The Missouri Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) has announced the designation of two Great Places in Missouri in 2021: Broadway, Cape Girardeau; Cortex Innovation District, St. Louis.

“This year’s designees represent the best examples across Missouri of strategic planning being utilized to create stronger, healthier communities,” said Stephen Lachky, AICP, APA Missouri President. “As a member of the Great Places in Missouri selection committee, I’ve seen first-hand how competitive the selection process is; and I can attest that Broadway Street in Cape Girardeau and the Cortex Innovation District in St. Louis have demonstrated the highest levels of planning through their vision, partnerships, and action. We congratulate the City of Cape Girardeau, Mo., and City of St. Louis, Mo. on this well-deserved recognition!”

APA Missouri will recognize the 2021 Great Places in Missouri designees via a virtual ceremony on March 3, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. 

2021 Great Places in Missouri

Broadway (Cape Girardeau)

Broadway, Cape Girardeau

Broadway in Cape Girardeau, Missouri is honored as a Great Street in Missouri. The eight-block area of Broadway, from Pacific Street to the Mississippi River is a vibrant commercial and residential corridor. In the downtown, known locally as Old Town Cape, Broadway offers many destinations including Southeast Missouri State University, the Courtyard by Marriott, Marquette Tech District, the Riverfront Park along the Mississippi River, and many more. Additionally, Broadway offers numerous residential, retail, religious, entertainment, and hospitality destinations. Broadway was identified as a focus area in the development of the 2009 DREAM Strategic Plan. The plan proposed for Broadway to preserve historic and existing buildings, make improvements to streetscapes and infrastructure, enhance pedestrian connectivity, and to attract commercial/retail businesses more compatible with the density, history, and architectural character of the street. The plan resulted in a vision that helped to propel extensive private and public investment along the Broadway corridor. The results of planning efforts have been increased pedestrian activity, investment in buildings and facades, and an enhanced, beautiful street for Old Town Cape. The recent planning efforts of the City and Old Town Cape, Inc. identified Broadway as a priority area to improve the building stock, land use mix, and infrastructure. The corridor has also turned into a festival street, enhancing the community and way of life for Old Town Cape and the entire community. Broadway exemplifies a truly great street, well-planned and person-focused with a strong history. 

Cortex Innovation District (St. Louis)

Cortex Innovation District, St. Louis 

The Cortex Innovation District in St. Louis is a Great Neighborhood in Missouri. The Cortex Innovation Community is a vibrant, 200-acre hub of business, innovation, and technology located in between the historic Central West End and diverse Grove area, surrounded by nationally ranked universities and medical centers and abundant cultural and recreational assets. 

Recently recognized as a Best Practice by the Global Institute on Innovation Districts, Cortex is an innovation hub that supports all technology sectors and is rapidly growing into a neighborhood of mixed-uses. Nearly 20 years of planning efforts have led to the District seen today. Since its creation, Cortex leadership has utilized intentional, long-term planning to ensure this neighborhood develops in a way that fulfills the many needs of residents. To date, Cortex has several key developments that enhance the area and create a well-rounded neighborhood. The construction of a new 40/64 Highway interchange provides access directly into the district.  The Cortex MetroLink Station (completed in 2018) creates more transit opportunities for neighborhood residents and workers and furthers transit-oriented development opportunities in the area. Over $700 million in investments have led to 2 million square feet of office, research, hotel, and restaurant space. Development also includes business incubator and accelerator spaces to nurture entrepreneurs and provide a space for shared experiences and growth.  The “Cortex Commons” provides a common public space for neighborhood workers, residents, and food trucks.  Cortex represents a bold vision for urban placemaking, with a goal of integrating advanced technology-oriented businesses within a neighborhood.