GOOD Ideas for Cities: How CityPulse Plans to Put St. Louis On the Map
When GOOD Ideas for Cities headed to St. Louis, it met with a city in the midst of rebuilding its identity. Once one of the biggest cities in the world, St. Louis now fights a reputation as a dangerous urban area, hinting at its past glamour through the remaining infrastructure left over from the 1904 World's Fair. Fortunately, many of its citizens are incredibly driven to change that perception. "So many people see it as a fly-over city past its hey day, but St. Louis has this incredible creative scene," says Tara Pham, one of the recent college graduates who comprise Brain Drain, a local collective whose name is inspired by the propensity of recent college grads to flee the city in favor of the coast, taking their talent and enthusiasm with them. As one of the seven teams who presented at GOOD Ideas for Cities St Louis, Brain Drain has blown everyone away with not only an ingenious idea for the city, but a plan to get it implanted in two years.'>
For now, Brain Drain continues to research and cultivate relationships. They've recently decided to incorporate, a step that shows their commitment not just to CityPulse, but to the creative growth of St. Louis. In the meantime, the Brain Drain collective will march forward, even when faced with criticism. "No matter what you do, someone will always be opposed to it, for one reason or another. It may not be many people, but it is often the loudest person," says Brown. "St. Louis is a bit parochial—the same families have been in the government since I've been alive. It can be tough to convince people to do something new, but it's growing pains and it's part of the process."
"The potential of City Pulse is unlimited," says Pham. "We have no idea what the best use will be, and that's what's truly exciting. Brain Drain would love to see a project like CityPulse become the standard for urban environments, a goal that could very likely be reached, due to the project's scalability. "I had a meeting with some folks connected to New York City's public space recently," says Pellegrino. "Prior to the meeting they had looked at my website and the first thing they asked me about was the CityPulse project."