Professor Nicky Morrison

nicky_morrisonProfessor of Planning WSU Urban Living Futures and Society Champion Geography Discipline Leader Leader of School of Social Sciences' Urban and Regional Research Program WSU Representative on SPHERE HUE Executive Committee WSU Representative on UDIA Steering Committee

Nicky Morrison is the Professor of Planning at Western Sydney University and Senior Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University. She is WSU’s Urban Living Futures and Society Research Theme Champion, and Leader of the Urban and Regional Research Program. She is the academic lead in transforming WSU’s Penrith Campus into Penrith Sustainable Innovation Community (PSIC). Nicky has been appointed onto the NSW Public Policy Institute (PPI) Strategy Advisory Group, Executive Committee of the Healthy Urban Environments (HUE) Collaboratory in the Sydney Partnership for Health Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE), Steering Committee of Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) NSW, and Steering Committee of Western Sydney Health Alliance.

Nicky is a leading academic authority on delivering resilient, healthy and sustainable communities and securing affordable housing through the planning system.  She has over 27 years of experience leading interdisciplinary teams on high impact international planning and housing research projects, attracting major competitive external funding, from the European Commission, Norwegian, UK, and local governments, Shelter Homeless Charity and Joseph Rowntree Foundation.  Nicky has been invited to act as advisor to senior government officials and NGOs across the world. For example, she was the strategic advisor to Chinese Ministers as they implemented China’s first Public Housing Act and Amnesty International ‘Housing rights live here’ programme across Sub-Saharan Africa.

She serves on Habitat International Editorial Board, WESTIR Ltd Board, PIA NSW awards judging panel, and is the ‘housing and planning’ expert on Western Sydney Community Forum. She was a long serving board member of a UK community housing provider. Nicky is passionate about developing truly collaborative planning through effective partnerships between government, the private sector, NGOs, and community agencies. In 2019, the Royal Town Planning Institute commended Nicky for her recognised leadership and significant contribution to the planning profession.


  • PhD, Urban and Regional Planning, 1992

Selected Publications

Morrison, N & Van Den Nouwelant, R 2020, ‘Western Sydney’s urban transformation: examining the governance arrangements driving forward the growth vision’, Australian Planner

Ehwi, R, Morrison, N & Tyler, P 2019, ‘Gated communities and land administration challenges in Ghana: Reappraising the reasons why people move into gated communities’ Housing Studies,

Morrison, N & Szumilo, N 2019, ‘Universities global research ambitions and their localised housing price effects’ Land Use Policy 85 290-301

Morrison, N & Szumilo, N 2019, ‘Drivers and implications of mega-mergers: Evidence from the English not for profit housing sector’ Housing and Built Environment, 34 (3) 661-681

Agyemang F & Morrison N 2018, ‘Recognizing the barriers to securing affordable housing through the land use planning system in Sub-Sahara Africa. A Perspective from Ghana’. Urban Studies 55 (12) 2640-2659

Manzi, T& Morrison, N 2018, Risk, Commercialism and Social Purpose: Repositioning the English Housing Association sector. Urban Studies 55 (9) 1924-1942

Morrison, N 2017, ‘Playing by the rules. Path Dependency and informal settlements in Sub Saharan Africa’. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 49 (11) 2558-2577

Morrison, N 2017, ‘Selling the family silver? Institutional entrepreneurship and asset disposal in the English Housing Association Urban Studies 54 (12) 2856-2873

Morrison, N & Xian, S 2016, ‘High mountains and the faraway emperor: Overcoming barriers to citizen participation in China’s urban planning practices’ Habitat International 57: 205-214

Morrison, N 2016b, ‘Institutional logics and organisational hybridity: English Housing Associations’ diversification into the private rented sector’, Housing Studies 31 (8) 897-915

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