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Square the circle: At the end of July, the mobile payment company Square announced it would be investing in a new space and a significantly larger workforce in downtown St. Louis, where company founders Jim McKelvey and Jack Dorsey grew up. As the company signed a 15-year lease in a building that used to house the city’s last daily newspaper, it made another commitment: a promise to fund the demolition of vacant houses.
Dorsey is injecting half a million dollars into the St. Louis Blight Authority, a private group that will help the city demolish some of its 7,000 vacant buildings. But the demolitions are concentrated on the north side, where almost all the residents are black. Meanwhile, development incentives are being funneled to wealthier and whiter neighborhoods. “The effect of St. Louis’ efforts will increase the value of central city neighborhoods while demolishing and depreciating the north side,” writes Michael Allen, a lecturer in urban design at Washington University in St. Louis. Read his perspective on CityLab: Downtown St. Louis Is Rising; Black St. Louis Is Being Razed
More on CityLab
What We’re Reading
Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who held Eric Garner in a chokehold, is fired (New York Times)
The terrorized Mississippi towns that ICE left behind (Slate)
Amid a homelessness crisis, Los Angeles restricts living in vehicles (NPR)
Welcome to Housing Twitter, the shoutiest debate on the internet (Fast Company)
Nipsey Hussle understood cities better than you (Streetsblog)
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