Community Engagement

The Geography Department is committed to facilitating learning through community engagement where possible and opportunities exist for this at all levels. This is part of UC's commitment to engaging with local groups to help make the city more sustainable and resilient, especially post-earthquake.

While this occurs in many courses across the subject, it is a key feature of GEOG 309 Research Methods in Geography and GEOG 402 Resilient Cities.

GEOG 309 Research Methods in Geography

GEOG 309 grounds students in research methods, using a group-work approach and service learning. This capstone course prepares students for graduate work or entry to the workforce. Students develop research projects initiated by community groups.

GEOG 402 Resilient Cities

GEOG 402 explores sustainable urban development. The course focuses on geographical issues related to urban planning for resource use and infrastructure development. It includes an applied and practical element, conducted in collaboration with the local government officials and local community groups.

Community-based film

In 2013, Professor Peter Newman (Curtin Uni, Perth), a Visiting Erskine Fellow helped make a film “Christchurch: Resilient City”. The film was made with staff (Prof Simon Kingham and Prof Eric Pawson) and students involved with the GEOG 402 Sustainable Urban Development class in which students learn by working with local community groups and organisations on real research problems related to sustainable urban development. Many of the people in the film are partners we have worked with in the class.


The following are further examples of community engagement that we want to share.

GEOG 110: From 2013 to 2016 students in GEOG 110 surveyed local communities to identify the ‘assets’ within their neighbourhoods, including the skills, knowledge and resources of local people and groups. Links to the final reports and online maps can be found below.

A change in focus and staffing from 2017 means GEOG 110 no longer includes a community engagement component.