U.S. Supreme Court Upholds New York State Vaccine Mandate
Health care workers in New York will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 after the Supreme Court voted 6-3 to reject hearing an appeal brought by workers who had sought a religious exemption. Also, an update on the federal vaccine mandate.
SCOTUS: Freedom of Religion Trumps Public Health in a Pandemic
In a late-night 5-4 ruling on the eve of Thanksgiving, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a governor's executive order to stem the spread of a contagious virus can not impede the right of people to gather in a church.
U.S. Supreme Court Rules on State-Imposed Social Distancing Restrictions
In a 5-4 decision, the court voted to uphold the prohibition of religious services that was part of California Gov. Gavin Newsom's stay-at-home order. While the restriction had since been loosened, the plaintiff wanted all restrictions removed.
Reopening California: Respected County Health Official Issues Warning
Dr. Sara Cody, the Santa Clara County health officer widely credited for leading the Bay Area into issuing a 6-county shelter-in-place order on March 16, the nation's first, warns that the pace of reopening is too fast.
Religion in the Pandemic: First Amendment vs. Public Health and Safety
Conflicts between church and state are being decided in state and federal courts as governors act to protect their constituents from the coronavirus while religious institutions and their supporters seek exceptions from social gathering restrictions.
'Yes In God's Backyard' Offers a New Way Forward for Housing Advocates
San Diego housing advocates have coined a new term: "YIGBY," or "Yes in God's Backyard," to advance prospects for affordable housing development on property underutilized by houses of worship. The city's planning department is receptive.
Denied Mosque Rezoning Violated Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
The city of Des Plaines, Illinois has entered into a consent decree with the Justice Department to ensure it acts in accordance with the law regarding future zoning requests from religious institutions.
U.K.'s New Urban Churches Promote ‘Renewal’
Progressive churches are attracting "younger, trendier demographics" to U.K. city centers.
Colorado Springs Transit Agency in Hot Water for Censoring Religious Advertisements
This might be a cautionary tale for some other transit agencies out there.
Mecca Builds Up, at the Cost of Its Historic Heritage
A unique blend of religious beliefs, state policies and capitalist interests are reshaping Mecca for the worse, critics argue, at the expense of its most prized cultural assets.
A Chicago Church Stands on "Ceremony" to Skirt Preservation Designation
The tussle over the historic designation of a property owned by a Chicago church exposes the conflicting agendas of politics, property rights, preservation, and constitutional law.
Repel or Repair: How Urban Design Plays a Part in Culture Wars
Dr. Ralf Brand and Dr. Sara Fregonese have studied how culturally ignorant design has intensified violence in areas of religious and ethnic division, while more sensitive plans have peacefully brought people from different backgrounds together.
Facing Crises in Urban Life, Nigeria Keeps On Growing
Unlike Asia and South America, sub-Saharan Africa did not see birthrates fall in the second half of the 20th century. As a result, urban life in Nigeria heralds the challenges facing an increasingly populous planet, Elisabeth Rosenthal reports.
Why Not a Temple to Atheism?
According to Alain de Botton, religion shouldn't get to claim the most beautiful buildings, so he proposes a temple for anything else "positive and good," right in the center of London.
Religious Theme Park Causes Debate Over State Support
Governmental support for plans for a religious theme park in Kentucky featuring a replica of Noah's Ark have spurred protests.
Shrinking Cities Means Shuttered Churches
The Archdiocese of Detroit is working with city planners and local demographers as they develop their plans for Catholic parish closures.
RLUIPA Ripeness Rule Reinforced
The concept of ripeness in several realms is elusive. I have never figured out how to properly thump a melon at a grocery store, although I have made a thorough study of it. You might want to click here, or here, or here for some guidance, none of which seems to work when it’s just me in a stare down with a cold, stone faced and silent honeydew. Just yesterday one of my younger children from what we call the “second litter” asked me at dinner how I could tell if a coconut was ripe. I paused, realized that I had no answer, and did what every good parent should do and asked instead why they weren’t eating their salad. Yes, attack and divert. You think melons and coconuts are tough — try ripeness in land use litigation.
What Happens When an Irresistible Force Meets an Immovable Object
The unstoppable force paradox is an exercise in logic that seems to come up in the law all too often. There is a Chinese variant. The Chinese word for “paradox” is literally translated as “spear-shield” coming from a story in a Third Century B.C. philosophy book, Han Fiez, about a man selling a sword he claimed could pierce any shield. He also was trying to sell a shield, which he said could resist any sword. He was asked the obvious question and could give no answer. The Washington Supreme Court broke the paradox between a 12-month moratorium during which the City of Woodinville considered sustainable development regulations for its R-1 residential area, and the efforts by the Northshore United Church of Christ (Northshore Church) to host a movable encampment for homeless people on its R-1 property. City of Woodinville v. Northshore United Church of Christ (July 16, 2009).
Land Use and Religion Collide in CO
After a church in Denver was denied permission to expand its facilities, they filed a lawsuit against Boulder County on charges of discrimination. This month, the case reached a federal courtroom.
Controversial Public Art Piece Given the Boot
Vancouverites send a sculpture packing, stirring up a debate over the role of public art.
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Harvard GSD Executive Education
City of Fitchburg, WI
City of Culver City
Sonoma County Transportation Authority
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.