St. Louis Community Tours

Understanding What We See: A St. Louis Tour with Professor Bob Hansman

Community Bus Tours cross geographic, temporal, and disciplinary borders, touching on architecture, planning, law, health, transportation, building technology, economics, education, history, and other systems, both visible and invisible. Tours look at the structural systems within which people must make their personal decisions. Join Gephardt Institute Community Engagement Faculty Fellow Professor Bob Hansman on a tour of the complexities of St. Louis, uncovering the racial, socio-cultural, and political context of St. Louis city and county, including the north county city of Ferguson. Visit a number of significant areas in the St. Louis region, showing the present and explaining the past in each place, and gradually drawing a larger picture that connects across time and space: how the past created this present, how this place relates to that one; and how the entirety creates a picture of a city divided against itself, a city still struggling to deal with (or even recognize, or admit to) its history and continuation of racial injustice.


“After the events of the summer of 2014, many who had already taken this tour said that, looking back, this tour all but predicted what happened in Ferguson – even though many of us were surprised that it happened there,” Prof. Hansman says. “So, although the events of the summer have given a very specific relevance and “frame” to the tour, the content has always been about the Divided City, and why it happened, and what to expect if nothing is done.”


10.16.2015--STL bus tour for new faculty of St. Louis lead by Prof. Bob Hansman. Photo by Joe Angeles/WUSTL Photos

STL tour for new faculty led by Prof. Bob Hansman.

All Spring 2018 Open Enrollment Tours Are Full

We apologize for the inconvenience. We will offer addition tours in the Fall 2018 semester.

Tours are open to anyone unless otherwise specified. For more information about Community Bus Tours, visit our Resources page.

Available dates for 2017-2018:

Tour Day Date Time
Meet St. Louis presentation Wednesday September 20 4pm – 7pm
Open Enrollment Wednesday October 4 1pm – 4pm
Parents Weekend* Saturday October 21 1pm – 5pm
New Faculty Tour Saturday October 28 1pm – 4pm
Open Enrollment Wednesday November 1 1pm – 4pm
 RSVP Today! 
Open Enrollment – FULL Wednesday March 28 1pm – 4pm
Open Enrollment –FULL Tuesday April 3 1pm – 4pm
Alumni Weekend** Saturday April 14 8:30am – 11:30am
Open Enrollment –FULL Thursday April 19 1pm – 4pm
Goldman Fellows presentation Tuesday April 24 4pm – 7pm
RSVP Today! 

*Parents and their students should sign up for the Parents Weekend tour through the First Year Center’s website.

**Alumni can sign up for the Alumni Weekend tour through the Alumni and Development website 

Please visit the Reunion 2018 webpage and sign up for “WashU Engage St. Louis: The Other St. Louis.”


Visit our Bus Tour Resources webpage


A key to a powerful Community Bus Tour experience is an open mind and thoughtful preparation.This is an opportunity to explore yourself, your city, and your relationship with one another. As Bob notes:

“Call it St. Louis in context, as each part contextualizes the others and allows you to see connections, not just isolated, anecdotal incidents and destinations.Call it, as well, the realities of St. Louis, plural. As much as many of us would like to simplify the complex, and make it about our own lens, there are no one-liners to any of this, no single-discipline answers. One of the subtexts, then, becomes how to talk with people outside our skill set and value system and profession in order to come up with something that has meaning and effectiveness in the real world.”

Contact Tim Dugan, Community Engagement Manager, with questions.