Religion, Faith & Planning
Dahya, N., and Jenson, J. (2015). Mis/Representations in School-Based Digital Media Production: An Ethnographic Exploration with Muslim Girls. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education, 9(2), 108-123.
Abstract: In this article, the authors discuss findings from a digital media production club with racialized girls in a low-income school in Toronto, Ontario. Specifically, the authors consider how student-produced media is impacted by ongoing postcolonial structures relating to power and representation in the school and in the media production work of Muslim and other racialized girls. From this standpoint, the authors interrogate how technological tools and particular media genres embedded in a postcolonial order impact the form and content of student media production in a school-based context. Focused on two in-depth examples from an ethnographic study, the authors question how Muslim and other racialized girls are portrayed in media they make and explore how that work is perceived and re/presented (or mis/represented) throughout the digital media production process.
Gale, R. (2008). Locating Religion in Urban Planning: Beyond ‘Race’ and Ethnicity? Planning, Practice & Research, 23(1), 19-39.
Abstract: This article aims to expand the scope of existing research on ‘race’, ethnicity and planning by exploring the relationship between planning and religion, drawing on field research in Birmingham into the effects of urban planning procedure on British Muslims. The article moves away from the understanding—implicit in much of the literature on planning and ‘difference’—that religion is simply an epiphenomenon of ethnicity. It achieves this, firstly, by exploring the ways in which Muslims qua Muslims have experienced particular forms of constraint in the context of interactions between religious organizations and the planning system; and secondly, by examining the ways in which Muslims have mobilized religious values and beliefs in (periodically transformative) challenges to planning practice.
Greed, C. (2016). Religion and Sustainable Urban Planning: 'If you can't count it, or won't count it, it doesn't count'. Sustainable Development, 24, 154-162.
Abstract: Sustainability objectives are central to modern urban planning. Originally, sustainability had three components, environmental sustainability, economic well-being and social equality: planet, prosperity and people. However, the environmental aspects of sustainability have tended to pre-dominate. This leaves little space for social issues and aspatial (non-physical) factors such as belief and religion. It is argued, with reference to UK-related research, that religion has major spatial planning implications for all aspects and levels of urban policy. Neglecting religion’s existence results in an incomplete planning agenda, undermining equality and diversity objectives. The implications of this gap are discussed with reference to the environmental, economic and social components of sustainability policy. There is little recognition of the contribution of religion to cities: rather, a negative mentality predominates amongst planners. Ways of changing the planners’ understanding and mainstreaming religion into planning are discussed, drawing on methods used to integrate gender into planning.
Manouchehrifar, B (2018). Is Planning 'Secular'? Rethinking Religion, Secularism, and Planning. Planning Theory & Practice, 19(5), 653-677.
Abstract: Responding to the call for a deeper understanding of the religious phenomenon in planning – advanced, among others, by Leonie Sandercock and June Thomas in this journal – this paper argues that understanding religion in planning entails understanding religion’s constitutive other: secularism. This position draws on the burgeoning field of secular studies as well as examples of entanglement of religion, secularism, and planning in the United States and France. It problematizes a long-held assumption that good planning is based upon the notion of ‘religious indifference,’ for the assumption is conceptually anachronistic and practically untenable. This paper offers a set of methodological considerations as to how planners can radically rethink this assumption while effectively attending to the religious subjectivities of their constituencies and actively working through the structures of the modern state. The paper concludes by exploring the implications of this analysis for planning practice against the backdrop of recent improvements fostered by the American Planning Association as well as the relevance of this analysis across international contexts.
Keywords: planning, religion, secularism, religious (in)difference, law and politics
McClymont, K. (2015). Postsecular planning? The idea of municipal spirituality. Planning Theory & Practice, 16(4), 535-554.
Abstract: In the contemporary political context, religion is rarely out of the news, usually postulated as a regressive force, battling against modern liberal Western values. However, in everyday life, and specifically with regard to place value, the situation is more complex. This paper addresses the challenge this context and the attendant notion of postsecularism bring to planning practice. It argues that religious and spiritual values can be rearticulated as concepts which add a substantive positive dimension to planning and its conceptualisation and constructions of place. This is done by developing the notion of municipal spirituality, which draws on the theological conceptions of transcendence and the common good to redefine the value of places whose worth cannot easily be made in instrumental terms. In so doing, it challenges the current antagonistic opposition of religious and liberal democratic values, repositioning religious and spiritual concepts in an inclusive way. The idea of municipal spirituality illustrates how planning could have a role in defending and promoting such places. Further, it demonstrates the importance of engaging in agonistic rather than antagonistic debate, rearticulating the criteria on which places can be valued by planning practice.
Keywords: postsecularism; spirituality; values; nature; community; cemeteries
Nasser, N. (2015). Reconceptualising the Muslim neighbourhood: claims for space, identity and citizenship in the West. Cont Islam, 9, 241-246
Syed, F. (2016). Finding Space for Spirituality. In J. Pitter & J. Lorinc Subdivided: City-Building in an Age of Hyper-Diversity, (65-74). Toronto: Coach House Books.