We held a seminar with speakers Bronwyn Hayward and Bronwyn Wood. More young people than ever are living in our cities and the way they live will have a profound influence on our global future. What are their expectations of their urban lives? Will they be able to live sustainably in our cities? And do they see themselves as full citizens in their communities? See the video.

CYCLES is an international longitudinal study of young people’s lifestyles in seven cities of varying sizes, each facing diverse challenges: Christchurch, NZ; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Grahamstown, South Africa; Lambeth (London), UK; New Delhi, India; Sao Paulo, Brazil and Yokohama, Japan.

The study investigates the experiences, aspirations and barriers to sustainable lifestyles faced by 12 to 24 year olds living in these diverse urban contexts. Bronwyn Hayward will report on some of the initial findings of the first round of ‘day in my life’ focus group interviews and photo diaries with young residents and locally relevant insights into what young people value about their urban lives, their hopes and fears, and the opportunities they have for sustainable outcomes.

Bronwyn Wood will then examine the case for a ‘civic engagement gap’ identified within diverse youth in communities in the United States, and its relevance for NZ youth.

Drawing on research with school-aged young people from a wide range communities in New Zealand, she will explore how this plays out and what young people say could support greater involvement as young citizens in their communities. In particular, the emergence of locally-situated and everyday conceptions of citizenship engagement emerge as key considerations.

Presentations (PDF)


India street scene bike


  • Bronwyn Hayward is Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Canterbury (UC) and an international expert on sustainability and youth politics. She is the international Research Lead of CYCLES and the Director of UC’s Sustainable Citizenship and Civic Imagination: Hei Puāwaitanga research group. Bronwyn is also coordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chapter on Cities and Infrastructure in the 6th Assessment Round 2018-2022. She is currently the only New Zealand lead author serving on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 ºC.

  • Bronwyn Wood is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at Victoria University of Wellington. Her research interests lie at the intersection of sociology, geography and education and centre on issues relating to youth participation, citizenship and education. She is an editor of the journal Theory, Research and Social Education. Her current Marsden-funded research (2017-2019) is about the experiences of belonging and citizenship for young people growing up in some of New Zealand’s most culturally diverse communities.

    (The CYCLES study is coordinated by the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP) cusp.ac.uk/cycles University of Surrey, UK and University of Canterbury and involves research partners in India, Bangladesh, South Africa, Japan and Brazil and key global sustainability advisors.)

This seminar took place on 11 July 2018 at City Gallery, 101 Wakefield St, Wellington.

For more information please contact libby.grant@otago.ac.nz.

Climate Change Equity Health Housing & Building NZ Policy Urban design & planning