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A major challenge facing the United States is to create thriving communities that enable low- and moderate-income families to lead lives with a reasonable degree of stability, support and resources to take care of their basic needs, find satisfaction in life and raise and educate their children successfully. It seems likely that a truly adequate response to this challenge will rest on multidisciplinary research on finances, physical and mental health, employment, housing, child development and education, community well-being, political access and representation, and environmental sustainability.


CSD is engaged in collaborative multidisciplinary projects that explore the policies and supports that create and sustain thriving communities.

Envisioning Community Land Trusts

A Toolkit for Public Dialogue

The “Envisioning Community Land Trust” series reflects a collaboration between students of CSD’s Dr. Molly Metzger and two community partners: elected officials and community organizations in Webster Groves, Missouri, and the Green City Coalition in the City of St. Louis, MO. The intention of this series is to make scholarship on CLTs more accessible to the public, in order to foster robust community engagement concerning new possibilities for this model in the St. Louis region.

Inclusive Housing

Inclusive Housing

How can policies be overhauled to build a more equitable and inclusive society? How can communities engage to implement an anti-segregation agenda? Our work in inclusive housing is tackling these challenges.

Livable Lives Initiative

Livable Lives

This initiative investigates what social conditions and policy supports can make life with a low or moderate income stable, secure, satisfying and successful.

Pagedale Development Project

Community Engagement

We designed an initiative to develop an integrated “equity” framework for community development to inform constituencies about effective redevelopment of a neighborhood.