Care and Repair

Caring for public spaces includes activities that sustain, maintain, continue, and repair our worlds, our bodies and ourselves. We explore what planning for environmental and social repair might look like in our post-pandemic, climate-challenged world.

Care is a vital practice that is about relationships. Our research looks at public spaces as 'infrastructures of care'; places that care for us, places we need to care for and places that help sustain the non-human environment too. Central to our ideas about caring is an acknowledgement that Australian public spaces are first and foremost Country. By honouring the sovereignties, wisdom, and leadership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in nurturing the land, fostering sustainability, and building resilient communities, we can work towards creating more caring, culturally safe public spaces for all.    

We'll explore innovative approaches and community-driven initiatives that are seeking to care for and repair public spaces such as left over urban infrastructure. Novel community-led activities repurpose these left over spaces through caring practices. Care and repair of public space is expressed as everyday mundane activities undertaken by community, businesses and government and also enacted through policies, plans and designing with care in mind.

Repairing is part of caring. It includes creating more shade in public spaces to respond to rising temperatures or innovations that support biodiversity. Repair is also about learning from Indigenous perspectives to create culturally safe spaces and developing innovative solutions for reducing the growing inequality of public space access in cities and regions.  

By embracing the principles of sustainable living, environmental stewardship, and inclusive community engagement, we can equip ourselves with the tools and knowledges needed to nurture resilient communities that withstand challenges and emerge stronger, more connected, and better prepared for whatever the future may hold.  

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