Changing Use, Changing People: 20 years of linked land use and demographic change in St. Louis

Authors: Alexander Anderson*, Student, Pennsylvania State University, Christopher Fowler, Advisor, Pennsylvania State University
Topics: Urban Geography, Land Use, Social Geography
Keywords: GIS, Urbanization, Gentrification, Population, Development, Geospatial, Land Use
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Studio 4, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


St. Louis’ development is constantly changing over time and today the city has pockets of new construction mixed in with preserved neighborhoods and affordable housing areas. Recently the city approved a new $1.75 billion development project in the North City area, which is primarily a black populated region of the city. This will almost certainly result in displacement of current residents as the area becomes desirable to more development. Given the long history of racial tension, it is important to understand how recent efforts in downtown redevelopment differentially affect black and white residents. Utilizing geospatial information systems (GIS) we can identify trends in both where zoning changes have affected communities and how those changes have affected communities over time. By examining parcel-level zoning changes from 1997 to 2015 and population and population change from 2000 to 2010 this project has the potential to shed light on these two critical socio-economic outcomes. With these sets of data put into raster format through GIS, the results show that the number of single family zones in black neighborhoods rezoned to industrial or multifamily zones at a greater rate than the rest of the population. Also, the multifamily zones in black neighborhoods rezoned to single family zones at a slower rate. This increase in the intensity of land use, upzoning, indicates an imbalance in how zoning decisions are made leading to displacement consistent with the negative side of gentrification.

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