GEOG402-22S1 (C) Semester One 2022

Resilient Cities

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 21 February 2022
End Date: Sunday, 26 June 2022
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 6 March 2022
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 15 May 2022


This course explores the contemporary and pressing issue of urban development. The course focuses on geographical issues related to urban planning for resource use and infrastructure, including energy use, transport networks and green development. It includes a focus on the growing need for cities to be resilient to the many challenges they face. The course includes an applied and practical element, conducted in collaboration with local government officials and communities.

This course explores the pressing issue of urban development, in a context of rapid, global urbanisation. The course focuses on geographical issues in relation to urban, spatial and environmental planning for resource use and infrastructure in a context of climate change emergency.

This year, the course focuses on blue and green resilience, with a focus on the growing need for cities to be resilient to the many challenges. We examine the concept of ‘resilience’, exploring its meaning, political context, relation to place and how community and governance processes are key to resilience, in practice. It covers theoretical and practical components, with problem-based research carried out in teams to give practical effect to theory, reading and discussion. This practical element is carried out in collaboration with local organisations in Christchurch. The city currently exhibits a number of blue and green regeneration opportunities which can be tackled in alignment with community aspirations to address climate change adaptation, while caring for equity and diversity approaches to public places, transport and multiple urban systems.

Learning Outcomes

The aims of the course are to foster an academic and practical appreciation of urban resilience, issues and responses, and enable critical reflections on the concept of resilience, and our own role in advancing resilient outcomes.

This course aims to develop student’s ability to undertake research on an urban topic, further team work skills, reading, and discussion.

The teaching methods applied aim to encourage students to develop engagement, communication and presentation skills.

By the end of the course, students should be able to recognise knowledge of theoretical and applied elements of urban resilience. Upon completing GEOG402, students have an appreciation of the range of contexts, processes and actors that contribute to greater or lesser degrees of resilience and an understanding of effective research design in this transdisciplinary area. Familiarity with and competence in a range of techniques used in problem solving including design and execution of a research project and the ability to critically evaluate research are also part of the course. The an ability to work in teams to resolve problems and ability to communicate via written, visual and oral means, is also a key component of this course.

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Biculturally competent and confident

Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

Engaged with the community

Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Entry subject to approval of the Head of Department.



Timetable 2022

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 12:00 - 15:00 Jack Erskine 315
21 Feb - 10 Apr
2 May - 29 May
Workshop A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 13:00 - 16:00 Ernest Rutherford 220 Geog/Geol Teaching Lab
30 May - 5 Jun

Timetable Note

Weekly lectures of 3 hours, from 12-3pm every Thursday. Each class starts with a short lecture and discussion; discussion of readings (to be completed beforehand each week); and practical exercises undertaken in groups, in the second part of each class.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Rita Dionisio


Edward Challies


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Reflective journal 5% Weekly entries in online collective platform (every Thursday from 3 March - 3 June, except mid-semester)
Reflectve journal Individual formative summary - this part of the assessment is only formative (due Thursday 17 March 2022)
Individual short essay 30% (Due Thursday 31 March 2022)
Reflective journal 15% Individual summative reflection (Due Thursday 27 May 2022)
Mini-conference presentation and poster (team work) 20% (Due last week of semester 1 - Thursday, 30 May - 3 June 2022)
Research report (team work) 30% (Due one week to 10 days after mini-conference. TBD with class.)

Geog 402 contains the following pieces of assessment

Review essay 20%
Research project 60% (presentation 15 and report 45)
Reflective journal 20%

Textbooks / Resources

There are no recommended textbook notes for this course, but there is a list of recommended readings.

Recommended readings:

Banwell, K. (2017). Planning for resilient communities: And every other day: Learning from the Canterbury 2010-2012 earthquake sequence

Carr, J., & Dionisio, M. R. (2017). Flexible spaces as a “third way” forward for planning urban shared spaces. Cities, 70, 73-82.

Carson, R. (2002). Silent spring (40th anniversary, 1st Mariner Books ed.). Houghton Mifflin.

Carter, L. (2019). Indigenous pacific approaches to climate change: Aotearoa/New zealand. Palgrave Macmillan.

Dombroski, K. (2018). Thinking with, dissenting within: Care-full critique for more-than-human worlds. Journal of Cultural Economy, 11(3), 261-264.

Elkington, B., Smeaton, J., Ross, M., Mercier, O. R., Kiddle, R., Thomas, A. (., & Jackson, M. (2020). Imagining decolonisation. Bridget Williams Books Ltd.

Fitz, A., Krasny, E., & Architektur Zentrum Wien. (2019). Critical care: Architecture and urbanism for a broken planet. The MIT Press.

Gibson-Graham, J. K., Cameron, J., & Healy, S. (2013). Take back the economy: An ethical guide for transforming our communities. University of Minnesota Press.

Glackin, S., & Dionisio, M. R. (2016). ‘Deep engagement’ and urban regeneration: Tea, trust, and the quest for co-design at precinct scale. Land use Policy, 52, 363-373.

Hutchings, J., & Smith, J. (2020). Te mahi oneone hua parakore: A Māori soil sovereignty and wellbeing handbook. Harvest: Fresh Scholarship From the Field, a Freerange Press imprint.

Hutchings, J., Lee-Morgan, J., & New Zealand Council for Educational Research. (2016). Decolonisation in aotearoa: Education, research and practice. NZCER Press.

Jackson, T. (2017). Prosperity without growth: Foundations for the economy of tomorrow (Second ed.). Routledge, an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group.

Larsen, S. C., Johnson, J. T., & Wildcat, D. R. (2017). Being together in place: Indigenous coexistence in a more than human world. University of Minnesota Press.

Macfarlane, A., & Macfarlane, S. (2019). Listen to culture: Māori scholars' plea to researchers. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 49(sup1), 48-57.

McMillen, H., Ticktin, T., & Springer, H. K. (2017). The future is behind us: Traditional ecological knowledge and resilience over time on hawai'i island. Regional Environmental Change, 17(2), 579.

Orange, C. (2021). The Treaty of Waitangi: Te Tiriti o Waitangi: An illustrated history (First ebook ed.). Bridget Williams Books.

Puig de la Bellacasa, María. (2017). Matters of care: Speculative ethics in more than human worlds. University of Minnesota Press.

Solnit, R. (2010). A paradise built in hell: The extraordinary communities that arise in disaster. Penguin Books.

Toth, A., Rendall, S., & Reitsma, F. (2016) Resilient food systems: a qualitative tool for measuring food resilience. Urban Ecosystems 19: 19-43.

Tsing, A. L. (2015). The mushroom at the end of the world: On the possibility of life in capitalist ruins. Princeton University Press.

Whetu, J., Whetu, A., New Zealand. Interim Climate Change Committee, & Whetu Consultancy Group. (2019). Integrating māori perspectives: An analysis of the impacts and opportunities for māori of options proposed by the interim climate change committee. Whetu Consultancy Group.

Yates, A. (2016; 2017). Mauri-ora: Architecture, indigeneity, and immanence ethics. Architectural Theory Review, 21(2), 261-275. doi:10.1080/13264826.2017.1288638

Zukin, S. (2010; 2009). Naked city: The death and life of authentic urban places. Oxford University Press.


Prerequisites: Entry subject to approval of the Head of Department

Restrictions: GEOG446

Recommended preparation: up to 20 hours per week: 8 hours reading and individual learning, and up to 12 hours in class and collective learning settings. Prior readings are not necessary but welcome, see recommended readings.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $2,101.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Earth and Environment on the departments and faculties page .

All GEOG402 Occurrences

  • GEOG402-22S1 (C) Semester One 2022