The Spiritual Act of Community Planning

5 Oct

Proverbs 21:5 says that, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”

Bob Lupton, who wrote a fabulous chapter in my book about a prison turned into affordable housing in Atlanta, also tells the story of how his inner-city neighborhood created a Master Plan together for their community. It was signed, sealed, and approved with the city of Atlanta, and when the Olympics came, expecting to build stadiums and displace these communities, this neighborhood was not displaced due to the existing  Master Plan. Bob engaged his community and it was their work together that ensured the protection of their community.

Neighborhood planning is a spiritual exercise. If we do not participate in future plans, we may end up with communities that do not have enough density, zoning, or affordable housing set-asides to allow for affordable housing. It is also pertinent that already existing density, zoning, or set-aside for affordable units are not removed from city plans. Like Lupton, people of faith can collaborate with their cities and communities to ensure existing communities are preserved.

Below is an article about Mayor Garcetti and the city of Los Angeles’ intentions of updating community plans to provide greater accountability for developers and supply clear, comprehensive Neighborhood Plans. These plan updates will allow community members to provide input into their desires for the neighborhoods, and ensure that development follows the plans. With the influence of people who care about the just use of land, so that all a place to call home, we can begin to adequately house our nation.


Los Angeles skyline

(TNS) — Facing a potentially bruising ballot fight over real estate development next year, Los Angeles’ political leaders announced Wednesday that they will seek a sweeping update of the plans that govern the size and density of new buildings that go up in scores of neighborhoods…..

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