- Pan Place, Coyote Space, and Bunyip Country: the role of the ecological imagination in the creative city   click here to open paper content76 kb
by    Kerr, Tamsin | mudlark@spiderweb.com.au   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Pan, Coyote, Bunyip create non-economic imagined urban landscapes. Local specifics of mythopoetic beast and its habitat encourage creative, cross-cultural community planning practices. Australian examples of place celebrations attract creative class.
Pan place, Coyote space, and Bunyip country: planning for wild-ness and ecological imagination in the creative city

A creative city needs to make planning decisions based on diverse cultural and emotional understandings of land. The planner’s challenge is to overcome the inability (or unwillingness) to imagine an Other and non-economic landscape. But the urban place is underlined with wilder and older creations. Mythopoetic notions drawn from the subaltern and the local could subvert western economic development paradigms in planning. The dragon of Feng Shui has plenty of company; other mythopoetic beasts roam our memories of place from the Celtic fairy to the Rainbow Serpent. Pan can be glimpsed in the sculptured gardens of Italy, the coyote roams the edges of American suburbia, and the bunyip threatens children in the swamps of the Australian bush. The acknowledgement of such animalistic metaphors continues to remind us of our wilder nature, a nature less subject to economic rationalism or concrete order – a wilder nature also more descriptive of, and appealing to, the creative class.

Creativity attracts the creative; keeping the creative requires access to an active and layered cross-cultural landscape, a locale of both natural beauty and authentic heritage. Planners can help create such an active landscape in cities through the provision of spaces for the non-human based upon community facilitation of long-term traditions and celebrations of the local environment. The expert, objectifying, and select processes of history, map making and planning have reflected more distant and passive attitudes to land. It is through memory, myth, ritual, festival, and community art that the metaphors of an active landscape emerge. This paper draws upon an in-depth case study of the effectiveness of such community cultural activities in the Sunshine Coast region of Australia.
planning, landscapes, mythologies
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