Public Engagement Committee and Outcome Management Committee, to address the various components of the plan. St. Louis University took the lead in developing The St. Louis Data Exchange ( and in chairing the Technical Committee. FOCUS St. Louis led the community engagement planning and meetings in eleven community planning areas that represent a cross section of the region as a whole. East-West Gateway chaired the Steering and Outcome Management committees, led contract coordination and completed a Regional Economic Development Assessment, a Regional Housing Assessment, a Regional Development Scenario and the final plan—OneSTL.

OneSTL Planning Process Figure 1: OneSTL Planning Process Other partners focused on their areas of expertise. HeartLands Conservancy took the lead on natural resource planning. Trailnet committed to developing bicycle plans and safe routes to school programs for a variety of communities and to bring attention to the importance of pedestrian and bicycle access and safety as a part of a complete transportation system. The City of St. Louis, Metro, Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT), and Great Rivers Greenway partnered with East-West Gateway on a market study and Transit Oriented Development (TOD) planning for station areason the MetroLink system. St. Louis County focused on a series of zoning, code assessments, and ordinances related to housing, form-base codes, energy and sustainable development. The Metropolitan Equal Housing and Opportunity Council brought its years of experience in fair housing work to the development of a Fair Housing Equity Assessment.

Organizational StructureFigure 2: OneSTL Planning Process Organizational Structure

In 2011, 2012 and 2013, the partners engaged over two thousand area residents in 94 public meetings to discuss community needs and aspirations, transit and transit station area plans, community bicycle and pedestrian safety and to produce 75 plans or studies. OneSTL is, therefore, a summary of the work of partners, and represents the ideas of many residents from across the region.