Acton Institute Powerblog

The New Suburbanism

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How many of you would like to live here?

Tom Monaghan has received a lot of attention for his plans to create a community in Florida in conjunction with the founding of a new Roman Catholic university: “The accompanying town will provide single- and multi-family housing in a wide range of styles and prices, along with commercial and office facilities to accommodate the businesses and organizations needed to support this major academic institution.”

Here’s what Katie Couric had to say in an interview with Monaghan about the town (MP3 audio here, RealMedia here, WindowsMedia here):

Some of the values, depending on your perspective… may be deemed wholesome, but in other ways, I think, people will see this community as eschewing diversity and promoting intolerance….Do you think the tenets of the community might result in de facto segregation as a result of some of the beliefs that are being espoused by the majority of the residents there?…You can understand how people would hear some of these things and be like, wow, this is really infringing on civil liberties and freedom of speech and right to privacy and all sorts of basic tenets that this country was founded on. Right?

David T. Koyzis gives “a (severely) qualified defence of the suburbs” here.

What are your thoughts about what might be called, “The New Suburbanism”?

Jordan J. Ballor Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the VU University Amsterdam as part of the "What Good Markets Are Good For" project. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous works, including Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Jordan is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary.

Comments

  • I recently heard a Urban Planning Profesor from U of I state that this type of planned community could not work, because everyone would want to live there and the price would be too high for the average buyer. (She was not kidding. Yogi Berra couldn’t have put it better.)

    Perhaps our planners should include some burned out buildings, corrupt building inspectors, and cars up on blocks to keep the price of real estate from getting too high.

    JBP

  • Mark Sofman

    John:

    I live in a planned community and because everyone wants to live here the price is now too high for the average buyer. Where do I live? Montgomery County, Maryland, i.e the DC suburbs. ;-)

    Mark