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Sacred Suburbia: when American Evangelicalism and New Urbanism Meet
Although a significant cultural and political force in the United States, especially in the suburbs, the role of Evangelical Christians in shaping the built environment has been overlooked in planning literature. This research presents an initial attempt to understand this relationship in the absence of scholarly literature on this topic. Focusing on a case study in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus, this dissertation investigates a mixed-use development led by an Evangelical denomination, a rare occurrence. Following a thorough literature review that contextualizes the different forces at play in this development, the researcher undertook semi-structured interviews with key figures involved in the development to better understand the dynamics and motivations involved in this project. These interviews were coded and analyzed to arrive at distinct themes, which inform the structure of the discussion. Ultimately, this research finds that collaboration between Evangelical leaders and planning practitioners in this case is due to market incentives; the use of a New Urbanistinspired typology is due to these market incentives. Ultimately, the Evangelical leaders were more influenced by the market and the opinions of planning professionals than theological or ideological principles, and therefore planners have opportunity to catalyze on the profitability motive when partnering with religious groups. This research may have wide implications for both planning academia and practice, and hopefully spur greater consideration of the role that Evangelical Christians, along with other religious groups, may play in development.

Shared with the World by Elangkathir Duhindan

This list was generated on Mon Feb 26 18:10:56 2024 UTC.