TOP 50 STL Economic Development Idea of the Week: Venetian Saint Louis
As we all know, Saint Louis is a river town. It’s located at the crossroads of several rivers and unfortunately, that means we see our fair share of flooding. But, I’ve always been intrigued by cities and towns that are located on waterways, especially ones that take advantage of the water or the surrounding land with technology. There are locks and dams, fjords and canals. It’s the canals that pique my interest. I’ve always wondered whether we could redirect our waterways and build a city on the water like a Venetian Saint Louis.
There are several areas around town that lie in a flood plain which should make the land cheap. It’s really a matter of using technology to our advantage to make sure the water would never spike higher than the housing units and businesses that may be located there. Is it possible? I think so. Is it probable? No. Would it be expensive? You bet!
I recently became aware of an initiative called Better Billion STL which asks Saint Louisans how they would spend a billion dollars in the city to really stimulate something positive. I think it came about in part as a reaction to us almost building another billion dollar NFL stadium, but we know how that turned out. I love the initiative because it’s exactly the kind of ideas I like to submit on TOP 50 STL and I’m glad to see this type of thinking encouraged throughout the region. I reached out to Nick Apperson, the man behind the initiative and we discovered that his cousin is a good friend of mine from high school. St. Louis can be a small town for sure.
I’d encourage you to take a look at Better Billion STL. I think we’re past their deadline for submissions but it doesn’t hurt to like their page and keep this type of thinking top of mind. I’m convinced that the more we think positively about our region, the more positive change we will see. You never know, maybe we’ll just see a city with canals, like a a Venetian Saint Louis.