By Jenny Connelly-Bowen, CBN Graduate Research Assistant

This week, we’re sharing a map that was compiled for us by the Stupp Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Lab, a state-of-the-art computer imaging center at Saint Louis University’s (SLU’s) Center for Sustainability. The mission of SLU’s Center for Sustainability is to create a more sustainable world. In support of that mission, Center faculty and students conduct interdisciplinary research to identify “socially acceptable, environmentally responsible, and economically viable solutions to some of the world’s most pressing sustainability-related issues.”

The map below summarizes change in vacant land and Land Reutilization Authority (LRA)-owned properties throughout the City of St. Louis between 2010 and 2017. It was compiled using data obtained through ESRI and St. Louis City’s Public Datasets (found here: The map quantifies vacancy by census tract as a percentage of vacant and LRA-owned parcels out of all land parcels in each tract (measured in acres). Here’s how the map defines parcels and vacant parcels:

Parcel: The ESRI shapefile of all parcels within St. Louis City. Both vacant and developed properties (both land and buildings) are included in these parcel base boundaries.

Vacant parcel: A parcel is vacant if the land on it was undeveloped or empty during the assessment period in January 2010 or February 2017, or if the parcel is owned by the LRA of St. Louis. This does not include all known vacant buildings assessed through the St. Louis City Inspection Reports, but does include all vacant buildings that are also owned by the LRA, and all vacant (undeveloped) land.

2010-2017 ct VP final tabloid PNG


Thank you to the Stupp GIS Lab for allowing us to share their work! To access maps from previous editions of the Community Builders Exchange, click here.