Robertson Attends, Presents at Church Properties Conference

Posted By: Kathleen Allen On: 2023-11-06
Posted On: 2023-11-06

At the end of October, GeoSpatial Services Executive Director Andy Robertson attended the second-ever Church Properties Conference on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. The conference explored property-related challenges and opportunities facing Church leaders, including topics such as historic preservation, how to work with real estate partners, and innovative, mission-aligned uses of church property. The conference organizers invited Andy to give a presentation on how GSS’s work intersects with church properties and Catholic social justice. The theme of his talk was how the application of GIS technology can be used to better understand the location and characterization of church properties, and the intersection of those properties with adjacent landowners/land uses to promote environmental and social justice. He used three examples from GSS projects to demonstrate those connections, including the role of Cascade Meadow on the Rochester Campus as a model for education, multiple use, environmental stewardship and climate resilience. According to Andy, “there was a ton of energy and excitement around the opportunities that reimagining church properties represents for Catholic social justice, urban revitalization, housing, parish and diocesan management, investment, capital recovery and environmental stewardship. Over the course of two days, I engaged with numerous clergy from a variety of locations and roles, academics, professional property and real estate managers, investors, capital managers, architects, farmers and laity focused on supporting the underserved.”