Lisa Law is an interdisciplinary researcher with a background in geography and urban studies.  Her research focuses on urban spaces in Southeast Asia and tropical Australia, and crosses a wide spectrum including:  liveability and place-based urban design for the tropics, the meanings and uses of public space, environmentally responsive design and the role of culture and the arts in placemaking.  She is founder of JCU's Tropical Urbanism and Design Lab, an interdisciplinary team of geographers, architects, sociologists and planners interested in urbanism in the tropics. Prior to commencing her appointment at James Cook University, she was employed at the Australian National University, the University of Western Sydney, the National University of Singapore and the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

Lisa is interested in receiving inquiries from prospective PhD and Masters by Research candidates who are interested in urban research in the tropical world. Scholarship funding is available through the James Cook University Postgraduate Research Scholarships. The closing deadline is 31 August.  Some potential projects include:

Lisa is also the Coordinator of the Human Geography Major in the Bachelor of Arts and welcomes inquiries from students wishing to complete Honours research.  For more info please see https://www.jcu.edu.au/college-of-arts-society-and-education/bachelor-of-arts-honours-application-form.

Recent PhD graduates may wish to consider the Australian Research Council DECRA scheme to work with Lisa through the TUDLab.

  • EV1008: Human Geography (Level 1; CNS)
  • EV2301: Urban Geography and Design (Level 2; CNS)
  • EV3404: Field Studies in Tropical Geography (Level 3; CNS)
  • EV5301: Urban Geography and Design (Level 5; CNS)
  • EV5404: Field Studies in Tropical Geography (Level 5; CNS)
  • EV5602: Urban Design Studio (Level 5; CNS)
  • EV5603: Planning Legislation and Professional Practice (Level 5; TSV)
  • EV5910: Professional Planning Project (Pt 1 of 2) (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • EV5920: Professional Planning Project (Pt 2 of 2) (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • SC5900: Special Topic (Level 5; CNS)
  • SC5901: Special Topic 1 (Level 5; CNS)
  • SC5902: Special Topic 2 (Level 5; CNS)
  • SC5903: Literature Review (Level 5; CNS)
  • SC5909: Minor Project and Seminar (Level 5; CNS)
  • Responsive urban design for the tropical built environment
  • Social and urban geography in Southeast Asia
  • Disaster resilience in Southeast Asia and tropical Australia
  • Field studies in tropical geography
  • Studio-based learning for urban design
  • 2004 to 2009 - Lecturer, University of St Andrews (Scotland)
  • 2000 to 2003 - Assistant Professor, National University of Singapore (Singapore)
  • 1999 to 2000 - Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Australian National University (Canberra)
  • 1997 to 1998 - Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Western Sydney (Penrith)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2021 - Ministers Award for Urban Design 2021, Winner of Master Plan category for Tropical Design Studio: Strategic concept masterplans in northern Queensland country towns
  • 2021 - Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG) Award for Teaching Leadership and Scholarship (ATLAS)
  • 2020 - Commendation, Cutting Edge Research and Teaching, Tropical Design Studio, QLD Planning Institute of Australia Awards for Planning Excellence
  • 2018 - Inclusive Practice Award, AccessAbility Services, JCU
  • 2015 - Award for Excellence, Community Engagement, JCU

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters
Conference Papers

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 68+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Lisa Law from 2001 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Cairns Regional Council - Contract Research

State of the Arts in Cairns

Indicative Funding
$110,000 over 6 years
Cairns Regional Council has aspirations to become the Arts and Culture Capital of Northern Australia and has embedded this in their Strategy for Culture and the Arts 2022. This research works alongside the Strategy to: * Develop indicators that can measure the extent and change in the arts and creative industries over time (using Census data, Council/Stakeholder data) * Identify opportunities for growth in the creative sector (using the Culture Map, interviews with arts/culture industries). * To produce a State of the Arts in Cairns Report summarising the data and analysis (which can inform appropriate, place-based development of creative industries policies).
Lisa Law and Russell Milledge in collaboration with Bruce Prideaux (College of Science & Engineering, College of Arts, Society & Education and Central Queensland University)
Cairns; Arts; cultural mapping; Culture; creative city; culture industries

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Office Environmental Impact by COVID-19: Digital Facility Management Tools to boost Employee Well-Being and Validate Environmental Performances (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • The potential of front gardens to enhance biodiversity consciousness. (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • School-based Community Gardens Battling Food Disconnection as a Manifestation of Environmental Generational Amnesia (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Migration and Liveability in Regional Australia: Back to basics in a Post-Pandemic Era (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • The Making of a Sustainable Arts and Cultural Precinct: Cairns Gallery Precinct (Masters , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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