Research in Development

Research initiatives 2024

1. Future Cities – Urban Industry Zones

Led by Paola Boarin and Jacqueline Beggs

Urbanization and human-induced climate change impacts are already visible on Aotearoa New Zealand’s ecosystems and society. We are seeing loss of biodiversity, vulnerability of buildings and infrastructures to extreme weather, and a toll on the health and wellbeing of our communities.

Our focus is on urban industry zones intertwined with terrestrial, marine and freshwater habitats. Urban industrial developments are also often located in close proximity to housing occupied by vulnerable communities, and are subject to pressures from complex urban, infrastructural and economic development priorities.

Our approach is to use regenerative sustainability principles and system-thinking to radically transform urban industrial zones in Aotearoa. This will enable built, ecological and social systems to withstand climate change and urban related pressures while reverting environmental damages, reducing future risks to people, property and natural environments, and limiting the impacts on the economy.

2. Communicating Complex Science

Led by Maria Armoudian and Neil Curtis


  • Develop novel ways of communicating the interconnection of sustainability in the environment and human health. This includes four-panel comic strips on microplastics and other environmental issues.
  • Research on countering, pre-bunking and debunking science disinformation and misinformation and ways to inoculate publics.

3. Plastic Pollution

Plastics are everywhere—on land, in the sea, in the air and in our bodies. What are the effects of this ubiquitous substance on our own health and the health of the animals and ecosystems? A transdisciplinary research team which includes chemistry, marine science, biology, oncology, sociology and politics has formed to initiate research on this ambitious question.

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Contact us

Waipapa Taumata Rau | University of Auckland

Auckland 1010, Aotearoa New Zealand

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