Why do cities matter to God? Cities are “places full of neighbors,” and by 2050, more than two-thirds of us will live in them. In some places, it will be more than that.
In their book Why Cities Matter, Stephen Um and Justin Buzzard cite the statistics. “By 2050, the world will be 68.7 percent urban. In more developed regions, the number is likely to reach 86.2 percent,” according to urban economics expert, Edward Glaesers, who simply said, “cities are people.”
So, what can we do to best love God and our neighbor through our cities? Um and Buzzard offer some guidance.
Know your city’s story
Just as getting to know someone’s story helps develop relational capital and trust to care for them well and to share the gospel in a sensitive and holistic manner, so does getting to know your city.
Every city has its history, values, dreams, fears, and ethos.
Being a casual student of these, and taking opportunities to show interest in your city’s background and culture, provides a foundation for helpful engagement with residents who are constantly affected and shaped by the place in which they live.