West End Neighborhood Sustainability Plan, Washington University

The Missouri Chapter of the American Planning Association supports strong planning initiatives throughout the state, now and into the future. As part of its effort to “plan for tomorrow,” the Chapter has a special award which goes to outstanding student projects which have taken place at any of the public and private colleges and universities state-wide. This year, the Outstanding Student Project Award goes to the West End Neighborhood Sustainability Plan, sponsored by the Washington University in St. Louis Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts. The West End Neighborhood Sustainability Plan is an outcome of a required seminar class for the Master of Urban Design candidates at Washington University. The class was challenged to analyze the West End Neighborhood, envisioning its potential to foster a more sustainable community. The West End is a struggling neighborhood containing a mix of large, historic single family homes, historic multi-family homes, and newly-built single family homes. Foreclosures, vacancy, and crime are prevalent in the neighborhood. The Plan includes in-depth site investigations and an analysis of the West End Neighborhood. The Plan’s goal was to examine nine elements of sustainability systems, to define and map out issues of existing conditions for each element, to reveal the on-going efforts in sustainability and to propose new policies, programs and design initiatives as improvement opportunities. Such comprehensive documentation on sustainability is unprecedented in the West End Neighborhood and the Awards Review Jury was duly impressed with the outcome.