The Evolution of Planning in East St. Louis

Mary Edwards, Laura Lawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article analyzes the evolution of East St. Louis, Illinois, in light of identifiable phases of urban planning in the United States. East St. Louis provides a useful context to trace the history of planning because it is a city that has been mired in the very social, economic, and environmental problems that compel new planning approaches. At the same time, the inability to resolve the city's problems reveals the limitations and ultimate inadequacy of any singular approach. The article tracks the evolution of the city, the catalysts for planning activities, different approaches used, and results of these efforts. It notes that each new approach rejects the previous approach in light of its failure to solve what might be entrenched, complex problems faced by the city. The conclusion calls to question this dismissal of past approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-382
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Planning History
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • East St. Louis
  • comprehensive planning
  • planning history

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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