Rita Dionisio

LecturerRita Dionisio

Human Geography
Beatrice Tinsley Rm 311
Internal Phone: 95993
Support local communities and organisations in making evidence based decisions in urban planning.


Research Interests

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.

Recent Publications

  • Carr J. and Dionisio MR. (2017) Flexible spaces as a “third way” forward for planning urban shared spaces. Cities 70: 73-82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2017.06.009.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.