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The problem is, churches can be anywhere. We ran into this problem when we zoned Blue Hill Avenue. We counted about twenty-one churches on Blue Hill Ave. alone. We put in a recommendation that churches with one hundred seats or more must have at least ten parking spaces. But they said we could not target churches. So we decided to go after all public assemblies.Some readers will find it odd, if not alarming, that a public discussion about urban land use should "target" churches in this way. One might not expect churches to be discussed in such decisively negative terms. The crux, however, was that churches, like auto body shops, appeared as obstacles to planned economic revitalization. Religious institutions might somehow be useful for members, but they were not useful for the neighborhood. Churches may function as communities, but what do they do for the community?
Excerpted from Streets of Glory: Church and Community in A Black Urban Neighborhood by Omar M. McRoberts Copyright © 2003 by Omar M. McRoberts. Excerpted by permission.
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|2||Birth of the Black Religious District||16|
|3||Four Corners: Birth of a Contemporary Religious District||44|
|4||"In the world, but not of it": Particularism and Exilic Consciousness||61|
|5||"The Street": Clergy Confront the Immediate Enviromnent||81|
|6||Changing the World: Church-Based "Activism"||100|
|7||Who Is My Neighbor? Religion and Institutional Infrastructure in Four Corners||122|
|8||Conclusion: Saving Four Corners?||137|