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Summer 2014 | Volume 32, Issue 2

The Other Side of the City

This issue of Comment invites you to consider the renewal of North America's urban social architecture. First, the voices in this issue press us to look beyond the glitz and gleam of the city and ask sobering, uncomfortable, necessary questions about sides of the city we don't always consider. And second, this issue illuminates the unseen side of the city, the social infrastructure that undergirds it—human cultural creations, as critical as sewers, sanitation, and master plans.

12 Articles In this Issue
Chicago by Carl Sandburg

The Other Side of the City by James K.A. Smith

The city is good AND broken.

World View by James K.A. Smith

An annotated reading of your world. Topics this issue include the predicament of the architect; pumping stations treated like cathedrals; and the features of what might be called "Calvinist" parenting.


Updates from Cardus on the renewal of social architecture. In this issue, we explain our interest in the case Loyola High in Montreal is fighting in the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Skyscraper Problem by David Greusel

Like it or not, skyscrapers are here to stay.

The Other Side of the Story by Mark Mulder

How churches contribute to the erosion of social architecture.

The City is Complex: Lessons from "The Wire" by Milton Friesen

How HBO teaches us to exegete our cities.

Building Cairns in the City by Sara Joy Proppe

Designing cities to cultivate rootedness and memory.

Social Cities Photo Contest Winners  

We asked you for original photos that show renewal, vibrancy, and thiving in your neighbourhood.  

The Urban Turn by Timothy Keller

Will urban planners or the secular elite start noting the significant impact of religious influence in cities?

The Magic of Mayors? by Noah Toly

How mayors might keep democratic governance viable.

Converging Trends in the City by Michael Van Pelt

When the ideals of beauty and justice meet the realities of the city, we need wisdom and a gentle touch.

Contributors to this Issue