February 2018 Luncheon

"Gravois-Jefferson: A Collective Vision On The South Side"

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

11:30 AM Registration and Networking

12:00 PM Presentation

Approved for 1 CM Credit


The Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods Planning process gives residents a say in how their neighborhood will look for years to come. This effort, undertaken by Rise Community Development in partnership with Dutchtown South Community Corporation, aims to gather input to produce a single community plan that will cover the area bordered by Jefferson to the east, Gravois and Grand to the west, and Meramec to the south. It encompasses Benton Park West, Gravois Park, and a northern portion of Dutchtown.

Working with elected officials as well as the City of St. Louis Planning department, the final plan will be incorporated into the city’s overall plan, as a tool to help drive investment in the neighborhood for years to come.

The process is driven by a steering committee of identified community leaders who guide how we move forward with this process.

In collaboration with local elected officials, neighborhood organizations and other community stakeholders, we are facilitating a community-driven planning process for the Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods: the area defined by Gravois on the north, Meramec on the south, Grand on the west and Jefferson on the east.  We look forward to working together on the development of a shared community vision and strategies to ensure the long-term growth and vitality of the area.

The shape below shows the boundary of the Gravois-Jefferson planning area (black line), as well as the wards represented in the area.

Over the next nine to twelve months, residents and other stakeholders in the area will be engaged to look at economic development, racial disparity, land use issues, social services, environmental concerns, transportation (including pedestrian and bicycle networks), housing, educational opportunities, community health, parks and open spaces, and much more.  The bulk of the community planning work will be done through an open public engagement process using a combination of focus groups, public roundtables, design workshops or charrettes, and open houses.



John Cruz, Rise - Data Management Coordinator

Brian Hurd, Rise - Technical Assistance Program Manager


Panelists Bio:

John Cruz

John Cruz

Data Management Coordinator


John joined Rise in 2015. As the Data Management Coordinator, he uses geospatial and census data to tell a visual story of what is happening with land use in the St. Louis region while also tracking neighborhood change indicators. As an intermediary between data sources and human consumption, John aides the public in data literacy initiatives and assists community partner organizations to interpret and properly utilize data as a way that can positively impact their service areas.

Internally, John works with both the Rise technical assistance team and real estate team. He provides technical assistance and consulting services to Rise partners, non-profits, and local government. Utilizes geographic information systems data and technology, he works to support all Rise real-estate developments. As an urban planner, John is also heavily involved in community planning efforts undertaken by Rise.

A Detroit-area native, John moved to St. Louis from Montreal in 2015, having spent most of his earlier career in private-sector software development.

John holds an undergraduate degree in web development from Baker College and a graduate degree in urban planning from Wayne State University specializing in economic development and transit.  He is an executive board member of the American Planning Association of Missouri’s St. Louis section, an elected member of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership Executive Committee and is a charter board member of the St. Louis Civic Tech and Data Collaborative

Brian Hurd

Brian Hurd

Technical Assistance Program Manager


Originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, Brian has been with Rise since 2003.  He is the Technical Assistance Program Manager providing organizational capacity building and management, training along with housing development consulting services to nonprofit organizations, financial institutions and government partners.  Additionally, he serves as a field instructor for Washington University’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work.

Brian has two decades of urban planning and community development experience.  Prior to relocating to the St. Louis area, he was a Senior City Planner for the City of Norfolk, Virginia where he specialized in several planning functions that included housing, community development, transportation, and economic development.

He received his undergraduate degree from Saint Augustine's University in Raleigh, North Carolina and holds a Masters in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa where he currently serves on the Department’s Advisory Committee.  Brian has completed financial management executive education at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business and received the University of Missouri – St. Louis Chancellor’s Certificate of Planning and Zoning.  He takes courses in Washington University’s social work continuing education program. Brian is a certified Housing Development Finance Professional and also a Certified HOME Program Regulations Specialist.

Formerly serving on the City of Maryland Heights’ Citizens Advisory Group for Greenways and Trails and the city's Board of Adjustment, he remains actively involved.  He currently serves on the Maryland Heights Planning and Zoning Commission and is a member of the American Planning Association where he is actively involved with local food systems planning in the Greater St. Louis region.

Urban Eatz
3301 Meramec Street
Saint Louis, MO 63118



Members:  $15
Non-Members:  $18
Students:  $10
Board Members: $10

Menu options from Urban Eats Cafe as follows:

Sandwich (pick one):

  • Southwest Turkey Grilled Wrap-Comes with baby spinach, basil tomatoes, red onions and cheddar cheese, Chipotle ranch, roasted garlic mayo and brown rice in a wrap.
  • Southwest Turkey Panini- Comes with baby spinach, basil tomatoes, red onions and cheddar cheese, Chipotle ranch, roasted garlic and mayo on Panini bread.
  • Italian Vegetarian Grilled Wrap- Comes on brown rice, roasted Caponata, baby spinach, basil tomatoes, red onions and mozzarella cheese, roasted sweet red pepper pesto, roasted garlic and mayo in a wrap
  • Italian Vegan Grilled Wrap- Comes with brown rice, roasted Caponata, baby spinach, basil tomatoes, red onions, roasted sweet red pepper pesto, roasted garlic hummus in a wrap.

A coffee, iced tea, or a fountain drink will be provided. Meals come with chips and a big cookie. 

Registration Deadline:
No later than Friday, February 16, 2018, at 5pm.

Click here to register.