Associate Professor Ralph Chapman

Director Graduate Programme, Environmental Studies

Victoria University of Wellington


Academic Research Projects:

Climate change policy; Sustainable transport and urban form; Housing and the environment (heating and health; housing and energy use; Warm Homes for Elderly NZers); Environmental governance; Comparative Environmental Policy and Performance (Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand).

Current Research Projects:
- Resilient Urban Futures: leading project on compact v. dispersed patterns of urban development.
- Resilient Urban Futures: contributing PI on ACTIVE project evaluating active travel in model communities.
- Resilient Urban Futures: contributor to project on the drivers of urban development trajectories.

Video: Ralph speaking on the economics of affordable housing

Recent submissions include:
- Chapman, R. & Howden-Chapman, P. (2019). Submission on National Policy Statement on Urban Development. Wellington: New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities.
- Chapman, R., Howden-Chapman, P., Randal, E., & Ombler, J. (2019). Submission to the Environment Select Committee on the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill. Wellington: New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities.
- R Chapman, P Howden-Chapman, E Randal, J Ombler. Submission to Ministry for the Environment on ‘Our Climate Your Say: Consultation on the Zero Carbon Bill. July 2018
- E Randal, C Shaw, R Chapman R et al. Submission by the NZ Centre for Sustainable Cities to the New Zealand Productivity Commission on the draft ‘Low-emissions economy’ report (April 2018)
View here

Book and interview: Time of useful consciousness: Acting urgently on climate change

More information and contact details


Emissions from the road transport sector of New Zealand: key drivers and challengesEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research, 2019, Volume 26, Issue 23, pp 23937–23957
Scope for building performance provisions to advance building sustainability and environmental performance in New Zealand.Working Paper for the National Science Challenge 11, Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities, 2019
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Are people who already cycle and walk more responsive to an active travel intervention? Journal of Transport and Health Volume 10, September 2018, 84-91
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‘Reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from an intervention to promote cycling and walking: a case study from New Zealand.’ Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment Volume 65, December 2018, Pages 687-696
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A Cost Benefit Analysis of an Active Travel Intervention with Health and Carbon Emission Reduction BenefitsInt. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 962;
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Climate change response in New Zealand communities: Local scale adaptation and mitigation planningEnvironmental Development Volume 28, December 2018, Pages 19-31
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Investigating recruitment and completion mode biases in online and door to door electronic surveys International Journal of Social Research Methodology Volume 21, 2017 - Issue 2
Investment for sustainable transport: transport investment and carbon emissions in four Anglophone countriesNZ Centre for Sustainable Cities Policy Paper, November 2017
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How Economic Analysis Can Contribute to Understanding the Links between Housing and Health Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 996;
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Framing mobility investmentNZ Centre for Sustainable Cities Policy Paper November 2017
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The future of Wellington’s bus fleet: The environmental and health implications of different upgrade options for Wellington’s bus fleetNZCSC Policy Paper, Victoria University of Wellington & NZ Centre for Sustainable Cities, May 2016
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Streamlining urban housing development: Are there environmental sustainability impacts? Cities, 2016, 55, 101-112.
Understanding the systemic nature of cities to improve health and climate change mitigation. Environment International Volume 94, September 2016, Pages 380-387
Housing and transport interventions: understanding co-benefits. Proceedings of the ICEUrban Design and Planning. DOI: 10.1680/udap.14.00049
Setting New Zealand's post-2020 climate targetWellington: Royal Society of New Zealand, 2015
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Increasing active travel: Results of a quasi-experimental study of an intervention to encourage walking and cyclingJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2015, 69, 1184-1190
Urban interventions: Understanding health co-benefits Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers Urban Design and Planning 168 August 2015 Issue DP4Pages 196–203
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New Zealand CAN do more to cut emissions – Here’s howResponding to Climate Change, 9 July 2015,
From coping to resilience: The role of managed retreat in highly developed coastal regions of New ZealandIn B Glavovic, R Kaye, M Kelly, A Travers (eds.) Climate change and the coast: Building resilient communities, London, Taylor and Francis, 2015
Increasing active travel: aims, methods and baseline measures of a quasi-experimental studyBMC Public Health, volume 14, Article number: 935 (2014)
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