Uptown Dardenne Prairie
Located in St. Charles County, one of the fastest growing counties in Missouri, Dardenne Prairie is a small city located about thirty five miles west of St. Louis. When incorporated in 1981 the City was rural, consisting mainly of farmland. As the local population grew in accordance with the expansion of the St. Louis metropolitan area, and the area’s infrastructure was enhanced commensurately, City officials recognized the need for a City masterplan. In an effort to accommodate this growth and avoid sprawl-style, piecemeal development prevalent in nearby suburban municipalities, the City hired DPZ to design a new downtown on three infill sites. The opportunity to retrofit a fourth already-developed site was identified during the charrette and planned in consultation with City officials.
The new mixed-use “Uptown” area is intended to provide the town with a civic core and to offer an example of compact, mixed-use development. Through the provision of quality services and amenities, Dardenne Prairie’s new core will help create a desirable job base and enhance its residents’ quality of life.
The plan includes four sectors, each with a distinct character and function that features a mix of commercial, residential and civic offerings. The sectors include a town center, a live/work area, a technology employment campus and a mixed-use community center retrofitted from an existing strip shopping center. Prominent landmarks within these sectors include the historic Church of the Immaculate Conception, which is framed by the street network in order to offer views from the site’s many civic spaces; the preserved baseball field, which is framed with mixed-use buildings and a new City Hall; and the technology employment campus, which is located at the highest-visibility site along Interstate (I-40).
These districts are designed to become a unified, comprehensive center for the community connected by pedestrian-friendly thoroughfares. Accordingly, proposed traffic network changes include the adaptation of a proposed highway extension into a tree-lined boulevard, as well as the creation of a network of paths designated for pedestrians and bicyclists; enhancing both its connectivity and walkability.