New Equitable Economic Impact Director to Guide Brickline Greenway Project Toward Shared Prosperity for Everyone

After an extensive public search for candidates, Great Rivers Greenway and partners selected T. Christopher Peoples, E.I.T., L.S.I.T., to serve as the first-ever Equity and Economic Impact Director for the agency. Peoples will work with other staff members, many partners and community members to implement equitable economic development strategies such as workforce training, affordable housing and community development, focusing first on the areas along the Brickline Greenway.

Peoples, who joined Great Rivers Greenway as a Senior Project Manager in August 2021, brings more than 20 years’ experience as a business development professional, engineer and land surveyor working with private developers, municipalities, state agencies, hospitals, and schools. Before Great Rivers Greenway, he served as owner, President & CEO at Pitzman’s Company of Surveyors and Engineers.

This new role, housed at Great Rivers Greenway, is jointly funded by the City of St. Louis’ St. Louis Development Corporation and private funders U.S. Bank Community Development Corporation, Wells Fargo and Midwest BankCentre, since this work goes above and beyond the mission of the sales-tax-funded greenway agency. An advisory board to help guide Peoples’ work is comprised of partners and local stakeholder experts like Dara Eskridge, Executive Director of InvestSTL; Erica Henderson, Principal & CEO Key Strategic Group; William “Bill” Carson, Vice President & Business Development Officer, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, Lance Knuckles, Deputy Executive Director, St. Louis Development Corporation, and Brian Phillips, Executive Director and Vice Chancellor, Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation.

Research of other large greenway infrastructure projects across the country shows these investments are a catalyst for change in their surrounding areas. Peer projects like Atlanta Beltline, Washington, D.C.’s 11th Street Bridge Park Project, New York City’s High Line and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail encourage proactive efforts to ensure those changes are thoughtful, benefitting current residents and business owners as well as attracting new people. Peoples’ duties will include building partnerships, recommending policy and implementing projects that encourage job and population growth, address economic disparities, mitigate displacement and consider the impact of projects on people, power, places and systems throughout decision-making.

“Brickline Greenway is an exciting opportunity to reimagine what community investment looks like and this partnership, with Mr. Peoples at the helm, will benefit both of our agencies but more importantly – our residents,” said Lance Knuckles, Director of Strategic Growth & Development for St. Louis Development Corporation.

Peoples earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Washington University in St. Louis – Joint Engineering Program. He also recently earned a Chancellor’s Certificate in Fundamentals of Economic Development from University of Missouri-St. Louis. He serves as a Director for the Saint Louis Local Development Company (LDC), the Saint Louis Zoo Association, and as Chairman, Economic Empowerment Committee for 100 Black Men of Greater St. Louis. He is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. as well as the High Line Network’s Race in the Workplace Equity Training. His background also includes completing the Neighborhood Leadership Fellows program, U.S. Small Business Administration Emerging Leaders program and Leadership Missouri.

“As a former resident of the areas that will be adjacent to the proposed path, I can’t wait to use my experience with entrepreneurship, government and economic/community development along the Brickline Greenway to help people thrive,” said T. Christopher Peoples, new Equity and Economic Impact Director for Great Rivers Greenway.

Learn more about the Brickline Greenway here.