UC SPARK - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Dr Rita Dionisio


Fields of Research

  • Urban regeneration for post-disaster community resilience
  • The life of public places
  • The importance of public spaces for community resilience
  • Sustainable urban regeneration, and community responsiveness in urban design
  • Urban modelling and geospatial tools for evidence-based decision-making

Researcher Summary

My research is focused on collaborative planning, urban regeneration, and community resilience. My research experience has been developed through projects focused on the social and environmental sustainability of neighbourhoods and cities, through engaged research. In Japan, I developed research supporting communities, affected by the 2011 Tsunami, in envisioning regeneration and recovery scenarios. This work explored community responsive urban design and environmentally appropriate planning at local and regional levels. In New Zealand, my research has focused urban modelling tools to support local government and communities to make better decisions in the Christchurch rebuild. This work encompasses a diverse range of factors, such as housing, land-use, transport, and public spaces in the city. Through a strong community and stakeholder engagement, this work has contributed to support the Christchurch City Council and Regenerate Christchurch in examining community and environmentally focused urban regeneration scenarios.

Subject Area: Disciplines

Future Research

  • Bi-cultural discourses to town and urban planning in New Zealand
  • The relationship between community-led activities and social resilience in Christchurch
  • Development of geospatial tools appropriate for New Zealand urban planning

Key Methodologies

  • mixed methods
  • action research
  • immersed engagement
  • urban modelling and assessment

Prizes and Awards

  • FRIENZ - Facilitating research and innovation cooperation between Europe and New Zealand ( 2015 - 2017)

Student Supervision

Displaying all items.
  • PhD - Banwell K: Community Resilience, Urban Form, and Connectedness (2017)
  • Masters - Neville J: Value capture in Christchurch (2016)

Research/Scholarly/Creative Works

  • Dionisio MR. and Kingham SP. (2017) Immersed Engagement: A new approach to collaborative planning in Aotearoa - New Zealand. Bogota, Columbia: 23rd International Sustainable Development Research Society Conference, 14-16 Jun 2017. (Conference Contributions - Published)
  • Kingham SP., Banwell K. and Dionisio M. (2017) Creating healthy urban communities: lessons from Christchurch’s earthquake recovery. Angers, France: International Medical Geography Symposium, 3-6 Jul 2017 (Conference Contributions - Other)
  • Kingham SP., Banwell K., Dionisio. and Wiki J. (2017) Benefits of and barriers to creating healthy and active urban environments. University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand: Active Living and Environment: Towards a Healthier and More Sustainable Future, 28-30 Aug 2017 (Conference Contributions - Other)
  • Dionisio MR. and Pawson E. (2016) Building resilience through post-disaster community projects: Responses to the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes and 2011 Tōhoku tsunami. Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies 20(2) 6: 107-116. http://trauma.massey.ac.nz/issues/2016-2/AJDTS_20-2_Dionisio.pdf. (Journal Articles)
  • Dionisio MR., Kingham S. and Newman P. (2016) The right tools at the right time: Encouraging community involvement in the post-disaster reconstruction of Christchurch, New Zealand. Dublin: IGU Urban Commission Annual Meeting 2015, In Urban challenges in a complex world: Resilience, governance and changing urban systems 14: 4-11. http://www.geographicalsocietyireland.ie/. (Conference Contributions - Published)
  • Dionisio MR., Kingham S., Banwell K. and Neville J. (2016) Geospatial tools for Community Engagement in the Christchurch Rebuild, New Zealand. Journal of Sustainable Cities and Society - Elsevier Special Issues 27: 233-243. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2016.04.007. (Journal Articles)
  • Glackin S. and Dionisio MR. (2016) Deep Engagement' and urban regeneration: tea, trust, and the quest for co-design at precinct scale. Land Use Policy 52: 363-373. (Journal Articles)
  • Glackin S., Pettit C., Dionisio MR., White S., Bristow D., Coutts G. and Beck A. (2016) The Built Environment Panel Discussion - Stakeholder Engagement and Geospatial tools for Urban Planning. Sydney, Australia: 2016 CRCSI Annual Conference, 25-26 Nov 2016 (Conference Contributions - Other)
  • Dionisio MDJ. and Kingham S. (2015) The value of geospatial tools for supporting community engagement in the Christchurch rebuild, New Zealand. Christchurch: New Zealand Geospatial Conference, 6-8 Dec 2015 (Conference Contributions - Other)
  • Dionisio MR., Kingham S., Banwell K. and Neville J. (2015) The potential of geospatial tools for enhancing community engagement in the post-disaster reconstruction of Christchurch, New Zealand. In Procedia Engineering 118: 356-370. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2015.08.435. (Conference Contributions - Published)
  • Neville J., Campbell M., Dionisio R. and Kingham S. (2015) Land value capture to fund transport investments in cities: international implementation case studies and the lessons that can be learned from these.Commissioned by Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ). (Reports)
  • Newman P., Newton P., Kingham SP., Trubka R., Glackin S. and Dionisio MR. (2015) Greening the Greyfields. Melbourne, Australia: CRCSI Annual Conference, 25-27 Nov 2015 (Conference Contributions - Other)
  • Dionisio MR. (2014) The Relationship between Street Conviviality and Creative Industries in Shimokitazawa: A District scaled Assessment Methodology for Sustainable Urban Regeneration. International Journal of the Constructed Environment 4(3): 19-36. http://ijv.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.201/prod.186. (Journal Articles)
  • Dionisio MR. (2013) Street Conviviality in Shimokitazawa: An Assessment Method for the Socio-Spatial Dynamics of Creative Industries. Tokyo, Japan. University of Tokyo. (Theses / Dissertations)
  • Dionisio MR. (2012) The Importance of Open Public Spaces to build Urban Resilience: The Potential of Small and Medium Public Spaces for improving Disaster Response and Recovery Processes in Japan. LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing. 268. (Authored Books)
  • Dionisio MR., Ota H. and De Souza MC. (2012) The importance of Public Space for Sustainable Urban Rehabilitation: Linking Disaster Prevention System and Open Public Spaces in Japan. The International Journal of the Constructed Environment 1(4): 39-49. http://ijv.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.201/prod.58. (Journal Articles)
  • Dionisio MR., Ota H. and De Souza MC. (2011) The potential of Shimokitazawa’s open Public Spaces for the production of - creative, innovative, and participated - local culture oriented city making. Noosa, Australia: 4th Healthy Cities - Making Cities Livable Conference, 28-29 Jul 2011 (Conference Contributions - Other)
  • Dionisio MR. (2010) The Importance of Small and Medium Open Public Spaces to build Urban Disaster Prevention. Tokyo. University of Tokyo. (Theses / Dissertations)