Symbolic economies in crosscultural placemaking

Sixty years ago Mircea Eliade claimed that the European rediscovery of the cognitive value of the symbol was paving the way towards a deeper understanding of non-European values. The inherently polysemous nature of symbols facilitated the identification of crosscultural interests and commonalities that eluded a narrowly exercised communicative reason. In this seminar I reflect on the implications of these claims for crosscultural placemaking in contemporary Australia. The proposition is that the recognition of the role symbolic economies play in creating senses of place offers a practical tool for resisting the generally dispiriting and destructive techniques of urban renewal associated with conventional planning authority.