My research is concerned with social well-being in stressed environments and communities. I examine the processes that contribute to distress and disruption in particular places, and I seek to identify the collaborations, policies, and practices that support and enhance well-being.
My early work considered rural and urban places affected by economic restructuring and neoliberal welfare reform, while more recent studies have focused on places impacted by disasters. In examining a range of stressed environments and communities, I have given close attention to the nature and relational constitution of settings which people experience as supportive, enabling and therapeutic. Empirical investigations in this regard have encompassed community drop-in centres, retreat centres, respite care agencies, residential care facilities, and urban community farms. On the basis of these investigations, I have made a number of theoretical interventions with respect to spaces of care, therapeutic landscapes and transnational mobility.
I am currently the managing Editor of the New Zealand Geographer. I am also a member of the editorial board for Social and Cultural Geography and a previous member of the editorial advisory board for Social Science and Medicine. I previously served on the University of Canterbury Human Ethics Committee.
Current and recent research projects:
• Shaping Places / Future Neighbourhoods (NSC11 Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities)
• Transforming geographical education: learning for Earth futures
• Living in the colour-coded city: understanding and building community resilience
• Stories of movement: experiences of disruption and adjustment in a post-quake city
- Conradson D. (2021) Recognition and attunement in migration research. Dialogues in Human Geography 11(1): 73-77. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2043820620975963.
- He L., Dominey-Howes D., Aitchison JC., Lau A. and Conradson D. (2021) How do post-disaster policies influence household-level recovery? A case study of the 2010-11 Canterbury earthquake sequence, New Zealand. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 60 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2021.102274.
- Cloke P. and Conradson D. (2018) Transitional organisations, affective atmospheres and new forms of being-in-common: Post-disaster recovery in Christchurch, New Zealand. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 43(3): 360-376. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tran.12240.
- Conradson D. (2016) Fostering student mental well-being through supportive learning communities. Canadian Geographer 60(2): 239-244. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cag.12276.
- Davies TR., Beaven S., Conradson D., Densmore A., Gaillard JC., Johnston D., Milledge D., Oven K., Petley D. and Rigg J. (2015) Towards disaster resilience: A scenario-based approach to co-producing and integrating hazard and risk knowledge. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 13: 242-247. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2015.05.009.