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People have camped in the long grass since colonisation. From this perspective, bans on the practice are a denial of Indigenous agency, culture and rights to country. Photo: K. Pollard

Contested spaces: the ‘long-grassers’, living private lives in public places

In contrast to perceptions of other homeless people sleeping rough, Darwin's "long-grassers" are applying a long cultural tradition to deal with the situation in which they find themselves.
The original conflict between development and preservation of natural assets is broadening as the risks of climate change become ever more obvious. Crystal Ja/AAP

Contested spaces: conflict behind the sand dunes takes a new turn

Conflicts over coastal areas have largely been between development and preserving what makes these attractive places to live. Rising sea levels are now complicating our relationship with the coast.
Flash mobs are still appearing in Melbourne, more than a decade after the city’s first in 2003, the year in which the creator of the phenomenon said it was dead. Julian Smith/AAP

Contested spaces: flash disruptions on the CBD street

Political street protests and even the more playful flash mobs have the power to not only disrupt flows of traffic but also assumptions about norms of behaviour in public spaces.
Early in the morning and late in the evening is when shorebirds escape disturbance on the beaches on which their survival depends. Arnuchulo

Contested spaces: saving nature when our beaches have gone to the dogs

We aren’t just jostling with each other for beach space. Scuttling, waddling, hopping or flying away from beachgoers all around Australia, wildlife struggles to survive the daily disturbances.
Simple features, like a thoughtfully sited bench, can make a big difference to older people’s ability to enjoy public spaces in the city. alexkich from www.shutterstock.com

Contested spaces: we need to see public space through older eyes too

Several key aspects of public open space can encourage older people to get out and about. And badly designed and maintained facilities have the opposite effect and can harm their wellbeing.
It turns out cul-de-sacs may be better than we realised for creating a safe and inclusive community within a community. Wikipedia

Contested spaces: who belongs on the street where you live?

Understanding what makes a neighbourhood street a good place to live for adults with intellectual disability can help create places that are good for everyone.
People go to the beach in large numbers and for many different reasons, and sometimes that’s a recipe for conflict. tazzymoto from www.shutterstock.com

Contested spaces: we shall fight on the beaches…

In many ways, the conflict we see on our beaches may be a small price to pay for the free and open access to our beaches, which Australians have long fought to preserve.

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