Mr Simon Opit

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


Simon received his Bachelor of Arts Honours degree (First Class Hons) in 2011 having completed a research dissertation on the formation and functioning of a community action groups. Following this, Simon has moved his research interests towards urban housing issues, with his Masters thesis providing an in-depth study of the development of a large master-planned estate in Auckland. This was completed in 2012, receiving First Class Honours and The Faculty of Science Masters Award.

In 2013 Simon began work on his doctoral studies, continuing his interest in urban housing issues, his thesis explores the perceptions and attitudes of young adults towards existing and planned forms of urban intensification. Simon is utilising a Q methodological study as part of this research which will be the first time this hybrid quantitative and qualitative methodology has been applied to the study of housing preferences. This research is being undertaken with support from the MBIE-funded 'Resilient Urban Futures' research group.

Research | Current

PhD Thesis - Acclimatising to higher densities in Auckland: Examining how young adult’s living environments influence their attitudes towards urban intensification.

Teaching | Current

Tutor - GEOG315 - Research Design and Methods in Human Geography


The University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship (UoA - 2013)

The Faculty of Science Masters Award (UoA - 2011)

The Faculty of Arts Masters/Honours Scholarship (UoA - 2010)

Summer Scholarship (research project UoA - 2010)

Certificate of Achievement (New Zealand Geographical Society - 2008)

Excellence in Geography (UoA - 2008)

Areas of expertise

Urban Geography; Urban Theory; Community Planning; Social Theory.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Opit, S., & Kearns, R. (2014). Selling a natural community: Exploring the role of representations in promoting a new urban development. New Zealand Geographer, 70 (2), 91-102. 10.1111/nzg.12030
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Robin Kearns
  • Opit, S. L. (2012). Consuming community: Land development projects and the rhetoric of building community in Hobsonville, Auckland The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland. Related URL.
  • Oliver, M., Witten, K., Kearns, R. A., Mavoa, S., Badland, H. M., Carroll, P., ... Jelley, S. (2011). Kids in the city study: research design and methodology. BMC Public Health, 1110.1186/1471-2458-11-587
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Robin Kearns, Melody Smith-nee Oliver
  • Badland, H. M., Opit, S., Witten, K., Kearns, R. A., & Mavoa, S. (2010). Can Virtual Streetscape Audits Reliably Replace Physical Streetscape Audits?. J URBAN HEALTH, 87 (6), 1007-1016.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Robin Kearns

Contact details

Primary location

SCIENCE CENTRE 302 - Bldg 302
Level 5, Room 558
New Zealand