This article examines the debates that have arisen in relation to the establishment of sites of worship by Britain's minority religious groups. Frequently, the buildings of non-Christian religious communities have been portrayed as 'alien' and incommensurate with surrounding urban landscapes, and there are numerous cases in which such opposition has had a decisive bearing on the success or failure of plans to develop such sites of worship. However, beyond this geography of exclusion, we have begun to detect a changing attitude in the ways such buildings are positioned in relation to their local urban landscapes. In several cases, new sites of worship have been represented as welcome contributions to the production of multicultural, ethnically diverse cities. In these instances, public bodies and institutions have co-opted such buildings into broader urban policy agendas. Local religious communities have themselves played a defining role in this shift, having become astute actors in the political sphere, adapting to the processes involved in gaining planning permission and financial support. Evidence of this changing geography is provided through case study material from the town of Preston in Lancashire and the city of Leicester in the East Midlands, both in England.
|Translated title of the contribution||Religion, planning and the city: The spatial politics of ethnic minority expression in British cities and towns|
|Pages (from-to)||387 - 409|
|Number of pages||23|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2002|