Back in 2014, Dan Jay, an architect and planning commissioner, first proposed the idea of having 500,000 residents again in the City of St Louis as a thought experiment. This was a brilliant move because brain scientists say we literally have to burn new neural pathways before we can fulfill on a new possibility.
Ironically, we have been at this density twice before, once in 1890 on the way to our peak of 825,000 in 1950 and again in 1960 on our way down to 318,000, where we have leveled out. Dan says 1,000 diverse initiatives could get us there again fairly quickly if each added an average of 200 people.
Our plan is to create 100 Irresistible Ecovillage Solutions communities in the St Louis region by 2050, and we expect to complete the first three by 2020. They will house 600 people so only a third would need to be new City residents.
Cohousing and ecovillage community developments around the country already draw about 10% of their residents from out of state, since demand outstrips supply. With St Louis’ good wage to cost-of-living ratio, we expect to double that by recruiting residents who are priced out of their local markets. Another 10% could be people moving into the City from around the St Louis region.
We expect to attract millennial entrepreneurs, young families, empty-nesters and seniors by offering many housing types, including live/work space, co-op shared homes, tiny houses, eco-mansions and everything in between, as well as extensive common facilities and complementary businesses, which make a subzero carbon footprint lifestyle available now.
This idea is included in the sustainability plan recently created by OneSTL, a regional umbrella initiative of East West Gateway Coordinating Council, Washington University, SLU and others.
Come to a meeting at T-Rex from 3:00 to 5:00 pm on May 31st to hear about all the initiatives, share your ideas and be part of the planning and implementation process that will have the St Louis City and region flourish.
Come to our monthly potluck at 5:00 pm on Saturday, May 6th, to find out how Ecovillages can kick-start the race to 500k.
Click here to read the full article on the Healthy Planet website.
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