Sustainable Citizenship and Civic Imagination Research Group: Hei Puāwaitanga

Adelaide Street Art

The international research group for Sustainable Citizenship and Civic Imagination: Hei Puāwaitanga, is a multidisciplinary research team and ‘civics-lab’, at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

The 21st century is the century of the city. By 2050, seven in ten people will live in an urbanizing area. Against this dynamic background, the research team, led by Associate Professor Bronwyn Hayward investigates citizenship and civic governance, participation and democratic urbanization, with a particular focus on sustainability and inclusion especially for children and youth.

Researchers in SCCI Hei Puāwaitanga focus on:

• Citizenship, consumption and civic aspirations across five key energy domains: housing, transport, food, education & employment, leisure & communication;
• Citizenship education, civic leadership and political literacy;
• New methods of public engagement in urban challenges.

Areas of expertise within the group include:

• Longitudinal studies of child and youth participation and activism in urban settings;
• Citizenship education for a changing world;
• Longitudinal research methods;
• Wellbeing and happiness;
• Governance for urban community resilience and inclusion.

Studies employ multi-method approaches spanning:

• Child and community focus groups, citizen juries and new participation;
• Citizenship learning in formal and informal settings;
• Audio visual and digital recording;
• Community mapping.

 The University of Canterbury, NZ, also collaborates with CUSP research partners in India, Bangladesh, South Africa, Japan and Brazil and key global sustainability advisors:

CYCLES - Children and Youth in Cities, Lifestyles Evaluations and Sustainability

CYCLES is a a study of the lifestyles and aspirations of young people aged 12-24 in seven world cities. The study is lead by Assc Prof Bronwyn Hayward and coordinated by Dr Sylvia Nissen in partnership with the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP) University of Surrey and funded by UK's Economic and Social Research Council.

UC-based researchers

• Associate Professor Bronwyn Hayward - Principal Investigator SCCI; Research Lead CYCLES (Children & Youth in Cities, Lifestyles Evaluation and Sustainability)
• Luisa Leo – Research Manager SCCI; Co-ordinator CYCLES
• Mehedi Hasan - PhD Candidate, youth participation and green space in Dhaka, Bangladesh
• Dr Sylvia Nissen - Research Fellow CYCLES
• Kendall Lattin – Youth participation in Christchurch local government and planning
• Niwa Ututaonga – Researcher CYCLES
• Nuku Tau - Researcher CYCLES
• Jacob Uden – Citizens, ecological justice and the transition town movement
• Cindy-Rose Ernstzen – Citizen participation in water planning in South Africa

Research Associates

University of Canterbury – Associate Professor Annelies Kamp (Youth Studies); Associate Professor Jeanette King & Sacha McMeeking (Aotahi School of Māori and Indigenous Studies); Professor Angus Macfarlane (AVC Māori), Associate Professor Ruth McManus (Sociology); Associate Professor Annick Masselot; Associate Professor Kathleen Liberty (Early Intervention in Health Sciences); Associate Professor Kathleen Quinlivan (Education Studies & Leadership); Dr Kelly Dombroski (Geography); Dr Therese Arseneau (Political Science); Professor Alex Tan (Political Science).
Victoria University Wellington – Dr Maria Bargh (Māori Studies); Dr Bronwyn Wood (Education).
University of Surrey, UK – Professor Tim Jackson; Dr Kate Burningham; Dr Sue Venn.
University of Oslo, Norway – Professor Karen O’Brien; Dr Elin Selboe

The research group also maintains collaborative relationships with:
• Child Friendly Cities (Christchurch City Council and UNICEF NZ);
• NZPSA All Universities Working Party on Civics, Citizenship and Political Literacy.


The Sustainable Citizenship and Civic Imagination research group has formal partnerships with:

CUSP logo


UiO Dept of Sociology and Human Geography logo


Luisa Moana Leo Tupuana'i

Research Co-ordinator
Sustainable Citizenship & Civic Imagination Research Group
Internal Phone: 90308

Bronwyn Hayward

Sustainable Citizenship & Civic Imagination Research Group
Elsie Locke Building Rm 607
Internal Phone: 95114