Understanding Place:
Computational Tools for Harnessing the Meanings of Nature in the Urban Landscape


Understanding Place is a project funded by the National Science Challenge: Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities contestable fund and hosted by the UC Arts Digital Lab. The National Science Challenge has allocated $318, 865 for the research and development of a web-based tool that will (re)present cultural understandings of place in the Avon-Ōtākaro Corridor (also known as the Flat Land Residential Red Zone). The project’s principal investigator is Associate Professor Donald Matheson (UC Media and Communication); joining Donald are UC researchers Professor Paul Millar (Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor, College of Arts, Head of School of Humanities and Creative Arts), Dr Christopher Thomson (Digital Humanities), and Dr Benjamin Adams (Geography). Staff in the Lab are currently working in collaboration with the research team to develop an open-source platform using GIS and visualisation software. This web-based tool will allow both researchers and members of the public to uncover the many individual and collective experiences of place that permeate the Avon-Ōtākaro Corridor.

© OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA. An OpenStreetMap view of the Residential Red Zone Area.

Drone footage of the Avonside Loop section of the Ōtākaro Corridor produced by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ):