Vacant lots and buildings on the west side of the 1800-block of Lafin Street in the Jeff-Vander-Lou neighborhood of St. Louis
Image Credit: Christopher Prener

Ecometric St. Louis

The Ecometric St. Louis project aims to document the effects of widespread crime, disinevestment, poverty, and segregation in St. Louis. I am specifically interested in measuring the relative “health” of neighborhoods in St. Louis by using metrics like the number of arson fires, violent crime rates, and vacant buildings. Another metric is the density of street closures in specific neighborhoods, which have been used since the 1970s to limit traffic into and out of particular neighborhoods on the city’s north side and across its midsection.

The Ecometric St. Louis project encompasses a number of research efforts, and details about each project can be found on their specific project websites:

  • Arson - an effort to document the concentration of and trace the co-variates associated with arson fires in St. Louis
  • Street Not Thru - an effort to produce the first master list of street closures in St. Louis, to examine the effectiveness of closures on crime, and to explore more generally the impact that defensible space has had on St. Louis
  • Urban Prairies - an effort to document the volume of vacancy in St. Louis, its concentration in particular neighborhoods, correlates associated with vacancy, and its durability over time

Substantively, these projects aim to use St. Louis as a living labratory to explore tensions in urban life that persist not just here but in cities throughout the rust belt and around the United States. Methodologically, these efforts all use GIS and spatial statistics as well as large administrative data sets. I am committed to an open science research process with Ecometric St. Louis, including using open source software, providing access to our data and code, and archiving pre-prints of publications.

Christopher Prener
Assistant Professor of Sociology



Coffee and Conversation - Street Barriers in St. Louis
Apr 10, 2018 4:00 PM
Closing the Gateway: Street Barriers as Public Policy in St. Louis, MO
Apr 21, 2017 2:00 PM