Monday, September 1, 2008
This is a topic about which I know much less that I ought to--and a mighty interesting paper, as well. Professor Brigham Daniels of the University of Houston Law Center has just posted "Revitalizing Zion: Nineteenth-Century Mormonism and Today's Urban Sprawl", which is forthcoming in the Journal of Land, Resources & Environmental Law. His abstract reads:
In the nineteenth century, Mormons planned and built hundreds of communities throughout the West. Time, growth, and redevelopment have begun to erase this history. Like towns and cities across the country, places first settled by Mormons now grapple with urban sprawl's challenges. This Article explores whether the Mormons bold planning effort that permeated the frontier of the Old West of the nineteenth century has any lessons to offer those grappling with the planning challenges facing the New West of today.
I suppose there might be some pretty cool comparisons with the historical literature on the planning of Philadelphia. As I've thought when reading Nate Oman's work on the nineteenth-century ecclesiastical courts of the Latter Day Saints, the LDS and Quakers offer some opportunities for comparison of American religious and legal history. Download Daniels' paper for free from ssrn here.