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Festival of Contested Urbanism 2023

The annual Festival of Urbanism is a series of conversations where researchers, practitioners, community advocates and industry leaders come together to debate the threats and opportunities facing our cities and regions.

From debates about density to protests over environmental heritage or the loss of public housing, views about cities and urban regions are deeply contested. Yet decision making processes often inflame conflict or invite distrust, with local communities feeling disempowered or ignored. Despite increasing recognition of Aboriginal custodianship of country, traditional owners continue to fight for sovereignty over land, while difficult decisions about whether to retrofit or relocate localities impacted by the escalating climate crisis threaten to divide communities.

How will new housing, environmental, or infrastructure reform agendas advanced by governments and others confront these challenges, and whose voices will, or should, be heard? Can contests of ideas and values lead to more innovative or inclusive models of urban governance or design?   What is the role of universities in informing these debates and in directly engaging with policy leaders, industry experts and affected communities through their research and education and development activities, on campus and beyond?

The 10th Festival of Urbanism will confront these questions through a series of robust panel discussions, podcasts and film events involving researchers, policy makers, industry experts and community leaders.