St. Louis is located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, making it a major United States port. Surrounded by wealthier suburban communities, the relatively small city has suffered from a lack of economic diversity. Many residents live in neighborhoods with high poverty and high crime rates, which reduce community safety and inhibit investment and growth. Officials recognize that building resilience will involve addressing aging infrastructure, natural disaster response, education and public health deficits, and other challenges in an equitable manner to help to reduce social tensions citywide.
One area of planning that has seen significant success in St. Louis is flood prevention and response. Lower-lying areas are protected by a combination of levees, floodwalls, and pump stations. Emergency responders, police and fire departments, public health and works employees, and residents have built on past experience with severe floods to coordinate and manage efforts.