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God’s Plan: A Podcast on Faith & Postsecular City Planning

The connections between faith and city planning are undeniable. Faith-based groups rebuild areas after disasters, they develop affordable housing plans, and they help the poor. Additionally, social movements that have profoundly changed society, like the civil rights movement, were guided by faith. Yet planning education generally does not deal with faith.

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Mayor Bloomberg in a Postsecular City. Photos & illustration: A Journey through NYC religions.

The connections between faith and city planning are undeniable. Faith-based groups rebuild areas after disasters, they develop affordable housing plans, and they help the poor. Additionally, social movements that have profoundly changed society, like the civil rights movement, were guided by faith.

Yet planning education generally does not deal with faith. "It's this whole realm, and we come up against it all the time, but we keep ignoring it," said Annette Kim, an urban planning professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This podcast is a conversation between Kim and her colleague, Professor Phil Thompson, on the relationship between faith and planning. Should the study of faith traditions and values be part of a planning education?

Click here for podcast -- God's Plan

Polis brings you this Polis Podcast on MIT's CoLab Radio with our partners at CoLab Radio. Our goal is to offer a stimulating series of discussions, debates and interviews on a wide range of subjects from as many different places as we can manage.

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  • You might be interested in the Architecture program at Judson University in the west suburbs of Chicago, unique in the country for its focus on integrating Christian faith and architecture at the undegrad level, no less.
    http://arch.judsonu.edu/
    http://arch.judsonu.edu/programs/

    Nicholas Wolterstorff gave a talk there in 2012, directly relevant to your theme here -
    "Seek the Shalom of the City: Architecture through the Eyes of Faith"
    http://arch.judsonu.edu/...terstorff-Keynote-Lecture.pdf

  • We can point to some of the great scientific and artistic contributions that NYC has given to the world. Are there any theological contributions of NYC theologians that we ought to be aware of? Thanks!

  • The kingdom or governments of the world cannot realize their highest aspirations or hope without a people in their company who presuppose that an infinite and transcendent Being exists, communicates and has manifested himself to man. The construct mechanisms of Postsecular City Planning must include and rank Theology with the sciences, Arts, Music and Dance. Indeed has every culture that ever existed quested and cried out for salvation. The expression of this should never be denied, removed, or separated from the daily life of citizens. To create a city model that does not include, or represents itself as separate from faith, is the highest form of egoism.

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