So far, the general public has not seen a rendering of Paul McKee's plan for the north side. However, from word that is coming out, the project sounds like it is a monumental undertaking.
During a time of a national economic slowdown, with very challending financing markets, Paul McKee is proposing a revolutionary community development project for the City of St. Louis. From what it sounds like, the project is a city of the future.
It is being called transformative in the way it takes an area that has been largely neglected for half a century, and replaces it with a highly green, mixed use community. If the project succeeds, the narrative of St. Louis changes.
A project of this scale builds on themes promoted by the Obama administration and the nation's economic stimulus effort. There will be jobs created, and they will be green jobs. The opportunity exists to develop new, green infrastructure, lowering utlity costs across the grid of the redevelopment area.
While the plans are grand, and if successful remake St. Louis, are they on a track to make the chances of success the highest? Is there a way to improve those chances?
Does it makes sense to consider the formation of a blue ribbon panel of community development experts and city residents, to serve in an ad hoc capacity strictly for this project? The committee could include people from the areas of green building, community development, economic development, historic preservation, community representation, and transportation.
The committee could be established with no official power, but rather to serve as an initial advisory group to help build broad based community support for the project. With the right group, such a committee might bring added value to the overall design of the community.
Here's an example of a similar effort in Dallas:
Trinity River Corridor Project
The Trinity Commons Foundation - created to fully realize the vision of the Trinity River Corridor Citizens Committee