Dr Simon Opit, BA (hons), MA

Simon is a Post Doctoral Fellow at SHORE. He is interested in the connections between urban space, housing and infrastructure and social outcomes, such as individual and community resilience and wellbeing. His current research attends to the expectations and experiences of medium-density housing residents, the experiences of local residents in neighbourhoods hosting new medium-density housing developments, and charting the social and technical networks that inform decision-making within development financing and transport planning.

His PhD was completed at The University of Auckland and investigated how previous housing experiences of young adults influence their future preferences and attitudes towards urban intensification. Simon has previously been a member of several multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional research programmes, such as, the URBAN project, ‘Kids in the City’, and Resilient Urban Futures. He is currently a research team member of the National Science Challenge: ‘Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities’.


Journal Articles

Opit, S., Witten, K., & Kearns, R.A. (2019) Housing pathways, aspirations and preferences of young adults within increasing urban density, Housing Studies. doi: 10.1080/02673037.2019.1584662

Opit, S. & Kearns, R.A. (2014) Selling a natural community: exploring the role of representations in promoting a new urban development, New Zealand Geographer, 70(2): 91-102. doi: 10.1111/nzg.12030

Oliver, M., Witten, K., Opit, S. et al (2011) Kids in the city study: research design and methodology, BMC Public Health, 11: 587. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-587

Badland, H.M, Opit, S., Witten, K., Kearns, R.A. & Mavoa, S. (2010) Can virtual streetscape audits reliably replace physical streetscape audits?, Journal of Urban Health, 87(6): 1007-1016. doi: 10.1007/s11524-010-9505-x


Witten, K., Opit, S., Ferguson, E., & Kearns, R. (2018) Developing community: following the Waimahia Inlet affordable housing initiative, National Science Challenge 11: Building Better Homes Towns and Cities.

Saville-Smith, K., Witten, K., James, B. & Opit, S. (2018) Landscape of research relevant to the BBHTC mission: a report of research funding, outputs and post-graduate work since 2012, National Science Challenge 11: Building Better Homes Towns and Cities.

Opit, S. & Witten, K. (2018) Unlocking transport innovation: a sociotechnical perspective of the logics of transport planning decision-making within the trial of a new type of pedestrian crossing, National Science Challenge 11: Building Better Homes Towns and Cities.

Scott, K., Opit, S., Dolan, D. et al (2015) Community formation: literature review of factors that enhance place-based social relations in compact cities, New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities: Resilient Urban Futures.