Wednesday, May 19, 2010

More Encouragement from Natural Resources Defense Council

Kaid Benfield, director of the Smart Growth Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, DC, has been following the revitalization of Old North St. Louis for a while now, and occasionally he shares his views with readers of his blog.  On Monday, Kaid once again did his part to let others all over the world know about the progress in Old North.  His blog post explained how the neighborhood-wide, community-based redevelopment in progress in Old North fits into the context of larger issues of sustainability:

Frequent readers know that I love revitalization stories most of all, because restoring distressed neighborhoods in our cities is the ultimate anti-sprawl.  It is a way to capture development and growth without expanding the footprint of our suburbs and consuming farmland, creating longer driving distances, spreading pavement across previously undeveloped watersheds, and more.  In addition, revitalization conserves resources that would otherwise go for new infrastructure and buildings.  It can and also should be done in a way that avoids displacement and lifts up distressed city populations with reinvestment.  All these things are happening in Old North, whose story I have been following for two years now. 

  Other comments included the following:

The excitement of Crown Square is not the only good thing happening in Old North, of course.  The 13th Street and Hebert community gardens have been planted, there’s a grocery co-op in the works, and residential rehabs are popping up all over.  The Restoration Group’s web site contains a real estate section, which lists properties available for homebuying, renting, rehabbing, or commercial development, including abandoned, delinquent or donated properties that have been held by the city’s Land Reutilization Authority.  This story is only going to get better with time.

With lots of photos from our blog and website and from former resident Claire Nowak-Boyd, Kaid’s post does a good job of capturing the character of the neighborhood and the level of energy and activity throughout the community.  One special treat was a link to a music video that was shot at the former 14th Street Mall several years ago, which provides a great reminder of how bleak things looked before the Crown Square project started the transformation.  To read the full content, check out Kaid’s blog on the NRDC website.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 at 4:18 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


"More Encouragement from Natural Resources Defense Council"


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Welcome to the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group's blog. What's New in Old North chronicles the dramatic transformation under way in the neighborhood of Old North St. Louis. As a neighborhood just north of Downtown St. Louis, Old North is becoming a dynamic urban village of new and historic homes, a landmark eating establishment, beautiful community gardens, and a diverse, friendly, and engaged community.

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