2013
St. Louis, Missouri

Services
Sustainability
Urbanism
Codes

St. Louis Citywide Transit Oriented Development Study & Station Area Plans

St. Louis begins the 21st century with the opportunity to integrate, grow, and balance ambitions for economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental health within its communities and the region. For too long, our investments in transit have not translated into real quality of life improvements. Planning for Transit-Oriented Development around existing and proposed MetroLink stations as a key community builder and catalyst to revitalize struggling areas and fully capitalize on existing public investments in the MetroLink system. This kind of long-range transformative vision is unprecedented in the City of St. Louis and the project is an opportunity for future transit districts to serve as a vibrant daily destination for residents and workers of adjacent communities. H3 Studio developed TOD plans and form-based codes for 4 existing and 2 proposed MetroLink stations each with different characteristics. The plans recommend urban forms, environmental best practices, mobility systems, and social amenities that are contextual and complimentary to the existing conditions of each place but also envision a future that fully capitalizes on the land resources, community culture, and natural resources of each site.

This study builds upon the goals set forth in previous planning efforts, while giving a strong framework for decision-making regarding Transit-Oriented Development. For the regional MetroLink network, theprevious Framework Plan established station area typologies for the varied development and land use patterns which exist throughout the St. Louis region. This Plan looks more closely at these typologies and finds that a more fine grain typological assessment is needed. So it accounts for two scales of assessment and study. First, the project developed a comprehensive and detailed assessment tool that was applied to each proposed station along the new MetroLink line. The Typology Assessment Tool is innovative and unique to ensure quality placemaking and enable future planning efforts. The Neighborhood Typology” was expanded and refined into an integrated analytical system of nine Transit Neighborhood Typologies. The system is based on a station area’s Intensity, defined as worker population plus residential population, and Use Mix, defined as worker population divided by residential population and uses a station area’s values on those two criteria to assign it to one of nine typologies within the “Transit Neighborhood Typology.” 

Because the system is based on quantitative features of the station area, differences can now be distinguished between small, primarily residential neighborhoods, more densely populated mixed-use residential areas, and even the most robust urban environments in the region. This localized approach makes it easier for designers, planners, and developers to integrate Transit-Oriented Development into the historic neighborhoods of St. Louis in the future.

TOD Study for the Northside-Southside MetroLink Alignment

The Proposed Northside-Southside Alignment is a future light rail line that will traverse the City of St. Louis, connecting northern and southern neighborhoods to help increase density and economic activity in the City and the region. First, the team developed a comprehensive and detailed assessment tool that was applied to each proposed station along the proposed alignment. Second, the team developed 30-year design and development plans for Cherokee and Kingshighway Stations, which outline market-based development program, building form and distribution, street improvements, and green infrastructure, public space, pedestrian and bicycle access and safety, and parking. The Cherokee and Kingshighway Stations were chosen as prototypes for discussion because they have capacity to be a catalyst for the entire north-south corridor. The Plan estimates costs of improvements; outlines available funding mechanisms; and proposes a calibrated Form-Based District. The plan strategy is to infill and stabilize the surrounding neighborhoods while implementing planned transit infrastructure improvements. Vacant buildings will be renovated to provide commercial spaces with upper floor office or residential space. New stations will have improved pedestrian, bicycle, and bus infrastructure supported by public spaces and framed by new buildings with higher worker and residential densities than the surrounding area.

TOD Plan & Form-Based District for the Delmar Loop & Forest Park-DeBaliviere MetroLink Stations

Situated in the heart of Saint Louis’ central corridor, the Delmar Loop and Forest Park–DeBaliviere MetroLink stations provide direct access to the region’s major cultural, recreation, education, and entertainment destinations: Forest Park, Washington University in St. Louis, and the Delmar Loop. As the transfer point between transit lines stretching from St. Louis County, Metro East, and Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, the regional importance of these stations cannot be overstated. The TOD Plan establishes an actionable, 30-year plan that recommends market-based development and improvements to existing streets, parks, and infrastructure to maximize access to the stations and achieve environmental best management practices. The Form-Based District for the station area contains all essential regulatory subjects including a regulating plan, building envelope standards, building development standards, and use tables. The community-supported plan capitalizes on the unique assets, strong neighborhoods, and wealth of redevelopment opportunities to envision a vibrant, diverse, mixed-use, walkable, and transit-oriented community.

TOD Plan & Form-Based District for the Arch-Laclede’s Landing & Stadium MetroLink Stations

The Arch-Laclede’s Landing and Stadium MetroLink stations are two of the most important entertainment and cultural tourism stations in the entire MetroLink system. Both stations are located within and provide service to Downtown Saint Louis, Busch Stadium, and the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial & Gateway Arch. By targeting specific opportunities and linking existing assets to a community-based vision for Downtown development, the City of Saint Louis and its partners possess a significant opportunity to establish the Arch-Laclede’s and Stadium Station Areas as highly desirable living and working districts in Downtown Saint Louis. The 30-year plan outlines market-based development programs supported by proforma analysis for recommended station area development. It proposes dramatic improvements to existing streets, parks, and infrastructure capitalizing on the unique nature of each downtown district. In total, the Plan sets forth a market-based, community-supported vision for transit-oriented development around the Arch-Laclede’s and Stadium MetroLink stations, and a roadmap for the City of Saint Louis to make this vision reality.

 

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