Presentation on theme: "Public policy and religious diversity: lessons from place of worship development."— Presentation transcript:
Public policy and religious diversity: lessons from place of worship development
February 2 nd 2011 RIIM -- Metropolis Policy Symposium Mosk Centre for Dialogue Heidi Hoernig Faculty of Arts – Research Services McGill University
Religious diversity & the public domain 1.Why does religious diversity matter to public policy and public institutions? 2.How does it manifest? 3.How is it important? 4.What lessons can we learn across policy domains?
How many secular upbringing and how many people had some element of religion in your childhood/ formative years? How many people have attended: –buddhist temple,christian church, mosque, mandir, gurdwara, synagogue How many deal with religious diversity in your current job? How many expect to be addressing policy or program issues dealing with religious diversity?
Presentation outline Religious community characteristics Defining spatial needs Place of worship development experiences Three readings of places of worship Implications for policy
Resources: financial & human Religious community characteristics Religious community spatial needs Religion & culture Demographic & spatial characteristics Defining community needs
Development experience Spatial context Social context Policy context Economic context Religious community characteristics & spatial needs Rel. community development experience Place of worship
Religious communities Buddhist Theraveda (1) Mahayana (2) Humanist (1) Muslim Sunni (7) Shia (1) Ahmaddiya (1) Sikh Nanaksar (1) Others (3) Hindu Various (6) Arya Samaj (1) Non-Euro Christian West Asian (1) Chinese (5)
Place of worship functions Religious activities Religious/commercial Settlement/integration Socialization/retention Symbolic expression
Long-term perspective Variable (2 – 25 years) Changes in community composition Needs & priorities Learning curve Land use issues
Evolution of places of worship Temporary Recycled New construction Expansion
Religion, culture & place of worship development Multicultural temporalities Social activity patterns Organization of space
Search process Variability: assistance, duration, scope Enabling/ Limiting: resources, land supply Criteria Zoning/Affordability/ Size Accessibility Other site requirements/preferences
Community consolidation process Continuous act of creation Uncertainty Interethnic dynamics Key to fund-raising efforts
Community capacity Financial resources –Affiliation –Religious/cultural patterns –Community characteristics Human resources – Cultural capital professional expertise – Social capital
Meeting spatial needs Weak correlation of needs & difficulties Cultural, social & financial capital Variety of strategies –Compliance, avoidance, adaptation, accommodation, tactical
PW development experiences Evolving & dynamic Spectrum of needs, resources & experiences
Multiple readings Positive values Ideal characteristics of urban spaces Integration of minority groups into society
Positive values Sacred space Architectural asset Religious community centre Neighbourhood centre Expression of ethnoreligious identity Multiculturalism or cosmpolitanism Tourist or heritage asset Vehicle for social or community development
Ideal qualities of urban space Conceptualization of residential, mixed use/ commercial, industrial and green belt zones Perceived value/ contribution to space Perceived nuisance & mitigation
Integration of minority groups Religious vs. Secular Religious minorities vs. majorities « Visible » minorities vs. majorities Immigrants vs. native- born Ethnic minorities vs majorities Social Spatial
Best practices Address both land use AND social and political issues Long-term perspective, holistic approach Leadership –political, bureaucratic, religious community, professional planners Communication, mutual understanding
Practices Places of worship as community assets Community plan policy Zoning by-laws, parking standards Education & awareness Inter-religious & intercultural dialogue
Why does it matter? Equity –Charter of rights & freedoms Culture –Multiculturalism legislation Intersectionality
Lessons from PW development Equity Discrimination Different religious groups receive different treatment –Equity vs equal –Public vs private
Lessons from PW Development Culture Cultural accommodation –Liberal theory of multiculturalism –Chronopolis (parking) –Equity vs. Equal treatment (parking) –Diversity within religions
Lessons from PW Development Intersectionality Intersection of characteristics, needs and context
Places of worship & public policy Sites of new forms of multiculturalism Gateways, sites and resources –communication, collaboration and intervention
Newcomer Traditional discourse on multiculturalism in Canada Host society Whose rights, under what circumstances? Integration vs. Exclusion Zone of negotiation, accommodation,tolerance Boundaries and absolute limits?
Private Public Religion, places of worship & new discourse Multiculturalism Household/ Family Intra-ethnic community Inter-ethnic Co-religious Minority- minority Inter-ethnic Min/majority
Places of worship as gateways Outreach Variety of services Mutual learning Challenges –Public – open to all vs. religious membership –Early stages – variable stability –Not all are interested
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