There is much talk on the blogosphere about revitalizing neighborhoods and improving our city's urban assets. Most of the talk centers around built environment issues. Concerns over building scale, setbacks, demolition of historic buildings and neighborhood walkability are frequently mentioned.
There is such intense debate about the built environment, some advocates of urbanism suggest that parts of St. Louis are not urban. If this is so, then does it mean we could map the urban parts of St. Louis?
STL Rising differs from the above point of view. We see the whole city as urban. We'd add some adjoining areas outside the city to our urban fabric as well, but we'd definitely not remove any parts of the city from what is urban.
The city proper is a whole, with one overall tax base and many distinct neighborhoods and 28 individual wards. When we pay our 1% earnings tax, annual real estate taxes, or buy a gallon of gas, it doesn't matter where in the city we buy it, the tax revenue from the sale supports the whole urban community of St. Louis.
If I'm a city resident, then I'm 1/350,000th of our city's urban fabric. It doesn't matter what neighborhood I live in or what my house looks like. I'm part of the city. When you visit the city, and spend money here or attend an event, then you're part of our city's urban fabric too. STL Rising's position is the most important ingredient in sustainable urbanism is people.
So I'd be curious to hear from others, with anonymous comments welcome. If you believe parts of St. Louis are urban, while others are distinctly not, how do you make the distinction?