Principal

Allison Heller is an experienced urban and social planner with expertise in qualitative research techniques and environmental and social impact assessment processes. A former Associate Director of Social Policy at Urbis, Allison specialises in:

  • Policy-based research and advisory, in areas such as strategic land release and disposals, affordable housing and homelessness service provision models
  • Social Impact Assessment (SIA) tools and techniques, including demographic analysis, social infrastructure audit and stakeholder engagement/ community consultation
  • Development Application (DA) processes, including Statements of Environmental Effects (SEE).

Prior to joining Urbis Allison was the London-based editor of the UK’s foremost business magazine for residential property developers, Housebuilder (circulation 22,000). During her editorship Allison pursued a strong sustainability agenda among the magazine’s core readership of senior executives in the residential development sector. She promoted the critical importance of careful social planning to the success of large scale regeneration and development projects, including the application of sustainable urbanism principles to the development of new communities and the redevelopment of social housing estates.

Allison’s experience is grounded in the property sector, where she has spent her career. Her wide-ranging experience of urban and social planning approaches has been gained through strategic policy-making roles in state and local government in NSW and London, including in the NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure, Hurstville City Council, and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.  She has also worked in private consultancy through Urbis and David Crane & Associates.

Allison is committed to influencing urban outcomes through the application of urban and social planning tools to contribute to the development – and redevelopment – of environmentally and socially sustainable communities.

Allison has particular expertise in the following areas:

  • Social sustainability and the application of sustainable urbanism (SU) principles
  • Social Impact Assessment (SIA)
  • Environmental sustainability in property development/sustainable building standards (UK and Australia)
  • Housing affordability, tenure mix and associated delivery models
  • Homelessness policy and service provision/ regulatory frameworks
  • Urban regeneration models, including in estate redevelopment/ regeneration in the UK and Australia
  • Stakeholder identification and engagement, including community consultation.

Allison has the following qualifications and affiliations:

  • Board Director – Women’s Housing Company (housing association)
  • Member of the Livability Technical Committee – Green Building Council of Australia
  • Member of the Women in Development Business Advisory Group – Urban Development Institute of Australia
  • Member of the Social Research Network – Australian Market and Social Research Society (AMSRS)
  • Member of the Australian Institute of Urban Studies
  • Member of the Association for Sustainability in Business
  • Bachelor of Town Planning (Hons), University of NSW (grad. 1999) – nominated University High Achiever
  • Diploma in the History of Architecture and Art, University of London (grad. 2005)

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