Karst Urbanism

South St. Louis is a contested terrain, subject to fluctuations in socioeconomic migration, a shift in economic identity, and continual infrastructural challenges – in particular, the dwindling capacity of urban stormwater systems. Understanding the conflict between human and nonhuman actants within the context of the watershed enables the creation of a new urban form – one that supports both cultural and ecological needs within the South St. Louis CSO (combined sewer overflow) community. The proposed Metrolink N/S light rail provides an opportunity to re imagine Jefferson Street – a physical and political boundary between the Benton Park and Benton Park West neighborhoods. This speculative design considers the natural systems that continue to alter spatial contexts, providing infill housing to support increased demand while supporting socioeconomic and racial diversity. Further building on the local economies of Cherokee Street, productive landscape infrastructures provide an organizational framework, enabling the production of enough food to support an estimated 60,000 inhabitants, stormwater management capable of managing 100% of stormwater within the CSO-shed, and adequate space for micro-production facilities such as breweries and bakeries – a growing economic opportunity in South St. Louis.

ASLA St Louis, Student Honor Award, 2018
ACSA, Designing Healthy Places Competition Winner, 2018

Other Contributors: Shuailin Wu

Work performed while studying urban design at Washington University in St. Louis