Todd Swanstrom

Todd Frederick Swanstrom

Des Lee Professor of Community Collaboration and Public Policy Administration, University of Missouri-St. Louis

About Todd

Swanstrom’s main area of expertise is urban politics and public policy, with a special focus on the ways residential living patterns shape lives and participation in politics. He conducts policy research with the Public Policy Research Center to support community development in the St. Louis region. Swanstrom has helped to create the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis, which aims to improve conditions in disadvantaged neighborhoods by increasing the capacities of community-based nonprofits and ensuring them a place at the table when policy is made.


In the News

"Responding to Ferguson: Race and Place," Todd Frederick Swanstrom, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 15, 2015.
"Responding to Ferguson: What Works, What Doesn’t," Todd Frederick Swanstrom, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 15, 2015.
"Suburban Ghettos Like Ferguson are Ticking Time Bombs," Todd Frederick Swanstrom (with Peter Dreier), The Washington Post, August 21, 2014.
"St. Louis County’s Billion-Dollar Problem," Todd Frederick Swanstrom, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 30, 2011.
"Stop the Foreclosure Express," Todd Frederick Swanstrom (with Chris Krehmeyer), St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 14, 2010.
"Why isn’t the St. Louis Area Doing More to Prevent Foreclosures?," Todd Frederick Swanstrom, St. Louis Beacon, July 13, 2009.
"Collaboration Not Competition," Todd Frederick Swanstrom (with Denny Coleman and Gerry Welch), St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 14, 2004.
"Charter Reform: It Means More than New Flowcharts for Bureaucrats," Todd Frederick Swanstrom (with Robert Cropf), St. Louis Post Dispatch, August 17, 2003.


Place Matters Metropolitics for the Twenty-First Century (with John Mollenkopf and Peter Dreier) (University Press of Kansas, 2014).

Examines the major trends and problems shaping our cities and suburbs, explores a range of policy solutions to address them, and looks closely at the potential political coalitions needed to put the country's urban crises back on the national agenda. 

"Resilience in the Face of Foreclosures: How National Actors Shape Local Responses" in Urban and Regional Policy and Its Effects, edited by Margaret Weir, Nancy Pindus, Howard Wial, and Harold Wolman (Brookings Institution Press, 2012), 60-99.
Argues for federal and state policies that can empower local actors to both prevent foreclosures and deal with the spillover costs after foreclosures occur.
Justice and the American Metropolis (with Clarissa Hayward) (University of Minnesota Press, 2011).
Shows that spatial injustices in American metropolitan areas are wide-ranging, often difficult to see, and will require new public policies and institutions to adequately address them.
"More Transit = More Jobs: The Impact of Increasing Funding for Public Transit," Public Policy Research Center, August 31, 2010.
Finds that spending on transit generates more jobs than spending on highways. A report for the Transportation Equity Network, a national coalition that advocates for transportation policies serving the disadvantaged.
"The American Metropolis" in Democracy at Risk: How Political Choices Undermine Citizen Participation, and What We Can Do about It, edited by Stephen Macedo (Brookings Institution Press, 2005), 67-114.
Synthesizes research on how metropolitan institutions and living patterns have undermined civic engagement.
Place Matters: Metropolitics for the 21st Century (with Peter Dreier and John Mollenkopf) (University Press of Kansas, 2001).
Synthesizes research on how concentrated poverty and suburban sprawl impact life outcomes, and proposes a political and policy agenda for creating more equitable and prosperous regions.
The Crisis of Growth Politics: Cleveland, Kucinich, and the Challenge of Urban Populism (Temple University Press, 1985).
Examines critically the urban populist experiment of Mayor Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland and evaluates the prospects for more progressive urban regimes.