Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Churches and Sprawl

From the Toronto Star:

Fast-growing churches, frustrated with the slow pace of municipal planning, often find themselves pushed into setting up shop in rural areas on the edge of town, where they end up contributing to suburban sprawl, a Ryerson University study has found.

"They rapidly gobble up prime agricultural land, adding to the sprawl and causing burden on the city's infrastructure," says the study by Sandeep Kumar Agrawal, an associate professor of urban planning.

Once the new church is built, the parishioners soon follow, and housing springs up around the building – determining the character of the new subdivision.

Would it make sense for the Church to impose a moratorium on opening new suburban parishes in an effort to avoid encouraging Catholics to move out to places where they are guaranteed to spend a lot of time driving?  My guess is that it wouldn't have much of an impact, even on Catholics.  That is, I suspect that, at least for Catholics, parishes are following parishioners, and not the other way around.


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