Kathi Holt – President
The UDAL board brings together a diverse group of urban designers, passionate about how are cities are being planned, designed and delivered.
With experience spanning academia, the public sector, private practice, sustainability, development and the arts, our new board brings a fresh focus to the challenges confronting our rapidly growing cities and peri-urban areas
Our board seeks to bring open, pragmatic and balanced discussion between discipline groups, to inform decision making that leads to positive change, resilience and sustainability in urban design and city making.
UDAL welcomes new alliances and collaborations between the wider community, government agencies, the private sector and academia.
An architect and strategic urban designer, Kathi has been professionally trained across four continents, acquiring BArch, MArch and PhD degrees in Architecture, as well as an Executive MSc in Cities from the London School of Economics.
With more than 30 years of experience in practice and academia, Kathi now holds several key positions. She is Executive Director of NERØ HOLT – a research and consulting practice that works with universities, government agencies, not-for-profit organisations and industry, to raise funds for meeting important challenges, such as the integration of science and technology in smart cities. Kathi is also the Director of TANDEM Brisbane, the Queensland arm of Award-winning Tandem Design Studios, based in Melbourne.
Before entering private practice, Kathi devoted 26 years to education, research and industry engagement in several leading Australian Universities, including The University of Melbourne, RMIT, The University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology (QUT). As Head of Urban Design at QUT, she was responsible for delivering the Masters and PhD programs that interrogated cross-
cutting challenges from climate change to the effects of urbanisation and resources.
Cities are my life-long passion. My aspiration is to enable the design of healthy, socially- integrated environments for everyone, regardless of age and physical or mental ability.
Craig Addley – Vice President
Craig is an urban designer with other 20 years’ experience across a range of mixed use, residential and city shaping projects in Australia, the UK and South East Asia. He has worked within leading consultancies, government bodies and private development companies, delivering complex and challenging projects that have an inherent focus on innovation, resilience and quality. Working within markets and locations that are rapidly growing and changing has focused this experience towards the delivery of city shaping projects that will respond to our future lifestyle needs, environmental qualities and economic imperatives.
Craig joined UDAL as an opportunity to help voice the collective experience of Queensland’s urban design fraternity, to further the
discussion and dialogue on good design and to connect with other designers who are addressing similar challenges and striving for better outcomes, partnerships and approaches.
Nial Fraser – Treasurer
Nial is a Registered Landscape Architect with the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects with over 20 years’ experience.
He has an extensive range of experience, from large-scale landscape design developments, to long-term sustainable solutions, and
master planning across residential housing developments and commercial precincts.
Nial’s horticultural knowledge coupled with his design expertise ensures valued outcomes for his clients in Australia and South East Asia. Underpinned by a deep understanding of sustainability issues, his approach to design and stakeholder management is collaborative.
He brings sound ethics, accountability and a sense of humour to the UDAL board.
Ritva Vilppola – Secretary
Ritva is a Sustainability Consultant at WSP specialising in buildings and communities while bringing insights from her previous experience at the New Zealand Green Building Council.She is currently studying a Master’s of Urban Development and Design at the University of Queensland and is on the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) Young Professionals
Ritva joined the Urban Design Alliance as someone passionate about designing more sustainable and inclusive places.
At Urban Kin Geoff guides clients through the Agile City-Making service -developing strategy and a portfolio of city-making ideas.
He then collaborates with them creating, testing, learning, and renewing the portfolio of ideas. Geoff loves cities and urban life and discovered a passion for making great places while landscaping in Canada on a working holiday. This experience lead him to complete a Master of Planning in NZ, and a Master of Urban Design in Australia at QUT. He has split his career between working in local government and consulting.
Geoff’s urban design practice builds on the long traditions of urbanism, updated for the era of digital transformation with agile methods. When he’s not collaborating with clients Geoff explores the Queensland coast in search of good waves. He also loves to travel to experience and learn from the best places in the world.
Why I joined UDAL?
I’m looking forward to growing the community of urbanists and urban designers. In particular, I’m interested in sharing innovations in how we make better cities. Feel free to connect on Linkedin:
Mel is a talented urban designer with over 15 years’ experience, and qualifications in both Urban Design and Regional Planning.
Her experience includes award-winning work across a broad range of scales including master planning, greenfield development, strategic planning, project positioning, urban analysis and urban renewal. Mel is an Associate Director at Urbis and has been with them since 2015 working on a number of major city-shaping projects.
Balancing strategic thinking with practical human centric design, Mel has worked on a range of public and private sector projects that involve extensive collaboration across disciplines. She has emerged as a leader in the areas of education and health campus master planning which is a real passion for her. Mel led the preparation of the St Lucia Campus Master Plan for the University of Queensland, which has won a number of awards since its completion in 2017. She has also recently completed the Master Plan for the Mater Hospital, South Brisbane Campus.
Mel has been an active member of UDAL for more than six years now and is excited to embark on this new and refreshed journey with them. Being able to recognise and promote good Urban Design outcomes in a realm of its own is something UDAL will be striving to achieve and Mel has the right skills and fresh thinking to help bring this alive.
With over 25 years’ experience in the arts, cultural and urban design sector, Chetana has honed a unique set of skills with a diverse portfolio in private development, Government, Special Authority, and not-for-profit sectors. She has been a practising artist, designer, Director of an Australian-wide public art consultancy, policy officer, place manager at South Bank Queensland, and CEO of artisan, the premier art, craft and design organisation in Queensland, Australia.
Chetana is passionate about the transformative power of place-shaping public art and its positive impact for a more inclusive and sustainable world. Trained in jewellery, sculpture, and education, she has a Doctorate in Creative Industries. Titled Curating Place: Public art and city identity, it explores the interconnected theories of placemaking and brand marketing and the role of the curator as ‘selector’ of the visual artefacts that contribute to the identity of a city.
In her current role as Senior Principal at UAP she has initiated creative strategies in Australia and the Middle East to position UAP as a global thought leader in art and public places. From placemaking community development to the public art masterplan for the city of Riyadh, she applies a transdisciplinary approach. She has served on Award Panels, Professional Boards, and presented at numerous Conferences.
Mirko Guaralda (Ph.D., MHEd, DArch) is an academic and urban designer with more than 20 years of experience and his work focuses on people-place interaction, enquiring into the complex issues of place quality and community engagement. Currently, Mirko is Senior Lecturer in Architecture at the Queensland University of Technology; he was researcher at the United States Study Centre of Sydney (USSC) in 2012; in 2017 he has been visiting professor at the Thammasat University of Bangkok, Thailand.
Since 2018 he has been engaged also in research and teaching at the Jiangxi University of Science and Technology (China).
Prior to join academia full time in 2010, Mirko had experience as urban designer in local governments in Italy, his home country, and Australia.