314-399-8812 info@investstl.org

Playbook Manual

Welcome! This page contains useful background information and context for the learnings and examples you will read about in the playbook pages. We highly recommend reading it fully prior to getting into the content of each play.

Invest STL: Who we are

St. Louis, Missouri, our home, is where we get to build a coalition and be in community with daring, brilliant spirits who are all working for a just and equitable region. Invest STL is part funder, part convener and full-time partner to neighborhood stakeholders striving to transform their communities to be worthy of their lifetime.

We are guided by an activist spirit, mobilizing institutional resources toward our vision that every St. Louis neighborhood is a chosen place to live, raise children, and grow old. We are focusing our resources and energy to build a thriving ecosystem of leaders, organizations, neighborhoods, policies, and practices to deliver on this vision in one generation, sunsetting the organization by 2042. Learn more on our About Page.

This playbook captures lessons learned when the people of the West End and Visitation Park neighborhoods in St. Louis harnessed their power to self-determine the direction of the place they call home. We hope this playbook is a useful roadmap to resident-led processes and that it encourages everyday people to embrace neighborhood planning. With more groups learning and practicing this approach, resident-led planning can become the new yet ever evolving standard, especially for St. Louis. This playbook is a celebration of the boldness, willingness, and resilience of The West End and Visitation Park (WE/VP) residents in leading the charge through their planning process. Read all about their expansive journey in the section “weCollab History and Process” later in the manual.

Resident-led Neighborhood Planning

What is resident-led neighborhood planning?

Neighborhood planning is nothing new, but resident-led efforts like the one you will explore in this playbook are distinctly different from traditional planning. Here is a comparison of typical circumstances in traditional planning and resident-led planning:

Traditional Planning

Resident-led Planning

Leadership

Led by municipality’s planning department (or similar) or by outside consultants hired by the municipality. Residents are the decision-makers and the primary experts for their neighborhood. They influence the decisions that cities and developers make about development and resource allocation to align with the interests and desires of the existing residents and stakeholders.

Timing

Marches along to a predetermined set of procedures and a timeline with designated points for feedback from residents and stakeholders. The process slows down or speeds up, revisits topics, and repeats actions as needed to ensure the community has the opportunity to fully explore moments of opportunity and conflict as they arise. It’s a flexible and customized approach.

Final Plan

The final plan is a creation of the planning consultant which may reflect some aspects of community feedback but is largely driven by the consultant’s perspective, the municipality’s priorities, and local real estate development trends and influences. Technical experts and consultants don’t get the final say. Both interim and final decision-making for the process and the plan resides with the residents.  The consultants are accountable to residents, and the resident leaders are accountable to their neighbors and neighborhood stakeholders to ensure their community has ample opportunity and support to speak up and influence the plan priorities.

Implementation

Too often, these plans are documents that “sit on a shelf and collect dust” in part because they do not enough neighborhood-level ownership, interest, or support to move them forward. Processes and plans are owned by the residents with more neighborhood-level participation, expectation, and accountability for plan implementation.

Communication

Residents are often “talked at” or directed by technical experts and their teams. Technical experts provide insight and context to inform residents’ decisions. This means consultants often take time to share complex ideas in everyday speech so that residents fully understand, engage, and make the best decision for their community.

Ultimately, resident-led processes and plans are owned by the residents with more neighborhood-level participation, expectation, and accountability for plan implementation. They are unique in that there is not a single approach or way of doing things. The process is shaped by the relationships, social norms and culture, priorities, lived experiences, and practices of the residents.

Benefits of Resident-Led Planning

Resident-led Planning Yields

This data was gathered from a brief survey of weCollab Steering Committee Members.

Stages + Sequence

Every process will adapt to the needs of the neighborhood, planning team, and stakeholders but common stages of a resident-led planning process include:

PRE-PLANNING

  • Build Solidarity: Residents interested in leading a planning effort take time to get to know each other, uncover their common concerns, form groups, secure funding, and raise awareness among local stakeholders. Stakeholders can include residents plus any groups, organizations, or individuals with a vested interest in the neighborhood.
  • Build understanding: Residents and neighborhood stakeholders collect, organize, and make sense of areas of opportunity or concern, the conditions that have influenced the current state of the neighborhood, and their ideas for what their shared future could look and feel like.

PLANNING + ENGAGEMENT

  • Explore ways forward: With the insight of planning consultants and guidance from local governments, residents consider their options for evolving their neighborhood based on what they uncovered and prioritized in the prior stage of building understanding.
  • Refine and embed the plan: Ideas are tested for relevance and consensus to define resident priorities and actions as concretely as possible. Consensus among neighborhood stakeholders and support from local government for the forming plan are gained and confirmed. Surveys, public meetings, and focus groups are conducted to inform final decisions made in the plan. —>🃏

DRAFTING + ADOPTION

  • The priorities, actions, research, and recommendations are compiled into a document following the locality’s process and requirements to be submitted for adoption.

IMPLEMENTATION

  • This is when the plan is put into action by the efforts of everyone involved: residents and other neighborhood stakeholders (including neighborhood-based organizations), local government agencies,developers, and elected officials.

Find a list of tactics for each of these phases in the “Additional Tools” section. Tactics for neighborhood plan implementation are not currently included in the playbook.

Recommended Supports

Though not required, we have learned it is helpful to have the following set of supports in place to start and sustain a strong resident-led planning process:

  • A coalition: Residents who are actively engaged in your community and are willing to work together to shape and advance a vision. Everyone will not enter the process with the same views, and that is ok. The will to find common ground in the interest of your community is what matters most.
  • Neighborhood-based Anchor: A person or an organization within your community that can serve as an anchor for the process and support keeping the coalition of residents and their consultants grounded in what has already been explored and decided, and what is ahead. This role can be seen as a neutral facilitator– someone tasked with keeping the conversation and process advancing productively.
  • Plan Requirements: If not fully conducted by local government, Gguidance early on from your local government on what is required in a planning process and document to ensure what is produced will be honored and supported by local government in implementation.
  • Funding: Resources to support a rich process complete with consultants who will listen to and be directed by residents. Funding and technical planning consultants are not required to start a process but we want to be upfront in acknowledging that at some point both will be needed for a process and plan that reflects the desires and will of your community and sets a well-informed, actionable vision.

Stakeholder Engagement Check

Before and throughout the planning process it is helpful to assess the engagement level of your stakeholders. (Keep in mind, residents are stakeholders too!). Assessing the engagement level and experience level helps you have a realistic view of the contributions stakeholders can make based on their experience and capacity. Knowing this upfront helps you better plan, organize, and delegate, while keeping realistic expectations for your stakeholders.

 There are two general factors to keep in mind: level of activation, and level of experience to identify the sweet spot of activity that aligns with your level of experience, and evaluate where your neighbors might be.

  • Present: A stakeholder who resides (in their home, business, or organization) in the neighborhood but is not aware of or involved in neighborhood improvement activities.
  • Aware: Has a sense of neighborhood improvement activities but may not have a full understanding and are not active in those activities.
  • Active: Involved in neighborhood improvement activities by sharing, learning, or participating, but need direction or guidance to engage or promote activities.
  • Influential: Well-connected stakeholders who influence or encourage others to become aware or participate, directly or indirectly.
  • Fully Engaged: A self-starter who seeks out information and activity, often prioritizing neighborhood improvement activities in their life or work. They have initiated significant work and held long-term commitments in their neighborhood.

Once you have identified at what stage people are, look at how stakeholders might work together. For this, we’ll apply concepts from Project Management and product design.

  • Communication is the most basic level and a starting point when it comes to neighborhood engagement. This is often how others become aware; whether by conversation, via visual graphic or flier, or reading.
  • Cooperation: as stakeholders become active, it’s important that they agree to conduct their activities involving the neighborhood in a way that does not undermine the planning effort.
  • Coordination is needed to ensure individual efforts of influential stakeholders works toward a common goal – in this case, the planning and implementation of community vision through a city-adopted, comprehensive, neighborhood plan.
  • Collaboration is achieved when fully engaged stakeholders share in the creation and tracking of ideas, processes, activities, and outcomes in a neighborhood planning process – work that could not be accomplished by individuals or one organization alone.

There are examples of levels of citizen involvement in planning processes from the viewpoint of practitioners administering or facilitating a process, but not many examples of levels and types of engagement from the viewpoint of residents themselves. Starting with the resident viewpoint, other stakeholders can also evaluate themselves on the same continuum. It helps to acknowledge that levels and ways of engaging will evolve as stakeholders progress along a neighborhood planning process. Using this engagement temperature check provides a baseline understanding for everyone to identify where they are and then naturally evolve together.

Using the playbook

Why we wrote this

The Resident-led Neighborhood Planning Playbook can be thought of as a readiness framework for everyday people and community development professionals to do more equitable work. For generations, the tradition of neighborhood planning and development has been one that often intentionally or unintentionally directed harm towards existing communities of Black people and other people of color and people with fewer economic means. Often this kind of traditional planning is done in the name of “progress” and frequently led by people and institutions with little stake in these neighborhoods. That legacy has inevitably cultivated mistrust, skepticism, and at times disengagement in community processes at large. We want to inspire those involved in neighborhood planning in St. Louis and beyond to take a more just approach and create a more dignifying legacy with their efforts.

Who is this playbook for?

We believe in and support residents cultivating their power to develop, revitalize, and plan for their own neighborhoods🔤. This playbook is meant to be a guide for individuals or groups to practice centering residents in their planning efforts. Use the elements of each play as resources for your own personal exploration, in neighborhood meetings, or with potential partners. Remember, none of what we suggest is prescriptive, but hopefully will give you a place to start as you form or deepen your own resident-led practice.

Residents, neighborhood anchors, consultants, funders, and local governments all have a critical role to play in supporting, amplifying, and acting on the will of residents in the planning process. If each team member takes the time to learn their plays, resident-led planning can become the norm in St. Louis and nationwide.
We have grouped plays that are related into sections. The sections are described below so you can more easily find what may be relevant to you and your group. Each card has a “Practice” exercise that can help your group implement the play. Each section has a checklist of the included plays so you can track your progress through each section:

FIND COMMON GROUND

Start by getting to know your neighbors and building solidarity around your purpose, the experience you want in the planning process, and the needs and goals you share.

Practices

  • Fact sheet about planning process
  • Binder of priorities and mission of your group
  • Get to know neighbors with ice breakers
  • Role & accountability chart

Additional Resources: Two-Loop Theory, Principled Struggle

Set structures

Explore ways you can organize your neighbors to guide decision-making and hold accountability in complex work with many players and partners.

Practices

  • Accountability checkpoints multiple times per year
  • Staff job descriptions
  • Partnerships map
  • Define partner expectations
foster collaboration

Collaborate means to work jointly on an activity, especially to create something. Discover what it takes to be productive and maintain healthy relationships with your neighbors and stakeholders.

Practices

  • Team building activities
  • Working agreements for official meetings
  • Imagine and evaluate outcomes of different decisions
  • Superhero activity
  • Pause and pivot to curiosity in a tense moment
    create access

    Help residents understand the work and how they can participate in the plan in a meaningful way while responding to and integrating what they learn from the process.

    Practices

    • Raise awareness through mailer and mini-quiz questions
    • Plan your next engagements
    • Preview and prepare for meetings
    • Connect the dots from resident input to action/decisions
    • Frequently reflect on equity questions

    Additional Resources: IAP2’s Public Participation Toolbox, role play with engagement materials, FTF Racial Equity Framework

        upskill

        Equip yourself with new skills, tools, and resources that prepare you for a resident-led planning process.

        Practices

        • Identify gaps in process functions needed
        • People watch
        • Try consensus-based decision making.
        • Take attendance and record votes
        endure beyond

        Pick up practices to stay energized, empowered, and relentless in your collective work.

        Practices

        • Tell stories from your process
        • Develop positive messaging
        • Call your neighbors by phone to check in
        • Celebrate innovations and win awards!

        Additional Resources: Story Harvesting

        playbook terms + definitions

        Sports as a language

        Neighborhood planning can be dense and confusing to the everyday person. Sports are something most readers will be familiar with even if they are not a major part of our lives. We chose to organize our learnings with sports analogies to make the content accessible and fun. We use various sports terms throughout the plays. While we recognize neighborhood planning is a very serious endeavor and should be handled with the utmost care, it is just as important to enjoy the work you do!

        Terms and Definitions

        Similar terms will be used throughout this manual and the cards to convey things we learned about neighborhood planning. Read the definitions below in order of how they show up on the cards:
        THE PLAY: The title on each card that briefly defines what we learned. There is one play per card.
        WHAT WE LEARNED: This section is about “the play” we learned and found helpful in our process. We describe each play and how to apply them to practice resident-led planning.
        WECOLLAB HIGHLIGHT: examples of how “the Play” showed up in the weCollab planning process.
        PRACTICE: activities you can try to implement each play that you learn.
        HUDDLE UP: reflection questions that speak directly to each “team member” or stakeholder to start or expand practices toward a resident-led process.
        PRO-TIPS: additional resources that can help you and your group go the extra mile in knowledge and strategies for your process.

        Additional Resources

        Throughout the plays, you will see icons that refer to specific tools and resources. See what they mean using this legend and the descriptions below. They are listed in alphabetical order:

        Card Reference

        Indicates the number of the card being referenced by thte content

        Editable Template

        Indicates downloadable documents that you and your group can use on practice exercises or tactics.

        Key Playbook Term

        These are terms you will find frequently in the playbook. There are many other community development terms used in planning that might be new to the everday person. Visit our online glossary for definitions of frequently used planning terms so you have a rich vocabulary to start planning conversations with your neighbors, funders, and other stakeholders.

        Manual Reference

        Indicates the section of the manual (this page) being referenced by the content.

        Multimedia Content

        Indicates plays brought to life through audio or visual content that can be experienced online.

        Tactics

        Indicates a reference to suggested steps that can be taken and useful tools for most resident-led planning processes. Various items are listed in checklists for each phase of resident-led planning.

        THE PLAYERS

        CHOOSE YOUR POSITION!

        Each play has a “Huddle Up” or reflection questions that participants in a neighborhood planning process can ask themselves to start or expand their resident-led practice. Each “Position” has the potential to increase the influence of resident power and voice through how they participate in a resident-led process. We describe each position here.

        weCollab history + process

        History as a Precedent

        Neighborhood planning can be dense and confusing to the everyday person. Sports are something most readers will be familiar with even if they are not a major part of our lives. We chose to organize our learnings with sports analogies to make the content accessible and fun. We use various sports terms throughout the plays. While we recognize neighborhood planning is a very serious endeavor and should be handled with the utmost care, it is just as important to enjoy the work you do!

        To the south, they are bordered by Delmar Blvd, which has been perceived as a division of the city’s wealth, races, and importance for decades. Before 1950, the West End and Visitation Park contained a predominantly white, middle- to upper-class population. Home values were competitive for white families, while housing covenants and federal redlining prohibited sales to Black families, and segregation limited their mobility into the neighborhood.
        After the 1948 Supreme Court ruling that private racial covenants could not be enforced by the state, Black families had new options for where to live. The West End and Visitation Parks location, housing quality, and variety of amenities made it an attractive place and Black families sought residence in the neighborhood. This prompted whites to flee in record numbers, regardless of the sale price they might have been able to get. As white families fled the neighborhood, governments no longer prioritized it for resources or improvement. Redlining, banking malpractice, and unfair appraisals worked to decrease home values for incoming Black families.

        Watch WEVP residents talk about Neighborhood transition and stabilzation from the 1950s to present day.

        Racial Equity Inspires Resident-Led

        With this history of racist real estate practices and a recent increase of development interest in the neighborhood again, residents started taking things into their own hands to preserve and improve the neighborhood they were left with. In recent decades, several neighborhood leaders (i.e., neighborhood associations, public officials, etc.) have been engaged by residents in a series of meetings to discuss the need for neighborhood planning. Residents wanted to ensure that any and all development activities are guided by a common, shared vision of current residents and local stakeholders. Many believed that West End/Visitation Park (WE/VP) was primed and ready to initiate a planning process.

        In 2017, a group of Black women who live in the West End responded to a funding opportunity we offered which came with a pre-selected planning partner. The local Community Development Corporation (CDC), Cornerstone Corporation, agreed to serve as the convener for the planning process, providing the backbone support needed to move the process forward. Together, they mobilized the support they had been building months and years prior. These key neighborhood stakeholders included elected officials; the three neighborhood associations serving residents within the boundaries of WE/VP; and public and private entities (e.g., Bi-State Development, Delmar Divine, Great Rivers Greenway, St. Louis ArtWorks, and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to name a few). The West End & Visitation Park applicants were awarded funding, and the planning process began.
        The residents and Cornerstone Corporation recruited a Steering Committee of about 15 members through an application process to guide the work. The residents who initially pursued the Invest STL funding – all residents of the West End – served as advisors to the committee. Below is a more detailed description of some of the roles present in the weCollab Planning process (See a full diagram below):

        Steering Committee

        Residents from every quadrant of the neighborhood who applied and were selected to work with the planning team to carry out and deliver a comprehensive neighborhood reinvestment plan. They reported to the Executive Committee and were consulted by the advisors.

        Executive Committee

        Residents who managed the planning team, the governance of the Steering Committee, and served as the authorizing body for the process, holding final decision making authority for critical decisions. They were accountable to the Steering Committee.

        Advisors

        Unofficial members of the Steering Committee who had professional experience in neighborhood planning and development. They offered their expertise, connections, and network as a resource to the steering committee and offered support similar to consultants.

        Administrative Partner & Advisor

        This was the Neighborhood-based Anchor Organization of Cornerstone Corporation poised to pursue funding and provide staff to the weCollab effort.

        Consultants

         Yard & Company and Technical Committee that included staff from the City of St. Louis offered technical expertise in the tactical matters of meeting city criteria, researching options, designing strategies, synthesizing engagement data and qualitative feedback, feasibility studies, and ultimately the production of the physical plan that was adopted by the city. They worked closely with the neighborhood ambassadors to understand the realities of neighborhood conditions and resident experiences.

        Ambassadors

        Residents who were hired to work closely with the consultants and steering committee to design and deploy outreach and engagement strategies, communicating information to and from the entire neighborhood.

        About a year in, the conversation of gentrification emerged as a key motivation for writing this plan. “When folks say gentrification, they really mean race or racism” said Treena Thompson, Steering Committee Advisor, Cornerstone CDC Board Member, and Resident of the West End. Residents did not want to be displaced or make decisions that would displace other residents with this process. Their reason for a neighborhood plan was much deeper than increasing commercial markets and filling vacant land. There was an emphasis on centering racial equity in the plan to address past harms and preserve the community for existing residents while responding to new market pressures and welcoming new residents. 

        We offered Racial Equity [ICON: Glossary Term] education through one of the residents’ consulting practices called RELE (Racial Equity Learning Exchange) Sessions at the Steering Committee’s request. This discovery process seeded practices and beliefs that residents expected the plan to uphold. As these ideas started to form, COVID-19 emerged and an unintended pause slowed everyone down enough to sit back and reflect on the work they had done. 

        Residents reviewed successes and challenges to the process so far and determined improvements. They observed discomfort with the lack of their voice and desires being clearly expressed in the direction the plan was going. As the Steering Committee dug deeper and surveyed residents and leaders, it became evident that if they were going to pursue racial equity in the way they imagined, they would need the proper support. The Steering Committee decided to select a new planning partner who could identify with their vision and support its execution in the neighborhood plan. The executive committee made up of resident co-chairs wrote a Request for Proposals (RFP) to find a new planning partner, guided by Invest STL and Cornerstone CDC. We researched and collaboratively developed URL Characteristics of Equitable Planning as a rubric for their selection, and the residents independently facilitated the public-facing planning partner selection and deliberation process.

        The process with the new planning partner started in 2021. They held a Public Kick-off and released a collaboratively written Summary of Understanding (SOU) about where the group had been and where they wanted to go. The SOU includes the influences of racial equity on the planning process: resident-led planning and decision making, valuing diversity and inclusion, supporting the growth of minority businesses, avoiding displacement, and social/emotional healing. You can read more about the history of the planning process and how it upholds racial equity in the URL Summary of Understanding preceding the plan. The residents decided to call this revamped effort the “weCollab Plan” and it has been adopted as such by St. Louis City. URL: Adopted Plan

        We celebrate, honor, and continue to learn from this neighborhood and plan in the creation of this playbook. We want to acknowledge all the consultants and stakeholders who contributed energy to this process. Namely, the neighbors of the West End and Visitation Park, Emerging Wisdom, Whitney Benns, and the Black Healers Collective for conflict resolution and community building, YARD & Company as the lead planning partner; their subconsultants Vector Communications, BlackArc, Action STL, &Access, The Lochmueller Group; planning lead Rise Development; Missouri Foundation for Health and the countless neighborhood organizations and venues that hosted us throughout the process.

        We honor and respect every resident who committed to this effort for any length of time since it began.

        weCollab process tIMELINE OVERVIEW

        Pre-funding phase

        December 2017 | Potential Funding Identified

        We invited neighborhood groups to attend an information session about funds available to transform their neighborhood. Funding came with support from a planning partner and capacity building services. Of many West End and Visitation Park residents in attendance, 4 women found out they were close neighbors and connected after the meeting at one of their homes, thrilled and charged about the possibility of being funded to execute a neighborhood plan.

        January 2018 | Funding Application Submitted

        Using the individual skill sets and networks of these 4 women, the application was completed with the support of numerous residents and key stakeholders.  Cornerstone Corporation, in consultation and under the leadership of the residents, submitted the application on behalf of the West End and Visitation Park.Both neighborhoods were included because of the geographic impact existing organizations and initiatives already had.

        February 2018 | Funding Awarded

        The Invest STL funding was awarded to two neighborhood clusters: The West End/Visitation Park (WE/VP) and Dutchtown. For the next ten months, the planning partner worked with Cornerstone to strengthen their capacity as the anchor organization. It involved aligning Cornerstone’s strategic plan, budget, and engagement processes with what they were preparing to undertake with the planning process.

        Pre-planning phase

        January 2019 | Resident Group Formation

        Residents were recruited to form a Steering Committee. The process prioritized equity by seeking diversity across geographic location, length of residency, renter or homeowner status, gender, race and age through an open application process. Candidates applied and were interviewed by a panel of residents from other neighborhoods who served in a similar capacity.

        June 2019 | Public Engagement: Planning Kick-Off

        The residents and planning partner held a Public meeting at Union Avenue Christian Church introducing the process to the neighborhood for the first time.

        2020 | Pandemic Pause and pivot

        PIVOT – PLANNING PARTNER SELECTION PROCESS

        December 2020 | New Planning Partner Outreach

        Invest STL supported the Executive Committee composed of residents and Cornerstone Corporation in redefining the scope of work to attract technical planning partners who could support resident leadership. The Steering Committee wrote an RFP

        January 2021 | Resident Group Re-Formation

        The Steering Committee was opened up to mindfully recruit more residents from all corners of the neighborhood. An Executive Committee was formed to assist in administrative and executive aspects of the process.

        April 2021 | New Planning Partner Hired

        Planning partners were evaluated by residents through the public sharing of RFP responses from the top 3 candidates (determined by the Steering Committee), and live, public interviews via Zoom.  Residents and stakeholders submitted comments, questions, and ranked the finalists. The Steering Committee chose YARD & Company as the new planning partner.

        Building Understanding

        October 2021 | Public Engagement: Planning Kick-Off, 2nd Edition

        The residents and new planning partner held a public event at Ivory Perry Park to re-engage residents around the new effort.

        April 2022 | Community Engagement Strategy: Recruitment<br />

        YARD worked through Cornerstone Corporation to hire residents as community ambassadors, initiating the Ambassador Program that gave them a winning proposal. 5 residents were hired.

        May 2022 | Documentation of Existing Conditions for Planning<br />

        YARD and the Steering Committee finalized the document that captured the previous planning process, summarized themes from community engagement, and outlined goals for the upcoming planning process. It is referred to as the Summary of Understanding and can be found in the appendix of the weCollab plan.

        Exploring ways forward

        May 2022 | Community Engagement Strategy: Ambassador Program Launched<br />

        Ambassador program launched. Cornerstone Corporation developed outreach strategies with Ambassadors, leading data collection for the plan by holding pop-up events and sharing at events by key community stakeholders. They spread the word about the planning process and collected resident feedback and vision block by block. Lead ambassador recruited additional volunteers to support engagement.

        Jun 2022 | Public Engagement: Initial input<br />

        The main objectives and strategies that would eventually influence the development initiatives and recommendations in the neighborhood plan were shared in Stakeholder meetings, at community meetings, and outdoor pop-ups. The planning team sought feedback and collaboration from neighborhood residents, business leaders, institutions, and elected officials.

        Refining and embedding the plan

        August 2022 | Plan Drafting: Focus Areas Selected<br />

        YARD proposed potential physical locations to focus on that would influence widespread development  based on Community Feedback, analysis of the existing neighborhood amenities, and how residents and visitors use them. The Steering Committee prioritized the focus areas based on resident engagement data, their lived experience, and rigorous discussion.

        November 2022 | Public Engagement: Confirming Neighborhood Vision

        A third round of stakeholder meetings was held for feedback on the draft plan and coordination with other development efforts happening in the neighborhood. The draft plan was revealed at a large, public community meeting. In this series of public engagement, the community vision is nearly finalized in the plan.

        Nov. 2022 - May 2023 | Plan Drafting: Revisions with City

        YARD guided discussions with the Steering Committee in collaboration with Invest STL about implementation and designing the system of entit(ies) and individuals that will ensure the plan is implemented and won’t sit on a shelf (called the weCollab Operating System in the plan); Meanwhile coordinating with the City to ensure the plan conforms to city standards and addresses the needs of the city planning process. The Steering Committee voted for Cornerstone Corporation to become the administrative partner in plan implementation.

        June 2023 | Plan Adoption

        The draft plan received feedback while available at 5 locations around the neighborhood for a 20 day public comment period. This period was just before the public hearing where the weCollab plan was adopted as a Neighborhood plan and supplement to the City’s Comprehensive Plan by the Planning Commission.

        You’re ready to play!

        Pick a section to start with:

        FIND COMMON GROUND

        Start by getting to know your neighbors and building solidarity around your purpose, the experience you want in the planning process, and the needs and goals you share.

        SET STRUCTURES

        Explore ways you can organize your neighbors to guide decision-making and hold accountability in complex work with many players and partners.

        FOSTER COLLABORATION

        Collaborate means to work jointly on an activity, especially to create something. Discover what it takes to be productive and maintain healthy relationships with your neighbors and stakeholders.

        CREATE ACCESS

        Help residents understand the work and how they can participate in the plan in a meaningful way while responding to and integrating what they learn from the process.

        UPSKILL

        Equip yourself with new skills, tools, and resources that prepare you for a resident-led planning process.

        ENDURE BEYOND

        Pick up practices to stay energized, empowered, and relentless in your collective work.

        View and download tactic checklists:

        The linked checklists contain suggested steps that can be taken and useful tools for most resident-led planning processes. They are organized by phases as described in the section about Resident-led Planning. Use the checklists to see your progress as you go.

         

        Key Terms used in the Playbook:

        • Stakeholders: can include residents plus any groups, organizations, or individuals with a vested interest in the neighborhood of focus.
        • RFP: Request for Proposal
        • Neighborhood: An area with defined physical boundaries and a name that is recognized by local government.
        • Municipality: a city or town that has corporate status and local government.
        • Partner: when two willing entities form a relationship to address shared objectives.
        • Quorum: the minimum number of members of an assembly or society that must be present at any of its meetings to make the proceedings of that meeting valid.

        Learn common planning vocabulary:

        COMING SOON

        people | power | place | systems

        Initiating a 20 Year Journey

        Every St. Louis neighborhood is a chosen place to live, raise children, and grow old.

        Email

        call

        314-399-8812

        VISIT

        5600 Delmar Blvd.
        St. Louis, MO 63112

        Mail

        PO Box 300010
        St. Louis, MO 63130