Community and Societal Development

How can cross-cultural development workers help communities and societies thrive by following godly principles?

Literature Guide: Cities and Urbanization

by Timothy Skinner, MLS

See additional articles on Community and Societal Development here.

Library of Congress classification:

HT 101 – HT 395 Cities

Dewey Decimal classification:

307 Communities

Library of Congress subject headings:

Capitals (Cities)                       Cities and towns                                              City-states                  

Education, Urban                    Extinct cities                                                    Garden cities              

Inner cities                               Islamic cities and towns                                  Jewish ghettos            

Market towns                          Metropolitan areas                                           Military towns            

Plazas                                      Sociology, Urban                                            Squatter settlements

Urban beautification                Urban cores                                                     Urban ecology            

Urban folklore                         Urban health                                                    Urbanization               

Periodical articles:

Lim, D. S. 1988. “The City in the Bible.” Evangelical Review of Theology 12, no. 2 (April).

Timmer, J. 1973. “The Bible and City.” Reformed Journal (October): 21-25.

Reference books:

Atlas of Cities (2014)

The Cities Book (2017)

Cities of the Middle East and North Africa: A Historical Encyclopedia (2006)

Cities of the World, 4 vol. (1982)

City Atlas: Travel the World with 30 City Maps (2016)

The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History (2016)

Reference books with relevant articles:

Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (1998)

The Encyclopedia of Christianity (1999)

The Encyclopedia of Christianity in the Global South (2018)

Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions (2000)

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World (2008)

World Christian Encyclopedia (2001). See Part 10: “Metroscan: Metropolises of the World: 7,000 City Profiles.”

Anthologies and edited works:

The Earthscan Reader in Sustainable Cities (1999)

Cruelty and Utopia: Cities and Landscapes of Latin America (2005)

Leisure in Urban Africa (2003)

The Middle East City: Ancient Traditions Confront a Modern World (1987)

Planning Middle Eastern Cities: An Urban Kaleidoscope in a Globalizing World (2004)

Population, Poverty, and Politics in Middle East Cities (1997)

Urbanism in the Pre-Industrial World: Cross-Cultural Approaches (2006)

Urbanization and African Cultures (2005)

Urbanization in India: Sociological Contributions (2003)

World Cities in a World System (1995)



Abrahamson, Mark. 2013. Urban Sociology: A Global Introduction. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Bridge, Gary, and Sophie Watson, eds. 2010. The Blackwell City Reader. 2d ed. Malden, MA:  Wiley-Blackwell.

Burgess, Rod, Marisa Carmona, and Theo Kolstee, eds. 1997. The Challenge of Sustainable

Cities: Neoliberalism and Urban Strategies in Developing Countries. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Zed Books.

Freund, Bill. 2007. The African City: A History. New York: Cambridge University Press.  

Haas, Tigran, ed. 2008. New Urbanism and Beyond: Designing Cities for the Future. New York: Rizzoli.

Mumford, Lewis. 1989. The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

            Christian or theological approaches

Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Urban Priority Areas. 1985. Faith in the City: A Call for Action by Church and Nation. London: Commission for Urban Priority Areas.

Barrett, David. 1986. World Class Cities and World Evangelization. Birmingham, AL: New Hope Publishers. 

Eckert, Amy S., and William J. Petersen. 2001. The Christian Traveler’s Companion: Western Europe. Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revel.

Ellul, Jacques. 1970. The Meaning of the City. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Wagner, C. Peter, Stephen Peters, and Mark Wilson, eds. 1995. Praying through the 100 Gateway Cities of the 10/40 Window. Seattle: YWAM Publishing.  

            Ancient cities

Harrison, R. K., ed. 1985. Major Cities of the Biblical World. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Meeks, W. A. 1983. The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul. 2d ed. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Yamauchi, Edwin M. 1980. New Testament Cities in Western Asia Minor: Light from Archaeology on Cities of Paul and the Seven Churches of Revelation. Grand Rapids: Baker. (Includes a 3-page bibliography.)

            Ecological approaches

Beatley, Timothy. 2017. Handbook of Biophilic City Planning and Design. Washington D.C.: Island Press.

McDonald, Robert I. 2015. Conservation for Cities: How to Plan and Build Natural Infrastructures. Washington D.C.: Island Press.

Steiner, Frederick R., George F. Thompson, and Armando Carbonell, eds. 2016. Nature and Cities: The Ecological Imperative in Urban Design and Planning. Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Timothy Skinner, MLS, is the librarian for WIlliam Carey International University and a member of Frontier Ventures.

Timothy Skinner, MLS, is the librarian for WIlliam Carey International University and a member of Frontier Ventures.