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

Nick Osbaldiston writes in The Conversation (17.3.17) about how conflicts over coastal areas have largely been contests between development and preserving what makes these attractive places to live. The author argues that rising sea levels are now complicating our relationship with the coast, in Queensland as much as anywhere.

'When we think of coasts, we are likely to think about the great sandy beaches that have been the destination for many day trips and long weekends. At times these spaces have been sources of contestation, especially in areas of public access and codes of conduct. However, behind the sand dunes are other landscapes with deep histories of social conflict.

'Moments from coastal pasts have had a major impact on how we see different coasts today. They feed into distinct ideals and ethics on place, especially in terms of how it is developed.

'… While we have different motivations for maintaining or developing our coastal places, we seem to neglect discussions about the risks of living so close to the ocean.

'As we approach a climate-changed future, issues of sea-level rise and coastal flooding are going to challenge our thinking about coasts.'

 

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