B E E L I N E

  • A walnut orchard and shaded plaza create a community resource. Makio Yamamoto.
    A walnut orchard and shaded plaza create a community resource. Makio Yamamoto.
  • A new informal square is activated at night by glowing seats lit from the inside. Mikaela Gatewood.
    A new informal square is activated at night by glowing seats lit from the inside. Mikaela Gatewood.
  • A community garden is established between two apartments buildings to form a community hub and learning center. Helen Han.
    A community garden is established between two apartments buildings to form a community hub and learning center. Helen Han.
  • Habitat interaction study. Rebecca Shen.
    Habitat interaction study. Rebecca Shen.
  • Biodiverse walkway linking the neighborhood to the greenway. Rebecca Shen.
    Biodiverse walkway linking the neighborhood to the greenway. Rebecca Shen.
  • Gourds are grown then used for purple martin nesting boxes. Rebecca Shen.
    Gourds are grown then used for purple martin nesting boxes. Rebecca Shen.

In this landscape architecture studio led by senior lecturer Jacqueline Margetts, undergraduate architecture students explored ecological and public open space networks through the West End neighborhood in the City of St. Louis, focusing along the historic Hodiamont Tracks. The former streetcar line, which remains as a neglected service alley, will be converted to a greenway by Great Rivers Greenway.

The studio was sited in the West End neighborhood, in part, because its high number of native bee species, a vital component in maintaining biodiverse ecosystems and key indicator of environmental health. Students were charged with creating conceptual designs that could transform sites along the Hodiamont Tracks into biodiverse greenspaces. These proposals were also required to address social conditions such as enhanced health outcomes, augmented property values, and business opportunities.

Students worked in partnership with Cornerstone Corporation, a faith-based organization with a mission to provide affordable housing in the West End. Cornerstone Corporation is supported by a grant from Invest STL to implement a comprehensive neighborhood development plan. Cornerstone is also collaborating with Great Rivers Greenway, a public agency tasked with creating greenways in partnership with citizens, agencies, groups, and companies, to incorporate the Hodiamont Tracks Greenway into the neighborhood plan. Work produced by students as part of the design toolkit will be used to facilitate discussion with community members about the Hodiamont Tracks and neighborhood planning opportunities.

Students employed mapping techniques to identify and analyze social, economic, and environmental patterns and systems to inform appropriate design interventions. These interventions were presented to Cornerstone Corporation, Great Rivers Greenway, and other community stakeholders including neighbors. This studio was meant to spur visions for the community and encourage residents to advocate for a greenway that enhances the health of both human and non-human communities.

Particiating Students
Graham McAllister
Helen Han
Kai Smith
Makio Yamamoto
Martine Kushner
Michele Chen
Mikaela Gatewood
Rebecca Shen
Tiffany Zheng
Tobie Soumekh

Partners
Great Rivers Greenway
Cornerstone Corporation

Support
CityStudioSTL Studio Grant
Gephardt Institute Course Development Grants