The potential benefits of public space frequently translate into inequitable social and spatial outcomes for specific groups. Young people in particular are being excluded from public spaces through a range of explicit and implicit measures. In the UK, one significant trend constraining their ability to access such space is the extent to which they are commonly perceived as perpetrators of antisocial behaviour. The perceived levels of antisocial behaviour associated with the ‘ASBO-generation’ are exacerbating concerns over youths’ presence in, as opposed to absence from, public space. Synthesising new ethnographic research with existing debates about the relationship between young people, antisocial behaviour and public space, this paper argues that we need to address the multifarious discursive processes and material practices influencing young people’s use of public space. The paper demonstrates how, as opposed to eradicating young people from public space, Community Wardens in Dundee often provide them with the opportunity for positive and meaningful encounters with places (and people) in their local communities.