Welcome to the map!
We’re mapping neighborhood associations, community development corporations, and community building organizations that have specific footprints in the St Louis metro area. (See our definitions to understand our criteria for inclusion.)
The map has been created to empower neighborhood residents to work collectively, encourage coordination and collaboration, and facilitate quality community engagement.
Who created this map?
The map came together as the result of collaboration between Prof. Dana Malkus (St. Louis University School of Law's Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic) and Claire Rippel (Univ. of Missouri Extension) in their work with the Vacancy Collaborative (Dana) and the Community Engagement Action Group (Claire). Subsequently, several other organizations realized the value of such a map and have assisted in steering its development, including:
The map has been built with significant volunteer effort from Dave Menninger (Vacancy Collaborative, Data Working Group). Together, the map collaborators (and their student interns) have invested countless hours reaching out to community organizations to gather and confirm information. Going forward, we anticipate that InvestSTL will become the permanent home of the map and lead in the refinement, and liaise with the organizations to ensure it is kept up to date and becomes a beneficial tool for the St. Louis Region.
How is the map maintained?
For now, the map is maintained through volunteer effort. So that the map will remain up-to-date going forward, we are working toward a permanent home with InvestSTL. In addition, we are building processes for maintaining the map that leverage the knowledge of nonprofits, city agencies, and individuals directly connected to the organizations shown on the map. The value and quality of the map will depend on people from across the St. Louis community. If your organization is missing, let us know (but be sure to review our definitions page to make sure it’s a fit). Additionally, if you are aware of organizations in the St. Louis County or Metro East regions which should be placed on a map like this one, please let us know by filling out this form.
Comments or questions? Contact us
Working Definitions for Types of Community Organizations
Neighborhood Association - An organization which provides a forum through which neighbors can build relationships with one another, identify community problems, and collectively act to protect and improve their communities. (Knickmeyer et al, 2003). They are often managed by volunteers. (NTEE Code S22). Participation is typically open to residents, businesses, and property owners in the area. Neighborhood associations often serve as an important liaison between residents and city officials, developers, and other organizations. This category also includes other kinds of resident associations (e.g., tenant associations, homeowner associations) that perform the functions described here.
Community Development Corporation (CDC) - A nonprofit organization that provides programs, offers services, and engages in other activities that promote and support community development in a specified geographic area. (NTEE Code S20) Historically, CDCs have typically focused on property development (e.g., affordable housing, commercial development) and other services that meet local needs (e.g., education, job training, healthcare). A CDC’s service area can span a geography of multiple neighborhoods. A CDC is almost always run by paid staff that report to a board of directors. (NACDA, 2014)
Community Building Organization (CBO) - An organization or group of organizations (e.g., social service nonprofit, place-based collaborative, or congregation) that does not fit within the definition of a neighborhood association or CDC but still plays an active role in organizing, supporting, and developing a specific place-based geography (often, a neighborhood or group of neighborhoods). CBOs focus on more than one neighborhood issue and are accountable to a variety of stakeholders. While a CBO may focus on a geography spanning multiple neighborhoods, it does not span an entire county.
Community Improvement District (CID) - A defined area of non-residential properties, whose owners choose to pay an additional tax or fee (pursuant to the process and procedures described in the Community Improvement District Act, Missouri Revised Statutes 67.1401 and following). The additional revenue is dedicated to services and improvements within the district's boundaries.
Federated Block Unit - A group registered with the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis as a "Block Unit" that makes connections with neighbors to make their community a better place. Registered Block Units ordinarily have block captains, pay dues, and receive resources from the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. Block units are normally defined by the hundred block of a given street including houses on both sides of the street.
Special Business District (SBD) - An area established by city ordinance and voter approval with the objective of improving neighborhoods by making them safer, more attractive and thus more marketable. SBD's provide funding for neighborhood improvement projects and services. SBD revenue comes from additional property taxes on residences within the district. The SBD name is a little misleading because it is a tax on real estate, whether they are owned by businesses or not.
Transportation Development Districts (TDD) - An area established by court petition and voter approval with the objective of funding primarily transportation-related infrastructure improvements. TDD impose a sales tax in increments of 1/8% up to one percent (1%). The district can also exercise other powers necessary or convenient for the district to accomplish its purposes.
Development Review Commmittee - A group of residents based in a specific geography, that have developed a formal agreement with political leadership to review development prior to political support being given for a project in the form of legislation or public government processes.
This map does not include:
Community Building Effort - A time-limited, project-centered, or question-based process of engaging people that often culminates in a tangible product or report designed to inform a project’s development, answer a research question, and/or help allocate resources based on community priorities.