Although I only met Ray Bakke once at a YWAM urban ministry center in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, his impact on my life has been profound. Even in that gathering, Bakke was casting vision to a new generation of Christians seeking to make a difference in their cities. Thanks to Ray Bakke, the global church is better prepared to engage our ever-more-urban world.
Posts by Michael Crane:
Cities will continue as vital centers of human commerce, social interaction, and innovation. While there is no doubt that the pandemic will alter some aspects of city life, the long-term impact is overstated. We need cities and cities need us.
There is a direct relationship between a city’s built environment and who benefits from it economically. Our phrasing even betrays this connect: “the bad part of town” or “the other side of the tracks.” Or to put it another way, cities naturally obscure parts of the city that are distressed or neglected.
The city is relatively young, growing from a rural farm community to a boomtown after gold was discovered in 1884. The discovery of gold meant a rapid increase in infrastructure, technology and laborers. Within ten years, a stock exchange was established in Johannesburg, which has made it the key financial center in the country and even the continent.
I’m often asked to recommend the best book on cities. As with any worthy subject, one book is not sufficient. Here I want to recommend a few books, or categories of books, that have helped me understand cities and therefore see cities differently.