Why University of Illinois?
The Urban Extension Minority Access Program was initiated in 1987 when State Representative Wyvetter H. Younge requested technical assistance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the legislative district containing East St. Louis. The University responded with a commitment to support faculty and student research projects in East St. Louis. The first product of this new Program was the School of Architecture's East St. Louis Revitalization Project. Faculty and students focused on large-scale initiatives such as riverfront development, street lighting, industrial and railroad redevelopment, stormwater retention, and the construction of a modular housing factory.
Following these activities, the East St. Louis Action Research Project began with a pilot neighborhood planning workshop in the fall semester of 1990. Equally ambitious, it emphasizes the relationship of the design professions to grassroots community stabilization and development efforts. Over the years, the number of campus departments partnering with ESLARP has expanded to include the Graduate School of Library Information Science, Community Informatics Initiative, and the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, among others. Through faculty and student research and collaboration, ESLARP continues to be a stand-out University-Community Partnership.
Last updated on 8/15/2011