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.

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

STL tour for new faculty led by Prof. Bob Hansman

“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.”


Spring 2020 Community Bus Tours: 
-Saturday, March 28, 1-4pm
-Saturday, April 25, 1-4pm

Space on these tours is limited. If you are a part of a group we encourage you to schedule your own bus tour. For more information on how, click here

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.”