Visualizing Revitalization: A Case Study in South St.


Brian Douglass
Abstract The related concepts of gentrification and revitalization have provided sources of heated debate in fields related to urban development for several decades. While much has been written on the causes as well as the impact of these neighborhood changes, there seems to be far less investigation into the best way to identify and convey the existence of these changes to the public. The goal of this paper is to examine the usefulness of GIS (geographic imaging systems) technology in showing the physical extent of revitalization in South St. Louis, Missouri. GIS mapping software is seen to do an outstanding job at both identifying neighborhoods of interest to those studying revitalization and gentrification and excels at presenting data in an easily accessible format for popular consumption.

Introduction The goal of this paper is to examine the usefulness of GIS (geographic imaging systems) technology in showing the physical extent of revitalization in South St. Louis, Missouri. Revitalization is a geographical phenomenon and tends to occur on a very localized scale. While the software capabilities would allow analysis of a number of urban areas down to the census tract or census block group level, it seems that for the purpose of this paper, a limited scope of an area under investigation is in order. In this paper, the terms revitalization and gentrification will be taken to be describing the same process. This process, regardless of the term used, describes a reversal of the trend of abandonment and economic decline seen in American urban areas. Previous studies of cities in order to identify areas where such changes are occurring, in particular, Lee and Mergenhagen (1984), McKinnish, et al. (2009), and Galster and Peacock (1986), have made use of econometric analysis methods in their research. This is understandable, particularly with the earlier papers due to technological limitation. There has been less exploration of the location and extent of revitalization from the perspective of visualization on a map. In addition to its far more intuitive output, by examining the extent of revitalization using GIS, it is suspected that oddities which may have been present in some previous studies may be explained by physical features which may be undetectable though traditional econometric analysis, but become readily apparent when seen plotted on the familiar map of a city. With a feature like gentrification/revitalization, which is localized and tends to have “bleed-over” effects there is particular risk at confusion when using a simple gentrified/not gentrified test as was applied in Galster and Peacock (1986). This paper noted that a minor change in qualifications impacted the number of census tracts declared gentrified from trial to trial. Revitalization vs. Gentrification: Defining the Terms Since this paper simply seeks to identify areas of revitalization, where urban decline has been reversed, there is no investigation of either the cause or the effects of this change. There is also no claim of the value of such changes. As such, there is no judgment placed by the use of either term: gentrification or revitalization when used. Gentrification is a word which has taken on a charged life of its own since it was first coined by sociologist Ruth Glass when describing changes in early-1960s London (Glass, 1964, p. xvii). From Glass‟ day onward there has been a consensus that the process described as gentrification involves, as one book on the subject defines it, “the transformation of a working-class or vacant area of the central city into middle-class residential and/or commercial use” (Lees et al., 2008, p. xv). From this point, opinions and understanding begins to diverge. For a trend which is confined to a relatively small sector of America‟s urban areas there has been surprising continuity of interest in gentrification as a research topic. Both McDonald (1986) and Lee and Mergenhagen (1984) suggest that one reason for this fact is that gentrification represents a historical and theoretical anomaly which makes it a topic of natural interest for researchers from a variety of fields. Hamnett (1991) suggests another explanation which draws upon another facet of human nature when he notes that “the gentrification debate is one played for high theoretical and ideological stakes” and thus has become an “intellectual battleground between competing and radically opposed theoretical perspectives” (p. 174-5). Kennedy and Leonard (2001) state that "gentrification" is a term which is problematic due to its imprecise definition and politically charged usage. On the other hand, the term revitalization is defined by Kennedy and Leonard (2001) as “the process of enhancing the physical, commercial, and social components of neighborhoods and the future prospects of its residents through private sector and/or public sector efforts.” This term bears far less stigma than gentrification. However, both describe neighborhood improvement in standards of living. Given that gentrification/revitalization tends to occur in areas that have higher than average levels of vacant residential units, it is hardly surprising that demographics change as vacancy rates decline. This, of course is a completely different issue entirely than the alleged “displacement” which so polarizes gentrification debates.

The strong ideological slants present in much of the literature on gentrification poses much difficulty in determining what changes warrant such classification when designing this present study. In order to identify and map this change in urban areas, there must be some measurable indicators that may then be used to recognize its presence or absence of revitalization in a given area. Further compounding the difficulties is the fact that, since gentrification has reached popular awareness (while revitalization seems to arouse far less interest) over the last several decades, much of the “idea of gentrification” reflects a popular and nebulous conception of the term which is even more difficult to quantify. Many people, especially developers, politicians, and real estate agents “know” gentrification when they see it, but that does not help much in a paper such as this. A number of papers which seek to define the prevalence of gentrification at least begin by using their own intuitive understanding of where gentrification is occurring in the city of interest or basing classification on existing papers on the topic (Freeman, 2006; McDonald, 1986; Lee and Mergenhagen, 1984; and Wilson and Mueller, 1994). Indicators of Revitalization Three papers examine measures of gentrification or revitalization to study its presence in urban areas which influenced my choice of indicators in this paper. All three date from the 1980s and deal with at most the 1970 and 1980 censuses. The first paper, chronologically is Henig (1980) which looks at the movement of people into and out of gentrifying areas. In Lee and Mergenhagen (1984) the authors examined Nashville neighborhoods using census tract data in order to look for “turnarounds” in indicators which they suggest show the presence of revitalization. The outcome of their study was inconclusive and suggested an “imbalance… between the revitalizing images and objective experience” in the areas studied (Lee and Mergenhagen, 1984, p. 511). The third paper, Galster and Peacock (1986), examined the sensitivity in various indicator variables when classifying census tracts in Philadelphia as gentrified or not. Another paper that looked at similar indicators and also made use of GIS analysis is Tranel and Handlin (2006). This paper examined the place of community gardens in revitalization efforts in the city of St. Louis. While this paper did not examine the extent of revitalization in St. Louis, it provides a useful discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of using GIS analysis when answering questions dealing with localized changes such as revitalization. Because both gentrification and revitalization assume that a neighborhood undergoes a reversal of fortunes through this process, a number of assumptions about both pre- and post- revitalization indicators can be made. Following the previously mentioned papers the area which experiences revitalization begins as an area marked by lower income residents, higher than average housing unit vacancy rates, and low property values and rents. As revitalization progresses, it is expected to see these trends reverse. Such areas also typically see racial changes and declining age and family sizes. These last indicators are suggested by the demographics of those who move into revitalizing areas who tend to be “younger white singles and childless couples” (Lee and Mergenhagen, 1984, p. 512). A trend towards more home ownership as opposed to renting may also be present. The key noted by Lee and Mergenhagen (1984) and others is that the change marks a “sharp break with the past” (p. 512). Table 1 lists the expected indicators as gathered from the literature as well as the consensus as to what change is expected in the presence of revitalization.

TABLE 1 Indicators Studied and Expected Change in Presence of Revitalization Indicator Race Population Median Age Median Family and Median Household Size Median Income Occupancy Rate Median Property Value Median Rent Percentage Homeowners Expected Change Increase in White Population Reversal of Decrease Decrease Decrease Increase Increase Increase Increase Increase

Methods When examining the presence of revitalization in St. Louis, it is important to consider the history of the area. St. Louis has twenty-seven historical neighborhoods which in large part have maintained a local identity extremely well given the decline seen in the city since the second world war. Revitalization tends to follow, in large part, these neighborhood boundaries although spill-over into neighboring areas is common. Although a potential aid to revitalization efforts of residents and city officials, when it comes to analyzing trends within the city, this neighborhood structure presents difficulties. Unfortunately, US Census data does not conform to these historical neighborhood boundaries. This problem was noted in Tranel and Handlin (2006) which looked at sub-sections of neighborhoods compared to the overall neighborhood when judging the impact of community gardens on revitalization. Their solution, also seen in other papers, seems the only logical way forward; in this paper, census tracts are used as a reasonable proxy of neighborhoods. By using census tracts, which are designed by the Census Bureau to be very stable across time with an average size of 4,000 people, there is some loss in fineness of detail. However, by using census tracts, it is possible to incorporate data from the 1980 census. This is essential due to the fact that literature and anecdotal evidence suggests that serious revitalization began in the mid-1980s in the areas in question. From the 1990 census on, there is data available down to the smaller, block group level. By restricting analysis to only post1990 data, not only would a decade be lost, but evidence suggests that by 1990 revitalization was already a feature of the area and so any pre-revitalization baseline data which could be obtained from the 1980 census would be discarded. Data for the 2010 US Census and the 2009 5-year American Community Servey were obtained from the US Census Bureau. Data for the 1980-2000 US Censuses were downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System (Minnesota Population Center, 2004). Incorporating census data, ordered by year and tract number into GIS maps, is a simple and straightforward process that highlights the power of GIS software in greatly simplifying analysis tasks. Spreadsheets created in Excel to tabulate and perform some simple analysis on the raw data can be easily incorporated into new maps and the software quickly and accurately is able to show the data in an aesthetically pleasing format.

The much more difficult task comes in determining how to verify if an area has undergone or is undergoing revitalization. This study follows 34 census tracts from 1980 until 2010 and analyzes the changes in indicators over the three decades studied. In most cases simple visual inspection is enough to make the revitalized areas stand out, however the changes in each tract will be compared with the appropriate change over the whole of the study area and St. Louis as a whole. It should be noted, that the demographics, land use, and other details vary vastly from neighborhood to neighborhood in St. Louis and make city-wide data difficult to interpret. Due to differences in census data collection as well as release dates of data, certain measures for the 2010 Census were not available at the time of this study. When census data was unavailable, data from the 2009 5-year American Community Survey (ACS, 2009) was substituted (years 2005-2009). This impacted the data listed in this paper for the following measures: median household income, median housing unit value, and median contract rent. An Introduction to the Study Area: South St. Louis Studying revitalization in urban areas deprived of context runs the risk of the results devolving into meaningless numbers on a page. It is important to recall that South St. Louis is a real location inhabited by real people whose lives are impacted daily by the changes shown in the following figures. The nine neighborhoods included in the study area each has its own unique history, but most began life either as rural areas or as the 19th century suburbs of a growing St. Louis. Most of the houses and many of the commercial buildings date to the late 19th or early 20th century and are often well built, large brick homes. The preservation of homes and buildings varies greatly across the neighborhoods. On one extreme are areas such as Lafayette Park and Soulard which feature immaculately restored homes, parks, and bustling small businesses and restaurants as well as the Soulard Farmers Market, which has been in operation since the mid-1800s. Other sections of the area feature houses that are falling down, vacant lots, and resemble a war zone. Despite the uphill battle faced in revitalizing and saving these neighborhoods in a city which has been hemorrhaging population for half a century, there are numerous neighborhood associations, historic districts, and non-profit groups which have risen to help locals and the city government revitalize this part of St. Louis. Wilson and Meuller (2004) discuss the newspaper coverage of gentrification in St Louis. They present a list of neighborhoods which are gentrified, of which Compton Heights [tracts 1174 and 1273], Lafayette Square [1232], Lasalle [1276], Soulard [1276] are in the study area (Wilson and Meuller, 286). They also name the following neighborhoods in the study area as “proximate to gentrification”: Benton Park [1243], the Gate District [1273 and 1232], Marine Villa [1234, 1246, and 1157], and McKinley Heights [1232 and 1233] (Wilson and Meuller, 286). Areas deemed “low income not near gentrification” were Benton Park West [1242, 1165, and 1164] and Tower Grove South [1162, 1152, 1161, and 1163] (Wilson and Meuller, 286). This author, based upon personal observation of the area in question as well as anecdotal evidence from others, suspects that Fox Park and the vicinity of Cherokee Street (which marks the border between Gravois Park and Benton Park West may also show evidence of revitalization. In these cases, the extent of revitalization may be too localized to detect at a census tract level. In Fox Park, the northern end of the neighborhood, roughly the middle section of tract 1231, seems to be the most revitalized. In the Cherokee Street area, the street itself has become revitalized, however home quality drops off quickly north and south. Tracts 1241 and 1242 lie to both sides of Cherokee Street in the area in question and 1242 also contains the southernmost (and least revitalized) section of Fox Park. This paper will examine what GIS analysis shows about these areas in transition as well as those areas cited by Wilson and Meuller as “proximate to gentrification” with particular interest in a subsequent section. For the purpose of this paper, the area of St. Louis which will be investigated and considered to be “South St. Louis” is roughly located south of Interstate 44 and borders the Mississippi River on the east. The borders on the west and south side are more arbitrarily drawn, but have been selected due to the characteristics of the neighborhoods as seen on the ground in these areas. Gravois Avenue and Interstate 55 divide the area diagonally from southwest to northeast. Figure 1 presents a map of the area as well as lists the census tracts under investigation.

There are 34 census tracts in the area in question and due to the declining population in St. Louis there has been no significant changes in tract definitions during the study period. In 2010, only one tract, 1163 was split into two tracts 1163.01 and 1163.02; this was simply a division of the old 1163 tract and so all 2010 data for the two tracts were simply merged. It was also fortunate that the two had virtually identical populations in 2010 (2,999 and 3,007, respectively) which made merging data even less problematic. Also in 2010, tracts 1173 and 1185 were merged into a new tract 1273 while 1234 and 1235 were merged into the new census tract 1276. 1235 was a tract with zero population, which simplified all merging of pre-2010 data.

FIGURE 1 South St. Louis Census Tracts

Changes in South St. Louis Previous studies (Wilson and Mueller, 2004) and anecdotal evidence suggests that changes labeled as gentrification began to occur on a noticeable scale in the mid-1980s. This has influenced the selection of the time frame for this study, which has one data point before any revitalization or gentrification is supposed to

have occurred. With South St. Louis, the demographic story is far more complex than other areas of revitalization around the country. This section looks at trends across the area of study which may sugest revitalized sections of South St. Louis. Examination of neighborhoods identified as locations of revitalization will be examined in detail in a subsequent section. St. Louis, like most American cities, has been facing population decline for the last fifty years, which has lead to it being less than half the size it was in 1950. South St. Louis is certainly not immune, although recent trends have seen far worse depopulation on the north side of the city. Figure 2 shows the changes in population for different areas of South St. Louis over the period 1980-2010 as well as each decade individually. Certain areas stand out against the overall St. Louis pace of 10.9% loss of population per decade over the period studied. Tracts in the north east as well as the south of the region in question show population change reversals over the period studied. Over the entire time period the most outstanding signal of positive population change can be seen in the extreme northeast, which is home to the Soulard neighborhood, a well entrenched (in 2011) example of revitalization.

FIGURE 2 Population Change 1980-2010 Most neighborhoods of South St. Louis were built by working-class residents of European descent as suburbs of St. Louis. This is evident to this day in the ethnicities that founded the churches in each neighborhood as well as the architectural styles chosen for both religious and secular buildings. This pattern is clearly seen in the 1980 distribution of African-American residents (Figure 3) as well as in the population of white residents being strongly skewed towards older residents in 1980 (Table 2). This suggests that most of the white residents are older residents who likely have connections to the original communities which built the neighborhoods. Those answering “black only” on the census seem to be moving into the neighborhoods starting from the north as white residents leave either as part of “white flight” or simply due to old age.

FIGURE 3 Percent Population Identifying as Black Only TABLE 2 Age and Race Percentages (1980)
70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 under 5 5 to 18 18 to 65 65+

FIGURE 4 Median Age 1980-2010

White Only Black Only

FIGURE 5 Long-Term Residents 1980 (>30 Years)

Previous papers have suggested that median age should fall in the presence of revitalization. As has been noted, the unique features of South St. Louis make this prediction problematic. Ages drop overall (Figure 4), unfortunately, it is difficult to distinguish between drops caused by the death or moving of older residents and their replacement by (often low-income) arrivals, which is clearly seen, particularly in the 1980s where there is a distinct pattern which follows both the racial and long-term resident patterns. In 1990, data was unavailable,

but by looking at the 2000 and 2010 data, it seems that the Southwest section of the study area retains its classification as the oldest section of residents. In 2000 and 2010, the older tracts along the northern tier of neighborhoods in the study area is presumably residents who moved in during the late 1980s or 1990s, often as part of the revitalizing, and stayed in their new neighborhoods. As Figure 5 shows, the location of residents who had been living in a particular housing unit for over thirty years in 1980 is concentrated in the southern tracts. Even after nearly three decades of revitalization, it is telling that the more likely to be revitalized sections show a distinctly younger population. However, by itself, at least in the case of South St. Louis, age is a poor indicator of revitalization due to the strong correlation of age patterns with both race and population decline owing to the departure of older residents, which does not itself seem to correlate with revitalization in this case study. Two other measures that the literature suggests accompany revitalization are a decrease in family or household size. The Census Bureau defines family households as those in which at least one member of the household is related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption (US Census Bureau). The posited reason for this decline in family size is that revitalization tends to attract higher-income, better-educated single people, young couples, and homosexuals who are less likely to have families as defined by the census. While often taken as a signal of displacement, due to the sheer number of vacant properties in the study area, displacement is less likely than simply filling in vacant housing with residents of different views of family life. Interestingly for an area marked by older families in 1980, in many tracts, particularly in neighborhoods with suspected revitalization, both family and household size have declined (Figure 6). Both measures show strong geographical correlation and the larger size families and households are clustered South of Gravois, which suggests that the population in this area will tend to be of lower-income and revitalization will not be as prominent in these neighborhoods. As will be discussed later, other measures also point to such a conclusion. Change in Family Size Change in Household Size

FIGURE 6 Changes in Family and Household Size 1980-2010 Median household income should obviously be expected to rise if an area enjoys improvements as well as an influx of residents who can afford to purchase and maintain properties in a revitalized area. As Figure 6 shows, this seems indeed to be a defining difference between different tracts in South St. Louis. The figures 8

and 9 below incorporate income data converted to 2010 dollars. The median income reported is for the year prior to the census except for 2009. In 2010, the census did not ask for income data and so the nearest available measure of this would be the 5-year ACS, which contains data from the five years prior to 2009. Figure 7 depicts the income changes of each decade as well as the changes from 1980-2010, again in 2010 dollars. It is interesting to note tract 1276, which contains Soulard, has one of the higher levels of income also declines in the 2000s, which may be a signal of the recession picked up in the ACS data as it is more likely that higherincome jobs would suffer more of a drop in stock and real estate crashes. The occupancy rates for many tracts in South St. Louis are astonishingly low. Conversely, vacancy rates were very high with numerous tracts registering above 30% of housing units vacant according to census data. It is important to note that the census only counts housing units that are actually livable at the time of the census, so condemned and dilapidated houses would not be. Figure 8 shows the changes in occupancy rates as it is expected that revitalization will encourage residents to move into formerly depopulated areas. Figure 9 shows the changes in the percentage of home owners who live in housing units in a given tract. When the 1980-2010 data is examined, once again the familiar northern band is clearly visible. Home ownership is seen to clearly increase in the 2000s in a number of tracts as is expected given the increase in home ownership prior to the recent housing market collapse. Increases seem to consistently be focused in the same areas in each of the three decades studied, which suggest that the literature and anecdotal evidence of revitalization starting in this area in the mid-1980s is correct.

FIGURE 7 Median Household Income

FIGURE 8 Change in Occupancy Rate

FIGURE 9 Percentage Homeowners

Median Housing Unit Value (2010 Dollars)

Median Contract Rent (2010 Dollars)

FIGURE 10 Change in Median Housing Unit Value and Change in Median Contract Rent Median Housing Unit Value (2010 Dollars) Median Contract Rent (2010 Dollars)

FIGURE 11 Median Property Value and Contract Rent

In Figure 10, the changes in property value, adjusted to 2010 dollars, are displayed on the left and the changes in contract rent on the right. Median contract rent is defined by the Census Bureau as “the monthly rent agreed to or contracted for, regardless of any furnishings, utilities, fees, meals, or services that may be included” (US Census Bureau, 2009). Both measures follow the same general trends in each decade and overall: revitalization beginning in the northeast and spreading west and south. The northeastern corner shows the quickest increase and slows down in its rate of increase in terms of housing values in the 1990s and 2000s, with Soulard showing a loss in the 2000s. Rent shows much the same pattern, although rent prices seem to have remained at a higher increasing rate longer in Soulard and Lafayette Square than property values did. One can also see that as time progresses, the higher property values and rents tend to move south from the neighborhoods with high values in the 1980s before hitting a pronounced break around tract 1157, which lies south of Osage Street. This is most clearly seen in the property values of the 1980s and the rents of the 1990s. Areas to the south of this tract continue to have lower rent and property value levels throughout the study period as seen in Figure 11 with the exception of the extreme southwest, in particular tract 1011, which is in the Boulevard Heights neighborhood. Neighborhood Analysis In 1980, the citywide average median household income was (1980 dollars) $11,511 compared to a South St. Louis average of $11,407.44. The overall occupancy rate was 86.6% compared to a value of 88.4% for South St. Louis. Of these, 48.4% were homeowner occupied in South St. Louis compared to 45.2% for the citywide census data. Median household values and median contract rents were (1980 dollars) $26,400 and $116 respectively. For the region of the study, these values were $26,072.03 and $124.26. Values that are slightly higher for South St. Louis, such as home ownership and occupancy rates are likely evidence of the older population that was present as long-term residents of the area in 1980.

FIGURE 12 Census Tracts Compared to St. Louis Citywide Averages (1980) When the census tracts are compared to these average values for the city, a trend becomes readily apparent. Figure 12 shows a strong pattern in all measures suggesting that the southwest of the study area is better off in all measures than other areas. With the exception of the southern part of the Compton Heights

neighborhood in four measures (median income, occupancy, median value, and median rent), and the Lafayette Square/McKinley Heights neighborhoods in one measure (median household value), all of the areas which have been considered to be gentrified/revitalized in the literature are below St. Louis averages in 1980. In the map showing occupancy, the pattern of the below-average values is almost perfectly in line with the areas that have seen reports of gentrification or revitalization in the last thirty years. This series of maps, in particular show the power of GIS in identification of revitalization. While other types of analysis may very well detect such patterns, the reality of the situation becomes much more readily apparent. Due to this paper‟s definition of revitalization requiring a turnaround in a neighborhood‟s prospects, it seems that the improvements seen in the Southwest of the study area are not gentrification or revitalization. Instead, they seem to be continued improvement in these areas that enjoyed above average standards for the city of St. Louis in 1980, which is before the literature suggests any gentrification or revitalization occurred in the consensus of local commentators and experts. Concentrating on the northern and eastern sections of the study area, each indicator listed in Table 1 will be examined and the presence of signs of revitalization in neighborhoods and census tracts will be discussed. Because race and age profiles seem to be of little predictive value in the study area, as discussed previously, these measures are ignored. Population Tract 1273 in the center of the topmost row of tracts also shows impressive growth over the period of study. This tract is home to Compton Heights and the Gate District as well as being located near Lafayette Square. Other areas of growth, starting with the 1980s are the Soulard and LaSalle Park neighborhoods in tract 1276. In the 2000s, one can see significant intensifying growth in tract 1232 which includes the neighborhoods of Lafayette Square, King Louis Square, and McKinley Heights. Household and Family Size Of the census tracts north of tract 1157, which seems to be a dividing line in many maps, and east of Grand Avenue (which marks the western border of tract 1165) only 1165, 1242, and 1246 had positive increases in household size over the period study. These tracts roughly align with the neighborhoods of Tower Grove East (1165), Benton Park West (1242), and Marine Villa (1246). The largest drops in household size occurred in tracts which included the neighborhoods of Gate District, Compton Heights, Fox Park, Lafayette Square, King Louis Square, LaSalle Park, Soulard, McKinley Heights, and Benton Park. Family size followed much the same pattern with the largest declines seen in the neighborhoods of Gate District, Compton Heights, Fox Park, Lafayette Square, King Louis Square, and McKinley Heights. Median Income The median income maps once again showed the largest changes over the study period across the northern tier of tracts and again features a noticeable break at tract 1157. Not surprisingly, Soulard takes an early lead in the 1980s. In the 1990s, the largest growth was seen in tracts Lafayette Square and King Louis Square, McKinley Heights, Fox Park, and the Gate District. The 2000s saw the largest changes occurring in Benton Park and Tower Grove East as well as the McKinley Heights, Lafayette Square/King Louis Square corridor of tracts. Occupancy Rate

Soulard, in the northeast is an anomaly from the start as the leader in changes in occupancy, as would be expected for a neighborhood with extensive revitalization in the 1980s. The 1980-2010 changes cause Soulard as well as the tracts containing Lafayette Square and McKinley Heights to stand out in the north for positive changes in occupancy. Between the 1990s and the 2000s, tract 1273, which includes the Gate District as well as parts of Compton Heights and Shaw neighborhoods, shows a switch from slightly negative to greater than 5% growth in occupancy rate. While other tracts also show some either slowing of declines in occupancy or slight growth tract 1273 shows the strongest change between those two decades suggesting revitalization is occurring. Median Property Value and Median Rent Once again, we see the same pattern as other indicators with Soulard taking the lead out the gate in the 1980s. The highest median housing unit values in Soulard/LaSalle Park and Lafayette Square/King Louis Square/ McKinley Heights are a well-established pattern by the 1990s. Compton Heights begins the period with relatively high values and maintains its position in the top tier of values even as other neighborhoods gain and even surpass it in values. This continued pattern showing Compton Heights to continuously perform well suggests that the neighborhood likely was always in good condition and simply has continued to maintain value rather than undergoing revitalization or gentrification. Towards the end of the period, the maps show the increases in housing values moving south into Fox Park, Benton Park, Benton Park West, and Tower Grove East as happens in other indicators. As expected, median contract rents moved in the same manner as property values. The same neighborhoods that experienced positive, revitalization-like, changes in property value showed the same movements on the maps of median contract rent. Percent Homeowners In the maps showing the percentage of occupied housing units occupied by the homeowner, similar patterns to other indicators can be seen. Again, the Soulard-Lafayette Square-McKinley Heights trifecta shows itself as a stronghold of revitalization signs. Tract 1231 (Fox Park) and 1233 (part of McKinley Heights and part of Benton Park) also show high home ownership occupancy rates in the 1980s. In the 1990s, percentage changes are relatively equal across the northern tier, but a noticeable jump is seen in the 2000s. Interestingly, Soulard shows the largest decrease in ownership across the entire region in the 2000s. Instead, Benton Park, Benton Park West, Marine Villa, and Tower Grove East show strong growth in percentages of home ownership. While the data does not provide a full explanation, it is likely that these atypical patterns in the 2000s with home ownership can be explained by the incentives for low-income home ownership which marked the 2000s and was followed by the housing market collapse. Explaining the cause of these patterns would make an interesting further study.

Given the data obtained from the maps and tabulating the neighborhoods with the most signs of revitalization from the census data shown on the maps, the clear leaders in evidence of revitalization are tracts 1232, 1273, and 1276 which represent Lafayette Square, McKinley Heights, King Louis Square, the Gate District, Compton Heights, LaSalle Park, and Soulard. Table 3 classifies each of the indicators shown in Table 1 that were seen to be meaningful and lists the tracts discussed above as showing evidence of revitalization during the study period.

TABLE 3 Tracts With Indicator Values Suggesting Revitalization Indicator Population Median Family and Median Household Size Median Income Occupancy Rate Median Property Value Median Rent Percentage Homeowners Tracts 1232, 1273, 1276 1174, 1231, 1232, 1233, 1243, 1273, 1276 1165, 1231, 1232, 1233, 1243,1273, 1276 1232, 1273, 1276 1165, 1174, 1231,1232, 1233, 1242,1243, 1273, 1276 1165, 1174, 1231,1232, 1233, 1242,1243, 1273, 1276 1165, 1231, 1232, 1233, 1242, 1243, 1246, 1276

As can be seen, tracts 1232 and 1276 show up in all seven measures. These tracts match up with Lafayette Square, King Louis Square, and the northern section of McKinley Heights (1232) and Soulard and LaSalle Park (1276). With five or six measures were tracts 1231, 1233, 1243, and 1273. These represent Fox Park, south McKinley Heights, Benton Park, and the Gate District. With three and four indicators respectively are tracts 1242 (Benton Park West) and 1165 (Tower Grove East). Tract 1174, split between Compton Heights and Tower Grove East, has two indicators suggesting revitalization while 1246 (Marine Villa) has one. Conclusion The tracts and their associated neighborhoods identified by the maps produced in ArcGIS match up very well with the neighborhoods identified as undergoing gentrification in Wilson and Meuller (2004). The one difference is that GIS data suggests that Compton Heights, while it does show improvement, did not ever undergo a significant decline which is needed for this paper‟s definition of revitalization. All of the areas that their paper listed as “proximate to gentrification” were at least marginally identified as having indicators showing the presence of revitalization as well. However, the neighborhoods deemed to be “low income not near gentrification” and thus unlikely to gentrify by Wilson and Meuller both show signs of revitalization, with scores of three and four indicators according to the maps. This change may well be a matter of timing as both Benton Park West and Tower Grove East were among the last areas to show signs of revitalization. Since the Wilson and Meuller paper was published in 2004, revitalization which may be reflected in the 2005-2009 ACS data would not possibly have been detected by their newspaper survey. This author‟s suspicion of the presence of revitalization in Fox Park and a dividing line along Cherokee Street (between tracts 1242 and 1241) seems to be borne out by the maps shown above. Decision to classify these areas (Fox Park and the region north of Cherokee Street) was confirmed based on observation of the study area in August 2011 and as these areas are late to show revitalization according to the data, absence from the Wilson and Meuller paper is understandable. By using GIS to map the indicators of revitalization, the patterns both geographic and temporal were made readily discernable. It is obvious, even with a quick glance, that revitalization began in the north east of

the study area and expanded west and south from there in a very consistent pattern across indicators. For the period 1980-2010, this revitalization seems to have a clear boundary at tract 1157, which lies in the northeastern section of the Dutchtown neighborhood. Areas in the southwest of the region along with Compton Heights, while often showing improving conditions, do not seem to qualify as revitalized areas as in each case indicator values were high from the beginning of the period in question. This case study made use of a section of South St. Louis to identify revitalization using data from the census bureau. Most importantly, it also shows that GIS mapping of data provides a very straightforward way to display data in a format that is easily accessible to the public. When discussing a subject such as revitalization, which is fraught with potential misunderstandings, such ability is very useful.

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