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St. Louis:A New Metropolitics
3A New Metropolitics -- St. Louis, the Gateway to Learning
In 1993, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros made the assertion that the three entities of metropolitan regions- cities, suburbs, and towns- are all in it together in his book Interwoven Destinies in which he calls for new partnerships between government, business, and commu-nity. While cities have always been dependent on their hinter-lands, never has this relationship been more interwoven than todays suburbs and cities, where the only clear remaining demarcations between one or the other are political boundar-ies. It is clear that in this climate, we need new definitions of the places in which we live that transcend the urban/subur-ban divide and help us to find new ways to cross boundaries for the mutual success of the region as a whole.
In 2008, venerated journalist Neal Peirce asked the fundamen-tal question: A New Metropolitics-Are We Ready? The St. Louis region is more than ready and can show others the way.
Partners for Livable Communities, a Washington DC non profit organization focused on livability, suggests that the time is right to shine international attention on the St. Louis region through a thought-provoking and exciting gathering of leaders from every sector of civic life. A well-run Congress that incor-porates nationally-renowned speakers, timely and innovative content and a lively agenda can inspire local and visiting stake-holders and serve as a springboard for new growth and change in any community. This document sets forth ideas of what such an event might look like in St. Louis.
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St. Louis: The Place to Meet and Learn!
7Gateway To Learning
St. Louis, once gateway to the west is now gateway to the world. The St. Louis region, home to more than 2.7 million people, world class cultural treasures and twenty-one Fortune One Hundred com-panies has been selected to host a national gathering to announce that it has indeed come back better, brighter and leading the way as one of this countrys premier loca-tions to live, learn and conduct business.
St. Louis is a global model for a livable region. Leaders from the United States and around the world can learn important lessons from St. Louis: how to be competi-tive in a global economy and how to retain a high quality of living for all, even in these turbulent times.
From Recovery to
When syndicated urban affairs columnist Neal Peirce came into town in 1997, he saw a city in the throws of a rapid decline. Eight years later, Peirce returned and witnessed a revival of downtown calling it the most significant he had ever seen. Fast forward to 2009 when residents and visitors alike will find a St. Louis that can truly call itself world class. With a list of recent accolades al-most as long as the mighty rivers it borders, St. Louis, in just over ten years, has established itself as a vibrant urban center paying homage to its rich history while blazing a path to innovation. St. Louis has much to share with leaders across the world attempting similar turnarounds.
St. Louis is backMore than 5,000 housing units have been built downtown since 2000, helping to reverse a popu-lation flight that had plagued the central city for more than 50 years. The comeback has fueled close to $4 billion of investments that includes a rehabbed Washington Avenue loft district and a new downtown stadium for the St. Louis Cardinals. The city has maintained the buzz with a renewed focus on the downtown riverfront, a bikeway that encircles the region known as the River Ring, a $70 million renovation of the Central Library, and redevelopment of one of St. Louis celebrated land-marks Post Office Square. When in June, 2008 it was announced that the St. Louis region won the All American City Award - the most prestigious civic recognition award in the nation, it became clear to many around the U.S. what locals had known for years - St. Louis is back!
In these times of economic hardship, St. Louisappears well prepared to weather the storm. According to County Executive Charlie Dooley, St. Louis is relatively strong in terms of con-struction and job creation. The housing market in St. Louis has leveled out during the past cou-ple of months and shows signs of rebounding slightly according to the National Association of Realtors. Missouri led the nation in the num-ber of jobs created in September 2008 and has created a total of 78,000 jobs since January 2005. With an economic machine that includes seven Fortune 500 companies, St. Louis leaders have confidence in the regions ability to absorb national economic hardships.
Now that there is a new administration in Washington with a focus on job creation, St. Louis is poised to gain big money for infrastruc-ture improvements. Forbes Magazine recently estimated St. Louis has $2.3 billion in shov-el-ready projects that includes money for schools, community development and transpor-tation. An estimated 61,000 jobs will be cre-ated as a result of the projects.
Recovery in Hard Times
What Does This Mean for St. Louis?
The City of St. Louis has climbed through hard times into the designation as an All American City in the past few years. St. Louis has perhaps made a greater turnaround than any other U.S. city since 2000. A culmination of years of dedication, collaboration, and innovation among regional leaders and area citizens has made the St. Louis region truly Region Livable.
A success story like St. Louis has a lot to teach. A leader-ship gathering in St. Louis makes perfect sense in a coun-try reeling from economic decline. This is a time for new partnerships, for increased cross-sector dialogue, and for investment and innovation. The St. Louis motto perfectly centered and remarkably connected encapsulates best the new vibrance of a truly international city. With an ac-cessible location in the heart of the country and a diverse regional population of close to 3 million people, what better place to showcase the leaders, movements, and issues of the urban region for the next generation?
From City Beautiful to Region Livable
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Lessons from St. Louis
13Cities of all sizes understand that one of the most vital natural resources natural resources of the fu-ture is brain power. Economic guru Richard Florida proclaims that winning places are the ones that establish an edge early on these places gain a long-lasting advantage St. Louis has that edge; Forbes Magazine ranked St. Louis as one of the best cities for young professionals due to the high number of businesses, exceptional quality of life, low cost of living, and number of graduate school options.
St. Louis has been investing heavily in the physical development of downtown and surrounding ar-eas. With its downtown resurgence from over $3.7 billion in investment since 1999, St. Louis serves as a prime example of a Renaissance Region. Learn who the partners are, how the projects are fi nanced and the impact that has resulted.
Two blocks in downtown St. Louis are being transformed into something unlike anything else in the country. Enjoy and learn about this innovative urban oasis fi lled with exemplary sculpture, contem-plative spaces and childrens water-play areas.
St. Louis has world-class cultural attractions, including the St. Louis Zoo, the Science Center, the St. Louis Art Museum, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. These institutions are exceptional models that confer important economic, social and quality of life benefi ts to St. Louis. Learn how and why this high quality is maintained in hard times.
St. Louis is an excellent example of a city addressing issues that affect the entire region including transportation, labor force, amenities, regional governance, etc. Discuss the challenges, opportunities and solutions that this bi-state region successfully meets head-on.
Historically known as the Gateway to the West, St. Louis continues to hold its reputation for being a gateway and a hub, but in a different context. Today, the region of St. Louis is a gateway to the world economy. Learn how strong partnerships with China have transformed St. Louis into an international cargo hub projected to serve a twenty-state region. The St. Louis airport recently received its fi rst cargo shipment from a foreign country, signifying a major milestone in this quest.
St. Louis growing biotechnology industry has become a major contributor to the worldwide conversa-tion about environmental sustainability and food and health needs. Learn how civic leaders attracted and maintain this valuable sector that makes a signifi cant contribution to regional job growth and worldwide recognition.
St. Louis recently became one of the fi rst cities in the country--before N