East St. Louis Action Research Project
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The East St. Louis Action Research Project is a cooperatively managed community assistance and development program of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since 1990, faculty and students from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, the Department of Landscape Architecture and the School of Architecture have worked in cooperation with the College of Agriculture's Illinois Cooperative Extension Service, municipal agencies and East St. Louis neighborhood groups to find solutions to pressing social, economic and environmental problems. Over the years, this partnership has enabled ESLARP to effectively plan, implement and finance projects that have improved local housing, created jobs, increased public safety and removed environmental hazards from East St. Louis neighborhoods. These projects have produced tangible improvements in very poor neighborhoods, enhanced the quality of life for ordinary citizens and increased the ability of neighborhood organizations to successfully complete community development projects.
In 1995-96, ESLARP dramatically expanded its community research, organizing, planning and development activities with the support of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Outreach Partnership Center Program. More than 500 students collaborated with residents from seven East St. Louis neighborhoods to complete more than two dozen community planning and design projects identified by residents. ESLARP also undertook several new initiatives in 1995-96, including the establishment of an East St. Louis Geographic Information Retrieval System, the creation of a city-wide coalition to improve the enforcement of the city's sanitation code, and replication of the East St. Louis community/university planning model in two neighborhoods in Champaign, Illinois. Finally, ESLARP took its first steps toward establishing a University presence in East St. Louis through the creation of a Neighborhood Technical Assistance Center.
In 1996, ESLARP was recognized for its ongoing commitment to improving
the quality of life in East St. Louis by its selection as a finalist for
the Building Communities of Opportunities-National Excellence Award for
the City Summit (Habitat
Project staff also participated in the "Volunteer Action and Local
Democracy" forum sponsored by the United
Nations Research Institute for Social Development
held at the Habitat II Conference in Istanbul, Turkey.
Document author(s) : Angie Morgan
HTML by :Nandita Godbole
Last modified: September 30, 1996
East St. Louis Action