Developed and taught with Heather Woofter and Eve Blau.
This seminar plans to examine the role of government influence on the formation and division of public spaces within St. Louis. The city has a longstanding history of government intervention and disinvestment leading to inequity and challenges in sponsoring economic growth while considering local citizenry potential. Course lectures and research projects will explore political infrastructures and ideologies that shape the urban fabric, including the large-scale government proposal of a National Geospatial Agency adjacent to the infamous Pruitt-Igoe site. This topic is both contemporary and historical and involves both large-scale urban projects (the National Geospatial Agency, Pruitt-Igoe,) and work programs (Tech Hire, WPA). Local activists desire to be a part of the North-Side discussion, and encourage strong residential presence in the upcoming plans, as well as local participation in ongoing development dialogue. The area is also home to substantial industry partners, who are invested because of longstanding ties and the availability of land. Their campuses are bound by intense security, and despite local ties, they have not fostered the strong connection between local residence and jobsite that had characterized earlier North-Side settlement patterns. It will also be important to situate the local discourse in St. Louis in the context of larger institutional structures at the level of the national government. We plan to conduct archival research in addition to conducting local fieldwork. [ARCH 430]