St. Louis Strategic Plan 2013

Imagining Tomorrow Plan 

*Go to our Suburban Poverty Policy Forum*

St. Louis County is pleased to present Imagining Tomorrow for St. Louis County, the county-wide Strategic Plan.


Imagining Tomorrow for St. Louis County was approved
by the St. Louis County Council on Tuesday, October 29, 2013.

For questions or comments, please contact the Planning Department at:

41 S. Central Avenue
5th Floor
Clayton, MO 63105

(314) 615-2520

[email protected]

Imagining Tomorrow for St. Louis County
 is designed to be an impactful plan. Developed on a strong foundation of data, research, and public policy analysis, it is reflective of a County with significant assets and emerging challenges. While the 2013 plan aims high in its aspirations, it is grounded in the reality that achieving outcomes through effective implementation is what makes tangible differences in communities. The nature of the trends addressed in this plan will require cooperation and collaboration among many leaders and organizations in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. To be successful, St. Louis County and its partners must build on our community’s strengths, anticipate and adapt to change, and take collective action to ensure growth and a prosperous future. 

Review the plan online in SCRIBD

Due to the size of the document, the plan can be downloaded in PDF sections from the following links.

Imagining Tomorrow Full Plan
The Full Plan (38MB)

The Policy Framework Plan Implementation
 Plan Snapshot
The Policy Framework section only (10MB)  The Implementation section only (1.4MB)
Snapshot of the Plan (972kb)


Read our Community Narratives

Lemay Housing Partnership Nurse Family Partnership The Youth Center at Spanish Lake  Innovation High School
Lemay Housing Partnership
Nurse-Family Partnership
The Youth Center at
Spanish Lake
Innovation High School
Jennings Windfall Trace Neighbors Driving Neighbors 
County Parks Volunteers Helix Center
Jennings-Windfall Trace
Neighbors Driving
County Parks Volunteers
Helix Center

At the heart of St. Louis County’s Strategic Plan are its residents, the communities they call home, and the opportunities they have to improve their lives. Behind the facts, figures, and maps in the plan, there is the recognition that it is people who inspire, create, and share in St. Louis County’s quality of life. 


The Strategic Planning Process

The Strategic Planning Process

The update of St. Louis County’s five-year strategic plan has created the opportunity to both re-examine the county's current state and re-imagine its future. St. Louis County’s plan is the result of the County Charter, adopted in 1979, which calls for a county plan and its review every five years. Since 1990, the county plan has moved from a general land use plan to a more policy-oriented strategic plan. This change reflects the maturation and full development of St. Louis County.

The process of developing the 2013 Strategic Plan was substantially grounded in public policy research and analysis with the intention of generating a new narrative for St. Louis County going forward. The planning process began with the 2010 Census data and encompassed strategic assessments, survey data, focused external expertise and input, and broad stakeholder participation.

An overview of the planning process follows.

State of the County

In addition to an analysis of the 2010 Census, the State of the County assessment looked at economic and employment data from the U.S. Department of Labor and housing data, including values, prices, sales, and foreclosures from St. Louis County’s Department of Revenue and St. Louis Board of Realtors. This State of the County presentation was made to St. Louis County officials and the County Council in the spring of 2012.

Policy Briefs

Using the State of the County assessment as a launching point, county planners prepared a series of briefing papers through the summer of 2012. Their intent was to help develop a better understanding of the data and trends impacting the county and explore policy implications in more detail. Developing the briefing papers required analysis of data from a variety of sources, as well as a literature review of research and studies conducted by universities, institutes, and others.
Economic GrowthEconomic Growth

Demographic Dynamics
Demographic Dynamics 

Generational Convergence
Generational Convergence 

Transportation and Mobility
Transportation & Mobility 

Concentrated Poverty
Concentrated Poverty 
Policy Brief Overview
Policy Brief Overview

Citizen Survey

Given the size and complexity of St. Louis County, county officials determined a random sample telephone survey as the most effective means to gather input from St. Louis County residents. The purpose of the survey is to measure public opinion about the quality of life in St. Louis County, satisfaction with local services, County Government’s customer service, importance of selected services, and specific policy issues.

The results of the 2012 Citizen Survey, including a presentation and an executive summary, were presented to the County Council in September of 2012.

Policy Roundtables

A series of Policy Roundtables was convened to guide the policy direction for St. Louis County. Building on months of data analysis and research, County officials identified three significant demographic drivers around which to organize policy discussions:  1) the aging of the population; 2) the emerging Millennial population, and 3) the concentration of poverty. (Note:  A fourth demographic driver, immigration, was considered, but it was already the topic of a regional study that included St. Louis County’s participation.) 

There were nine Policy Roundtable sessions held between December of 2012 and March of 2013. Participants included representatives from the Office of the County Executive, department directors, and senior management staff. The Policy Roundtable process was kicked-off with a panel of local experts and thought leaders to help bring diverse perspectives outside of County Government into the discussions. In addition, practitioners from the non-profit, university, and businesses sectors volunteered to facilitate six of the policy discussions. The work of the Policy Roundtables resulted in the development of the Strategic Plan’s goals, outcomes, strategies, and tactics.

Community Leaders Idea Exchange 

St. Louis County officials presented its data, findings, policy framework, and recommendations to more than 100 local officials, civic leaders, non-profits, business, academic, and community leaders representing 64 regional organizations in June of 2013. The principle objectives of the Community Leaders Idea Exchange were to gather feedback about St. Louis County’s strategic direction; facilitate communication among agencies; and explore partnerships for future implementation of the plan. The event marked an important milestone in sharing St. Louis County’s vision with community leaders and building the necessary relationships to address the initiatives and challenges outlined in the plan. 


Every five years, St. Louis County officials have the responsibility to review the County plan and consider the conditions and trends affecting the County. Different planning processes have been used over the last several decades to update the plan, but regardless of process, all strive to document St. Louis County’s status, better understand issues affecting the countywide community, and set a course for the future. Each plan presents an opportunity to shape policy, guide decision-making and direct resources for the benefit of St. Louis County’s citizens.