Livable Lives Thriving Communities Working Paper

Rebound Neighborhoods in Older Industrial Cities: The Story of St. Louis

This project grew out of a desire to understand neighborhood dynamics in older industrial cities like St. Louis, Missouri. St. Louis has a reputation as a city in decline, yet we observed that many neighborhoods were doing quite well. We wanted to know why certain neighborhoods appeared to “bounce back” or rebound from urban decline while others languished. This paper seeks to identify the factors that determine whether neighborhoods in older industrial cities are likely to revitalize, stagnate, or decline. Our data covered four decades (1970-2010) and showed that, indeed, many neighborhoods in the older parts of the St. Louis region had rebounded from urban decline.

Project: Livable Lives Initiative


Webber, H., & Swanstrom, T. (2014). Rebound neighborhoods in older industrial cities: The story of St. Louis (CSD Working Paper No. 14-17). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.