Dr Laurel Johnson

Senior Research Fellow

Institute for Social Science Research
Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
+61 7 344 31021


Laurel is a spatial and social planner with over 30 years of experience as a practitioner and an educator/researcher. Laurel has led, designed and participated in over 60 applied research projects. Many of those research projects guide and influence the policies and programs of various Australian Local and State governments and non-Government organisations in the fields of social infrastructure, social planning, urban planning and transport provision.

Research Interests

  • Place-Based Collaboration for community wellbeing
  • 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 at the outer edges of cities. 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 Ellen Grove 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 building social cohesion in those locations.


  • Member, Planning Institute of Australia, Planning Institute of Australia
  • Hub Community Projects, Hub Community Projects
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Masters (Coursework) of Built Environment, Queensland University of Technology


  • Alidoust, Sara, Wyeth, Stephanie, Reddel, Tim, Cornish, Gillian, Lata, Lutfun Nahar, Johnson, Laurel and Shaweesh, Maram (2024). Sustaining a resilient housing system in southeast Queensland. Australian Planner, 1-16. doi: 10.1080/07293682.2024.2309352

  • Wyeth, Stephanie and Johnson, Laurel (2021). Communicating urban research. Methods in Urban Analysis. (pp. 191-205) edited by Scott Baum. Singapore: Springer Singapore. doi: 10.1007/978-981-16-1677-8_11

  • Robinson, Mark, Wyeth, Stephanie, Johnson, Laurel, Porter, Dave and Reddel, Tim (2020). Yarrabilba Community Hub Partnership Assessment Framework. Brisbane, Australia: Institute for Social Science Research.

View all Publications


View all Grants


Book Chapter

  • Wyeth, Stephanie and Johnson, Laurel (2021). Communicating urban research. Methods in Urban Analysis. (pp. 191-205) edited by Scott Baum. Singapore: Springer Singapore. doi: 10.1007/978-981-16-1677-8_11

  • Darchen, Sebastien, Johnson, Laurel, Sipe, Neil and Mongard, John (2020). Project implementation. Placemaking fundamentals for the built environment. (pp. 177-199) edited by Dominique Hess and Cristina Hernandez-Santin. Singapore, Singapore: Palgrave McMillan. doi: 10.1007/978-981-32-9624-4_9

  • Grant-Smith, Deanna, Edwards, Peter and Johnson, Laurel (2018). Putting children in their place on public transit: managing mobilities in the child-friendly city. Dialogues in urban and regional planning 6: the right to the city. (pp. 201-216) edited by Christopher Silver, Robert Freestone and Christophe Demazière. New York, NY United States: Routledge.

  • Burton, Paul and Johnson, Laurel (2010). Getting on and getting around : Transport, mobility and disadvantage. A climate for growth. (pp. 220-237) edited by Brendan Gleeson and Wendy Steele. St Lucia, Queensland, Australia: The University of Queensland Press.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

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

Completed Supervision