Segregation by Design

In the Fall of 2016, students from WashU and Harris-Stowe State University came together for this transdisciplinary seminar led by assistant professor Catalina Freixas (WUSTL) and professor Mark Abbott (Harris-Stowe) on issues of segregation, urban policy, and sustainability. Students worked in small teams to research and propose interventions for specific St. Louis neighborhoods.

The students were tasked with exploring a particular neighborhood in the St. Louis region, analyzing and mapping historical, demographic, and environmental data. Student teams also got to know the neighborhood through site visits, conversations with residents and officials, and an in-depth urban analysis that explored the challenges and opportunities of the neighborhood. Each team then made a proposal to mitigate issues of segregation faced by the community. Proposals ranged from new services such as vocational education, to new residential and commercial development, to policies to create new community land trusts.

Community Partners:

  • HSSU Center for Neighborhood Affairs
  • St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO)
  • CEL Center for Architecture + Design STL
  • Tower Grove South Neighborhood Association
  • North Central Special Business District
  • Emerson Park Development Corporation
  • Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis (CBN)
  • Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis

The students created an exhibition of their work, which was presented at WashU’s Olin Library at the conclusion of the semester, HSSU, and other sites across the region. The research and proposals were also collected into a book.

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