There are all kinds of good reasons to embrace the city—as strategic placement for evangelism and urban mission, perhaps, or as centres of cultural influence to which hipsters flock.
But "the city" can be mythologized, too—crime, foreclosures, brokenness.
This issue of Comment invites you to consider the renewal of North America's urban social architecture—to see the city from the other side, in a couple of senses. 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, born of necessity and desire, as critical as sewers, sanitation, and master plans.
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