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Public policy and religious diversity: lessons from place of worship development.

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Presentation on theme: "Public policy and religious diversity: lessons from place of worship development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Public policy and religious diversity: lessons from place of worship development

2 February 2 nd 2011 RIIM -- Metropolis Policy Symposium Mosk Centre for Dialogue Heidi Hoernig Faculty of Arts – Research Services McGill University

3 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?

4 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?

5 Presentation outline Religious community characteristics Defining spatial needs Place of worship development experiences Three readings of places of worship Implications for policy

6 Resources: financial & human Religious community characteristics Religious community spatial needs Religion & culture Demographic & spatial characteristics Defining community needs

7 Development experience Spatial context Social context Policy context Economic context Religious community characteristics & spatial needs Rel. community development experience Place of worship

8 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)

9 Place of worship functions Religious activities Religious/commercial Settlement/integration Socialization/retention Symbolic expression

10 Long-term perspective Variable (2 – 25 years) Changes in community composition Needs & priorities Learning curve Land use issues

11 Evolution of places of worship Temporary Recycled New construction Expansion

12 Religion, culture & place of worship development Multicultural temporalities Social activity patterns Organization of space

13 Multicultural temporalities Calendars Daily & weekly patterns Annual patterns

14 Religion, culture & place of worship development Multicultural temporalities Social activity patterns Organization of space

15 Social activity patterns Attendance Worship behaviour Large religious events Life cycle events Religious education Secular activities

16 Religion, culture & place of worship development Multicultural temporalities Social activity patterns Organization of space

17 Religion, culture & spatial needs Architecture Common & unique spatial needs Site design Public space

18 Inter/intra community similarities & differences Height Residential facilities –Major challenge –4/5 religions –Intra difference

19 Search process Variability: assistance, duration, scope Enabling/ Limiting: resources, land supply Criteria Zoning/Affordability/ Size Accessibility Other site requirements/preferences

20 Community consolidation process Continuous act of creation Uncertainty Interethnic dynamics Key to fund-raising efforts

21 Community capacity Financial resources –Affiliation –Religious/cultural patterns –Community characteristics Human resources – Cultural capital professional expertise – Social capital

22 Meeting spatial needs Weak correlation of needs & difficulties Cultural, social & financial capital Variety of strategies –Compliance, avoidance, adaptation, accommodation, tactical

23 PW development experiences Evolving & dynamic Spectrum of needs, resources & experiences

24 Multiple readings Positive values Ideal characteristics of urban spaces Integration of minority groups into society

25 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

26 Ideal qualities of urban space Conceptualization of residential, mixed use/ commercial, industrial and green belt zones Perceived value/ contribution to space Perceived nuisance & mitigation

27 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

28 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

29 Practices Places of worship as community assets Community plan policy Zoning by-laws, parking standards Education & awareness Inter-religious & intercultural dialogue

30 Why does it matter? Equity –Charter of rights & freedoms Culture –Multiculturalism legislation Intersectionality

31 Lessons from PW development Equity Discrimination Different religious groups receive different treatment –Equity vs equal –Public vs private

32 Lessons from PW Development Culture Cultural accommodation –Liberal theory of multiculturalism –Chronopolis (parking) –Equity vs. Equal treatment (parking) –Diversity within religions

33 Lessons from PW Development Intersectionality Intersection of characteristics, needs and context

34 Places of worship & public policy Sites of new forms of multiculturalism Gateways, sites and resources –communication, collaboration and intervention

35 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?

36 Private Public Religion, places of worship & new discourse Multiculturalism Household/ Family Intra-ethnic community Inter-ethnic Co-religious Minority- minority Inter-ethnic Min/majority

37 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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