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Sidewalks in the Kingdom

Eric Jacobsen's book Sidewalks in the Kingdom: New Urbanism and the Christian Faith (Brazos Press, 2003) is on my reading list. Here is EARL F. PALMER 's review on this book.

This is a book I have been needing for a long time! What I find in the book has kept its promise too! We as Christians who live in cities and towns have a mandate to work toward making the streets and squares and parks in our cities not only safe but humane and people-friendly. Jacobsen has given some very helpful biblical guidelines for architects, pastors, city planners, and ordinary citizens too.

Also a quote from this book:

So much of our Christian literature seems to be focused on the question of whether and how we can save our cities. It seems to me that we need to adjust this approach and begin to look for ways that our cities can save us. I mean save here not in the sense of salvation from sin – only Christ can do that – but rather save our souls from the damaging effects of uglification, standardization, privatization, and mass consumerism that have fueled this historically unprecedented appetite for sprawl in this country.

I must say the topic of this book is really interesting to me, and I cannot tell you how exciting I was when I got to know this book. One question I have been thinking since last December is: how to examine current town planning practice from the Christian faith's perspective? How do we design public space, mixed land use, tansportation networks, and regions of different uses that make a city more sustainable and livable, and utimately, inspire citizens to think what it means to be a whole person?

Some intriguing questions proposed in this book can be found here.

Since almost every one is engaged in urban activites at different sacles, our urban life--built in a physical setting consisting of various infrastructures and mansions--not only are shaped by our worldview and life philosphy, but also contribute to its growth.