Rita Dionisio

Senior LecturerRita Dionisio

Human Geography
Beatrice Tinsley Rm 311
Internal Phone: 95993
My research aims to support local communities in urban planning processes, leadership, and participation.


Research Interests

My research focuses on adaptive urbanism, community resilience, and bicultural planning; aiming at socio-ecological justice. In Human Geography and urbanism, I demonstrate high competence – not only through scientific dissemination and external funding – but particularly by opening pathways to advance the integration of traditional ecological knowledge in decision-making processes, and urban living outcomes. I lead with novel research methods; combining action research, co-creation, and Kaupapa māori methodologies. My research has an increasing local, national, and international impact in the context of climate change emergency. I apply my expertise in collaborative planning through action research and my community connectedness reflects this. The national research programmes that I develop and lead, have the potential to transform local communities, inform national policy, and place UC in a leading position in the field of bicultural planning.

Recent Publications

  • Boles I. and Dionisio R.. (2020) Community Resilience and Grassroots action for long-term urban change in Aotearoa New Zealand. In Design Culture(s) | Cumulus Roma 2020.
  • de Jesus Dionisio R., Schindler M. and Kingham S. (2020) Tools for sustainable change: How spatial decision-support tools support transformative urban regeneration. International Journal of E-Planning Research 9(2): 21-42. http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/IJEPR.2020040102.
  • Schindler M., Dionisio R. and Kingham S. (2020) Challenges of Spatial Decision-Support Tools in Urban Planning: Lessons from New Zealand's Cities. Journal of Urban Planning and Development 146(2) http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)UP.1943-5444.0000575.
  • De Oliverira Falcao I., Walker D., Dionisio R., Savarimuthu S., Macfarlane A., Matunga H. and Kingham S. (2019) Place-based tools for supporting community leadership in urban planning in Aotearoa New Zealand. Wellington, New Zealand: FOSS4G-Oceania, 12-15 Nov 2019.
  • Dionisio R. (2019) Streets made for living: Considerations for urban intensification in Aotearoa New Zealand cities. Wellington, New Zealand: Where Do We Dance? Symposium in a Park(ing) Space, 8-8 Mar 2019.