GEOG402-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021

Resilient Cities

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 27 June 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 7 March 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 14 May 2021


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 examines the theory and practice of sustainable urban development. How to manage cities sustainably is one of the main challenges in all parts of the world, and the more so in Christchurch in the context of post earthquake recovery. The course has a different theme each year, and in 2015 this will be ‘Urban Placemaking’. Placemaking is the intention of creating public spaces that promote people's health, happiness, and well-being, and are friendly not just for the mobile majority but also for children, pedestrians and older people. In the two previous years, we have looked at biophilic cities and at the central city rebuild.

The course uses problem-based learning, combined with elements of service-learning, i.e. research delivery through community engagement focused. The research project is formulated in conjunction with urban management and community agencies. From the course you will: develop an appreciation and understanding of key urban issues, reflect on how to use critically concepts of ‘place’, ‘community’ and ‘nature’ in urban landscapes, and to understand the value and importance of geographical processes in urban research.

Learning Outcomes

  •  a knowledge of theoretical and applied elements of urban resilience
  •  an appreciation of the range of contexts, processes and actors that contribute to greater or
       lesser degrees of resilience
  •  an understanding of effective research design
  •  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
  •  an ability to work in teams to resolve problems
  •  an ability to communicate via written, visual and oral means
    • 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.



Course Coordinator

Rita Dionisio


Edward Challies


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Short essay 01 Apr 2020 20%
Research project - report 45%
Research project - presentation 15%
Reflective journal - formative 18 Mar 2020
Reflective journal - summative 29 May 2020 20%

Geog 402 contains the following pieces of assessment

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

Textbooks / Resources

Further Recommended Reading:

Bednarz, S. et al. (2008). Community engagement for student learning in geography, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 32 (1), 87-100.

Brail, S. (2013). Experiencing the city: urban studies students and service learning, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 37 (2), 241-56.

Pawson. E. Fournier, E., Haigh, M., Muniz, O., Trafford, J., Vajoczki, S. (2006). Problem-based learning in geography: towards a critical assessment of its purposes, benefits and risks, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 30 (1), 103-16.

IPCC (2014). Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part B: Regional Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 688.

Productivity Commission (2018). Low-emissions Economy: Final Report. Available from

Reisinger, A., R.L. Kitching, F. Chiew, L. Hughes, P.C.D. Newton, S.S. Schuster, A. Tait, and P.Whetton (2014). Australasia. In IPCC 2014, pp. 1371-1438.

Rose, J.F.P. (2016). The Well-tempered City. New York: HarperCollins.

Park, C. (2003). Engaging students in the learning process: the learning journal, Journal of Geography in Higher Education. 27, 2, 183-199.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $2,066.00

* 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 .

All GEOG402 Occurrences

  • GEOG402-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021