I swiped this one from 1000 Friends’ e-mail newsletter.
Religious leaders are getting behind New Urbanism on the grounds that “the philosophy behind New Urbanism is a possible antidote to the isolation experienced by many churches and Christians.”
Sprawl makes it more difficult for churches to achieve their objectives, Bess said. For example, anyone who can’t operate a vehicle — the young, old or disabled — are disenfranchised, he said.
“Just as a matter of social justice it’s arguably better to make mixed-use, walkable environments,” Bess said.
6 responses to “What Transportation Network Would Jesus Design?”
After Katrina a bunch of Republicans started urgung people to use public transportation and bike places.
Now this… go fig.
It really makes sense though. Real conservatives should be desirous of a nation less dependent on foriegn resources and more self sufficient.
Real christians should want a world with equitable transportation options and equitable everything else, really.
Hopefully this is an idea that will really catch on. We’d have a lobby in both parties.
This is exciting, but I’m still skeptical. People are more ingrained in their ways than their open-minded rhetoric leads one to believe. I think Hurricane Katrina will have a positive effect on awarness concerning transportation and poverty issues but who knows if anyone in power will learn anything from it.
This isn’t so surprising. If you look to the teachings of Jesus (as opposed to the dogma of established Churches) they are completely progressive if not completely radical. There will always be Christian ministers and thinkers who will lean in these directions because an honest reading of the New Testiment requires a concern for social justice and community.
That said, I seriously doubt this sort of thing will ever be more than a tiny fad of progressive-leaning Christians. For the most part, religion is a reflection of society rather than the opposite. These mega-churches are successful exactly for that reason. I don’t see Christianity leading any sort of movement towards a new urbanism. Rather, those Christians who were already inclined in that direction might find additional scriptural support for their inclinations. But they are unlikely to convince anyone else.
This is not really surprising at all. EMO and a number of individual Portland area churches have been active participants in the Coalition for a Livable Future. And churches have always been about building community, which is what a lot of new urban design id about as well.
This idea was explored a couple of years ago in Metro’s Zig Zag project.
But, I think Kent is correct in his assessment. This type of attitude towards the environment isn’t a big issue with fundamentalists. Speaking broadly, they’re more concerned with the “rapidly approaching” apocolypse than preserving the planet for future generations.
The article sights Presbyterians, they are a very long way from theocratic fundamentalists just as Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon is. These churches are clearly potential allies and ought to be cultivated.