Community Design and Cultural Planning

JMLA have forged active ways of working with communities throughout Australia by developing the 'Set-up Shop' planning process. This allows people one-to-one creative input into the design and planning of their towns and public spaces. Shops, caravans, or community halls are used as forums for interactive consultation processes which usually last from three days to two weeks. Plans and ideas are generated through 'co-design' processes such as sketch interviews, group mapping and visioning, and open-shop drop-in centres.

JMLA have now run over 50 Set-up Shops throughout Australia and these have all led to successful strategies which are being implemented by local government and communities. Our goal of achieving sustainable placemaking leads us to play an evolutionary role over many years in the design and planning of towns. We begin at policy level developing community visions, and assist and facilitate the design and construction of cultural facilities from the scale of public seating through to whole cultural precincts.


Outstanding examples of Set-Up Shop Projects and Cultural Planning include:

  • The Tooradin Village Strategy, Vic
  • Caral Ecovillage, Toogoom, Queensland
  • Kingaroy Urban Renewal Strategy, Kingaroy, Qld
  • Kippa-Ring Village Urban Design Strategy, Redcliffe, Qld
  • The Eco-village, Currumbin, Qld
  • Gold Coast City Visual Diaries, Qld
  • Scarborough Creative Village, Qld
  • Warialda Town Centre Community Plan, NSW
  • Bingara Community Plan, NSW
  • Quilpie Town Centre, Qld