If you visit the city's official website and click the link to its 79 official neighborhoods, you'll witness the digital divide right before your eyes.
Well-to-do and well-known neighborhoods like St. Louis Hills and Soulard have attractive, contemporary websites. Neighborhoods less on the radar are not likely to have much of a web presence. Many of these historic neighborhoods are faced with a city-designed website that dates to the mid-1990s--and hasn't been updated since.
But it's not just a matter of flashiness and neighborhood pride--neighborhood websites can be a great place to disseminate information out to residents. Other than Old North St. Louis, not a single other North Side neighborhood had much in the way of an online presence. Now, several of them have something even better--a neighborhood/ward newspaper that has both a physical and online copy, the NorthSider.
The NorthSider is a project of 21st Ward Alderman Antonio French. The neighborhood newspaper lists its constituent neighborhoods underneath its title: Penrose, O'Fallon, the Greater Ville, Mark Twain, and Kingsway East.
In its first edition are stories regarding the North Side Recreation Center to be constructed in O'Fallon Park:
and new housing on North Newstead:
The NorthSider fills a tremendous gap in coverage of the goings-on and development news across a wide swath of the North Side. South Siders and Central Corridor-ians better take note of the NorthSider's covered neighborhoods--they're true architectural stars of which we should all be proud.
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