ESLARP:  Emerson Park Housing Development Group


Exciting new changes are taking place in Emerson Park!  A promising development that is coming to the neighborhood is the light rail station.  This station would link Emerson Park to St. Louis, helping to increase employment opportunities in the neighborhood.  Because of the growth potential offered by the new light rail station, the city has proposed the addition of two hundred housing units for Emerson Park.


Emerson Park is an East St. Louis neighborhood which has rather unique boundaries.  It is surrounded by interstate highways and/or busy railroads on all four sides.  Like much of East St. Louis, the Emerson Park neighborhood has a significant amount of vacant lots and derelict housing.  With the added light rail link, the entire personality of the neighborhood can change.  The purpose of this group's portion of the ESLARP project is to determine suitable areas within the Emerson Park neighborhood for the new housing units.
 Aerial Photo of Emerson Park
                                                     Aerial Photo of Emerson Park
Related Projects

Many other projects are also being done for the East St. Louis area.  The Kriegsfeld housing development group is working on locating housing throughout the East St. Louis area.  Another group is looking at the archaeological history of the Emerson Park.  A third group is studying tree nursery and street tree programs, as well as creation of wildlife habitat in Emerson Park.


The main source of information for this project will be the EGRETS map and database from the University of Illinois Landscape Architecture Imaging Lab. Also, the group looked at various web pages from past architecture classes which dealt with similar neighborhood development projects . Another source of information was the Housing and Urban Development website.

Project Definition

The extent of this project will include the Emerson Park neighborhood of East St. Louis. The major community issues which are being considered for this project include: integrating the light rail link to St. Louis, reversing the deterioration of the neighborhood, planning for the new housing units, including open spaces and green spaces, and incorporating wildlife areas, wetlands, and an urban tree plan into the development design. Some key resource issues include: census data, long range plans for Emerson Park, and community oriented facilities such as NTAC. Other sources of information we will likely use is Arcview, FormZ, AutoCAD, ArcInfo, etc.

Site Analysis

One of the most important components of a neighborhood plan package is the site analysis. An analysis of the neighborhood can provide essential information in determining the siting of the housing units. There are many issues to consider when siting homes: location of the flood plains and any wetlands, areas of vacant land, proximity to schools and public transportation, location of industry and railroad areas, and location of any cultural magnets such as churches and historical markers.
Floodprone Areas Cutlural Magnets, Mounds, and Parks

By considering the issues above, a suitability map can be created.  A suitability map combines all of the issues that are important in determining where the units should not be built.  This helps to narrow the suitable sites for the housing units.  The suitability map below combines the floodplains and the areas that are not vacant to determine where we can site our units.
Suitability Map
 Project Definition and Site Analysis

Emerson Park Neighborhood Proposed Design Development
     This section includes a series of design development maps and narratives of potential residential experiences.


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Francis, Mark, Lisa Cashdan, and Lynn Paxson.  The Making of Neighborhood Open Spaces.  Center for Human       
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Landman, Ruth H.  Creating Community in the City:  Cooperatives and Community Gardens in Washington, D.C.  Bergin and
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     Association:  1995.

Moore, Colleen Grogan and Cheryl Siskin.  PUDs in Practice.  The Urban Land Institute.  Washington, D.C.:  1985.

Neighborhood Improvement Plan for Emerson Park.  The Emerson Park Development Corp. and Neighborhood
     Plannning Workshop.  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:  1991.

Stills, Wendell.  The Emerson Park Community Development Block Grant Program 1992-1997.  Department of Urban and
     Regional Planning.  University of Illinois at Chicago:  1992.

Progress Report and Further Studies