Dr Laurel Johnson

Honorary Associate Lecturer

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science


Laurel is an urban and social planner with over 25 years of experience as a practitioner and an educator/researcher. As well as being a full-time academic in the UQ urban planning program, Laurel manages her own planning consultancy service with Government and non-Government clients throughout Australia. Her practice, research and educator roles are complementary.

Research Interests

  • Resident Activism in Urban Planning
    An inquiry into the power of resident action in urban planning finds that not only does resident action shape cities, it also heavily influences the political environment.
  • Transport Disadvantage and Social Disadvantage
    What is the relationship between transport and social disadvantage? This case study research finds that social disadvantage is compounded and extended by transport disadvantage. This is particularly the case for communities on the edge of the city. The research considers the contribution of individual and community social capital (positive and negative) to transport disadvantage.

Research Impacts

Laurel's research directly resulted in improved access pathways (constructed with local labour) to the railway station for the social and transport disadvantaged community of Carole Park on the edge of Brisbane city. The participatory nature of that community mapping research made the recommendations compelling for politicans and decision makers. Laurel's social infrastructure analysis in many communities in Victoria, Western Australia and south east Queensland has delivered infrastructure and services for comunity building in those locations.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Graduate Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning, Queensland University of Technology
  • Master of Built Environment, Queensland University of Technology


View all Publications


Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Note for students: Dr Laurel Johnson is not currently available to take on new students.

Completed Supervision