Adjudicating faith: 20 years of secular decision-making for religious spaces

Rudner, J, Butt, A and Lobo, M 2018, 'Adjudicating faith: 20 years of secular decision-making for religious spaces', in Proceedings of the 8th State of Australian Cities National Conference (SOAC 2017), Adelaide, Australia, 28-30 November 2017, pp. 1-12.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Adjudicating faith: 20 years of secular decision-making for religious spaces
Author(s) Rudner, J
Butt, A
Lobo, M
Year 2018
Conference name SOAC 2017
Conference location Adelaide, Australia
Conference dates 28-30 November 2017
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 8th State of Australian Cities National Conference (SOAC 2017)
Publisher Analysis and Policy Observatory (APO)
Place of publication Australia
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Abstract Despite a legacy of seemingly enlightened non-sectarian provision of sites and space for religious worship, current planning systems appear to create conditions in which many religious development proposals are problematic, conflict-ridden and politicised. Indeed, the planning system is a primary site for community conflicts that are often expressions of broader social anxieties and discord - some of which have violent expression. Planners need to strategically engage with the theory and practice of faith-responsive planning. Historically, communities engaged with religion locally; now, many congregations travel further to attend places of worship that serve larger regions and disparate sectarian communities. These include facilities of different faiths, specific sects within a faith and particular ethno-cultural expressions of a faith amongst other variegations of community, education and religious service. Thus, religious difference, population dynamics and urban growth has created mosques in industrial sites, monasteries in paddocks, and synagogues in old libraries, which have substantial effects on urban form and mobility at the metropolitan scale and planning disputes on the neighbourhood scale. The planning system in Australia is challenged by competing objectives of providing community facilities in established and new areas, while also addressing the consequences of the increasingly complex activities associated with places of worship. Through a thematic analysis, this paper examines 20 years of Victorian planning appeals cases across multiple faiths to explore the ways in which an ostensibly secular, disinterested regulatory framework obscures deep disquiet at the role and place of religion in the urban fabric of multicultural communities.
Subjects Land Use and Environmental Planning
DOI - identifier 10.4225/50/5b2f15006eeb8
Copyright notice © State of Australian Cities Conference 2017
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