How geographers create liveable streets with Matt Stent

Student Spotlight | March 2020

Matt Stent holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Classical Studies. Matt is currently undertaking an honours in Political Geography at the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch. His honours project focuses on climate change resilience and territoriality in the Pacific. Matt is broadly interested in Cities and Urban environments, especially how marginalised communities (queer, young and low-income communities) fit within cities and what can be done to help create better places to live.

Matt’s research group on a street in St Albans, Christchurch. Source: Geoff Sloan, The Star newspaper.

Matt was part of a recent Christchurch based undergraduate research project where he adopted innovative surveying methods to work directly with school children in urban planning. The outcomes were published in ACUR’s May 2020 URNA (Undergraduate Research News Australasia) edition (Issue 17).

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“At the University of Canterbury one of the options for third year geography undergraduates is to take a course entirely focused on a project that works with members of the wider community to solve problems and provide insight into an issue. My group of five students worked with the St Albans local residents’ association in Christchurch. They had reached out to the university to help them understand what the effect would be of the expansion of a major road through their neighbourhood and what the feelings of the residents were towards the project. As a group we wanted to engage with a range of residents’ perspectives especially since we knew there was anger towards the city council and government around the issue. Working on community building and matters of urban design were really helped by being able to talk to people in the affected places and understanding how they interacted on a personal level…”

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