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Symbolic places endow physical spaces with meaning. They impart knowledge about historical events, narrate stories, or stand for specific concerns. While the creation of symbolic places used to be mostly the task of politics and administration, today civil society turns its attention toward such locations. They are of great potential significance, moreover, for urban development—provided they are advanced for the sake of the common good.This book sheds light on the characteristics of symbolic places, their functioning, and the challenges and obstacles they confront. The collected examples range from historically fraught places such as Berlin’s Olympic Grounds all the way to places of collective self-empowerment like the self-managed Navarinou Park in Athens. Contributions by distinguished authors from the fields of history, social science, urban planning, and urban marketing encourage readers to take up recognized— but also controversial— symbolic places. Or, as suggested by the title of this anthology, to actively "make" them through collective discussions and decision-making processes.
Sonja Broy studied journalism in Bremen and Hong Kong, as well as Urbane Kultur, Gesellschaft und Raum (urban culture, society, and space) in the Ruhr region. Her thesis deals with the potential of soccer for urban development. As a recipient of a scholarship from the Hans Weisser foundation, she addressed the same topic in northern England. Today, she works along the interface between urban and neighborhood development, economic advancement, and the creative economy in Bremen and in the Ruhr region.
Thomas Kuder studied urban and regional planning at the Technische Universität in Berlin, and was active as a city planner in the Berlin municipal administration before returning to the TUB as a research associate, also earning his PhD there. Today, he is a senior researcher with the vhw Bundesverband für Wohnen und Stadtentwicklung (Federal Association for Housing and Urban Development), where he is the deputy to the head of the research division, and is responsible for the focus on local democracy and governance in the context of sustainable urban development.
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