The Power of Public Spaces project is about the interconnections and values of public spaces for people, and other beings such as plants, animals and rivers. It is framed around the question: what sustains the life of public spaces now and into the future?

The life of public spaces includes the ideas, feelings, meanings and practices that shape social and place-based connections. It also concerns how public spaces are cared for and how they care for us.

In Australia, all public spaces are situated on unceded First Nations lands and waters. Interconnections between people, place and 'more-than-human' worlds are central to caring for and with Country. Sustaining public spaces now, and into the future, needs to support and centre First Nations truth-telling, design and values.

Our project explores how public spaces are planned, created, cared for and shared in an Australian context. Over the next three years this website will be regularly updated as we document how communities, professionals, scholars and governments can come together to better design, manage, activate and collaborate in public spaces to nurture more sustainable and resilient futures.

Explore our research themes and resources

Connections

By helping us connect to each other and to the natural world, public spaces play a vital role in the health of individuals, communities and the environment.

Care and Repair

What does caring for/with and repairing public spaces look like in our post-pandemic, climate-challenged world?

Governance

We consider the practices and principles that shape the creation, management and use of our shared spaces.

Resources

A selection of the latest toolkits, guides and research on public space matters.

Stories, interviews, ideas and initiatives about the power of public space and why it matters.