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In this landscape-based studio, senior lecturer Jacqueline Margetts led a group of undergraduate architecture students in exploring ecological and public open space networks through the West End neighborhood in the City of St. Louis, focusing along the historic Hodiamont Tracks. The former streetcar line, which remains as a neglected service alley, will be converted to a greenway by Great Rivers Greenway.

The studio was sited in the West End neighborhood in part due to its high number of native bee species, a vital component in maintaining biodiverse ecosystems and key indicator of environmental health. Students were charged with transforming sites along the Hodiamont Tracks into biodiverse greenspace. these conceptual proposals were also required to address social conditions such as enhanced health outcomes, augmented property values, and business opportunities.

Students worked in partnership with Cornerstone Corporation, a faith-based organization with a mission to provide affordable housing in the West End. Cornerstone Corporation is supported by a grant from Invest STL to implement a comprehensive neighborhood development plan. Cornerstone is also collaborating with Great Rivers Greenway, a public agency tasked with creating greenways in partnership with citizens, agencies, groups and companies, to incorporate the Hodiamont Tracks Greenway into the neighborhood plan. Work produced by students as part of the design toolkit will be used to facilitate discussion with community members about the Hodiamont Tracks and neighborhood planning opportunities.

Students employed mapping techniques to identify and analyze social, economic, and environmental patterns and systems to inform appropriate design interventions. These interventions were presented to Cornerstone Corporation, Great Rivers Greenway, and other community stakeholders including neighbors.This studio was meant to spur visions for the community and encourage residents to advocate for a greenway that enhances the health of both human and non-human communities.

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Subject Categories

Architecture | Urban, Community and Regional Planning

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© 2019 Shen

Birdscape Programming