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Valli Morphett – CEO CoDesign Studio

Valli is an urbanist, community builder and energetic optimist who leads a new wave of collaborative citymaking. She is passionate about locally-led placemaking and has spent two decades driving systemic place based change.

She is CEO of CoDesign Studio, globally recognised placemaking thought leaders, who pioneered the democratisation of citymaking through authentic digital placemaking products and elevated community-led placemaking to a global stage.

‘Together we are stronger’ is more than a tag line. Valli is passionate about communities of practice, and in 2014 founded Place Invaders, a grassroots placemaking peer network that has gone on to be embraced on a national scale. She is also a regional Network Leader for Australasia for PlacemakingX global place movement.

Valli has an extensive background career in urban design and community engagement within Australia and the UK, is a founding member of Engage 2 Act collective and a past South Australian IAP2 Coordinator.

In her spare time Valli is a pavement chalk artist.


The Neighbourhood Project

  • 19 Dec 2019 - 23 Feb 2020

  • 10:00 - 22:00


Place matters, because people matter. Place determines our health, wealth, and happiness (World Health Organisation, 2010.)

We all live in a world where social isolation is rampant, loneliness is an epidemic, and we are less resilient to the sweeping changes at our doorstep. Now, more than ever, we need initiatives that take a systems-view to change the processes that promote or confute how we connect with our neighbours. Our lives literally depend on it.

CoDesign Studio, a not-for-profit consultancy working to build better places through human-centred cities, created The Neighbourhood Project – Australia’s biggest research program for community-led placemaking.

The program actively created a new pathway for councils to empower their own communities to run projects in public places, demonstrating this to be an effective means of fast-tracking community connection, social resilience and mental wellbeing. The DIY approach makes it highly-accessible to residents and councils across socio-economic boundaries.

Through three years of action-research, The Neighbourhood Project developed, piloted, and iterated a scalable methodology for community-led placemaking as a practical means to do exactly this.

The project saw fourteen community groups and eight different councils, develop locally-led projects to create better public spaces for more connected community, impacted over 60,000 residents during the program. Using prototyping and short-term activations as a low-risk testing environment, coupled with a leadership program filled with workshops, bootcamps and capacity-building for both council and community, placemaking barriers were systematically identified, reviewed and streamlined for the future.

The program highlighted that people should and must be put at the centre of how we shape local places because it has an immediate effect on the health, life, and wellbeing. The program actively connected communities, boosted social wellbeing, rebuilt local social fabric, and built people’s resilience.

Join CoDesign Studio CEO Valli Morphett and local placemaking expert Tiffany Tang for an interactive walk through of the program insights, outcomes and the suite of open source resources created by this groundbreaking research project.