The largest evangelical church in New York is planning to build a A$1.2 billion urban village in its struggling Brooklyn neighbourhood.
The Christian Cultural Center hopes to start work on the massive project next year.
It would include thousands of units of affordable housing for all ages, a trade school, a performing arts centre, around-the-clock childcare and a thriving retail and hospitality sector.
Christianity Today reports the founder of the 30,000 member non-denominational church, Pastor A. R. Bernard is the unofficial mayor of the city’s evangelical churches.
He’s also a big fan of urban planning legend Jane Jacobs who is famous for saving lower Manhattan from a highway and for smaller-scale urban developments focused on street life.
Pastor Bernard says: “When you have lights, activity, shopkeepers, people, you have eyes on the street, there’s less of a need for strong policing.”
He hopes his village can be a model for other cities with well-funded megachurches which could afford to underwrite such ambitious community projects.