Article Title

Urban Redevelopment and the Elimination of Blight: A Case Study of Missouri's Chapter 353

Publication Title

Washington University Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law


The purpose of this Article is to consider carefully whether Chapter 353 was meant to be blight driven; that is, whether the Missouri legislature enacted Chapter 353 to remedy obvious cases of blight, or whether the legislature was equally concerned about promoting economic development within urban areas generally. Part I of the Article describes Chapter 353 and project approval under the statute. Part II examines the criticisms of the statute and several of the studies that have evaluated the effectiveness of Chapter 353. Next, Part III develops a legislative history for Chapter 353 in an effort to discern the objectives of the statute. Part IV of the Article evaluates the use of Chapter 353 in light of the public use doctrine, and Part V evaluates the use of the statute in light of legal challenges to blight determinations. Finally, Part VI of the Article develops conclusions about the proper role of blight determinations in urban renewal programs.