Strong Towns Podcast
Episode 190

Eric Jacobson

Charles Marohn published on

This week on the podcast features Eric Jacobson, author of The Space Between: A Christian Engagement with the Built Environment. Rev. Jacobsen is the Senior Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Tacoma, a member of the Congress for the New Urbanism and the holder of a doctorate in Theology and the Built Environment.

Strong Towns Podcast - Eric Jacobson
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  • Eli Damon

    Eric's words very much resonated with. I was raised as an extremely liberal Jew and I am now an atheist, so I don't really understand the stuff he says about ministry, but I am also a shy and lonely person, so I totally understand what he says about creating an environment where interactions occur and relationships form naturally. I very much want have a community in a deep sense of the word, and I am continually frustrated at how inaccessible such a community seems. I try my best, but I am just not comfortable being as socially assertive as I need to be in the environment I live in. This kind of assertiveness feels very unnatural to me. I feel like my environment should support a wide range of personality type.s, including mine. Instead my personality type is treated as a skill deficiency, character flaw, or even something close to a mental illness. But I don't want knock on my neighbors' doors -- my neighbors who I barely know -- and invite them over for dinner. I want to get to know them in a gradual, loca-commitment setting, such as running into them outside my apartment building. But there is really no comfortable place to hang out outside my apartment building, so people are only there when they are arriving or leaving. Many people I talk to don't seem to any well-defined dissatisfaction with the status quo, so I have trouble talking to them about the tragedy that I perceive.

  • Ryan Behring

    Eli- I can relate to a lot of what you are saying. What is your neighborhood like? Is it very walkable?

  • Eli Damon

    My neighborhood is very nice to walk in.

  • Erik Rostad

    This was fantastic. Looking forward to reading Eric's book.

  • CNU Utah

    I am a BIG Eric Jacobsen fan. I have read a number of his writing (including his two books)., and was fortunate to have him participate as a panel speaker during CNU 21 in Salt Lake City. Eric contributed an essay that he allowed to be published on the Trans/Form Place blog site:

  • Rachel Quednau

    This podcast rocked! Rev. Jacobsen provided such a well-rounded and needed perspective in the midst of urbanist dialogue. I'm glad you connected with him and were able to share that with us. Definitely going to check out his book.