Meridian Urban provides industry leading advisory and program management services in the areas of urban policy & planning, and resilience & adaptation.

The social, environmental and economic challenges affecting our settlements, and the way in which we manage them, are becoming increasingly complex. This requires a new way of thinking about how planners and city managers do their business.

Meridian Urban’s core capabilities lie in strategic planning, policy development, and statutory planning. We deliver these services for governance reviews, urban policy changes, and planning instruments. We are recognised as thought leaders in our fields and are renowned for developing creative solutions to complex problems, and providing timely, accurate and technically rich services to our clients and the communities they serve.

The work and experience of the Meridian Urban team in the field of natural hazard resilience & adaptation is currently driving change across Australia. In particular, we translate resilience and adaptation initiatives into state-wide, community-scale and site-specific planning contexts.

We also have practical experience in governance, administration and communication during and following disaster events which provides unique insight to the application of disaster resilience policy and strategy to on-the-ground practice.

Our Expertise


  • Policy formulation
  • Land use strategies
  • Strategic plans
  • Spatial plans
  • Statutory planning
  • Governance frameworks
  • Governance capacity & capability reviews
  • Community engagement


  • Natural hazard risk assessments and management plans
  • Community resilience strategies
  • Risk based land use planning
  • Climate change adaptation strategies and plans
  • Disaster management and recovery programs and plans
  • Project leadership and collaboration

Our Services


We work in partnership with our clients and stakeholders to identify, analyse and delve into complex problems, to develop plans to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and resilience of organisations, governments and community systems. This often brings new ways of thinking, revealing outcomes that benefit all.


We provide targeted, robust advice and solutions to our clients in short term or on-going capacities utilising our industry leading experience in strategic land use planning, flood risk management, bushfire risk management, coastal hazard adaptation, earthquake recovery and disaster management.


We manage and deliver a full range of planning and resilience projects and programs on behalf of our clients including the management of all specialists, sub-consultants and relevant partners.


We bring together multidisciplinary teams to capture and drill down into data revealing new and exciting interrelationships that when understood can bring better outcomes for communities.

Our Team


Stephen Dredge

Director Stephen Dredge established Meridian Urban to offer a high-quality, high-value professional consulting service with a unique difference – one that combines his passions of strategic land use planning and settlement resilience.

Stephen brings more than 20 years of experience in Australia and overseas as an urban planner and public policy expert with a passion for helping people think differently and improving the way we plan. He provides thought leadership and executive level direction to dealing with the modern-day challenges of settlement systems, risk-based land use planning, resilience, climate adaptation, and statutory planning.


Laura Gannon

Laura Gannon is an Associate Director with almost 20 years of experience in strategic land use planning, bushfire risk and community resilience across both the public and private sectors. Laura specialises in management consulting approaches to the integration of natural hazard risk management into land use planning policy and strategy, with a particular emphasis on bushfire risk and resilience, floodplain risk management and climate adaptation. She has extensive experience in the areas of planning policy, strategic and statutory planning accumulated through a number of senior leadership positions.


Kim Kirstein

Kim Kirstein is an Associate Director and governance and statutory planning specialist at Meridian Urban, with over 20 years of industry experience at the local, state and national government levels. Kim specialises in navigating and identifying opportunities to streamline government processes and statutory frameworks and she has been at the forefront of identifying improvements and developing fast tracked planning and assessment processes in Queensland and New South Wales.

Kim also has extensive experience in strategic and statutory land use planning and preparing and reviewing planning policies, strategies, guidelines and plans. She brings cutting edge statutory advice in translating higher order government strategies and policies and supporting technical assessments (including natural hazard risk assessments) into assessment / performance criteria, development controls and land use and zoning criteria.


Julie Brook

Julie Brook is a Principal and local and regional planning specialist with over a decade of experience across the public and private sectors. Julie also holds an MBA, providing her with diverse business and project management skills for a holistic governance, policy and strategy outlook. Julie is experienced in translating complex legislative frameworks, planning instruments and policy formation, land use strategies, risk-based planning and planning for resilient communities, in addition to significant development assessment experience. Her strong analytical skills compliment her specialist capabilities in judicial practices. Julie has been accepted as a Building Tribunal Referee, as an expert on senior industry panels, has briefed expert witnesses, and assisted counsel in various court matters.


Amy Adamson

Amy Adamson is a Principal with over 17 years of experience in the private sector. Amy specialises in the interpretation of complex legislative framework into practical planning outcomes, particularly in the realm of statutory and environmental planning.

Amy maintains an extensive understanding of the Queensland planning framework, governance processes and planning policy and strategy. Her background in the management of complex development applications and enforcement matters across multiple jurisdictions highlights her extensive project management skillsets.

Amy has also acted as a town planning expert for various matters in the Planning and Environment Court and Land Court. Her experience in these proceedings as an expert witness provides Amy with a unique insight into the formulation and statutory drafting of planning instruments to ensure they meet their intended effect.

Amy provides assistance to local governments across Queensland with various aspects of planning and policy, including planning scheme drafting, environmental management, disaster risk reduction and resilience.


Upendo Kowero

Upendo Kowero is a Principal with extensive experience in strategic and statutory land use planning across the public and private sectors. She brings a depth of capability across the areas of governance and planning frameworks, policy, strategic and statutory planning.

Upendo is an engagement specialist trained in cultural awareness, community engagement, mediation and conflict resolution. Upendo also holds considerable experience working with Aboriginal Shire Councils and their communities. Upendo’s diverse upbringing has nurtured her interest and curiosity of cultures, cities and settlements in contributing to more equitable and sustainable communities. She holds a Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning with honours, Masters of Development Practice, Graduate Certificate in Mediation and Conflict Resolution and is International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) accredited.

Sam Evans

Sam Evans

Sam Evans is an Associate with extensive experience working in government and private practice in various fields including land use and development, spatial analysis, policy review, policy development and infrastructure planning. Sam specialises in utilising spatial analysis to solve land use planning challenges. Sam has long-held interests in statutory frameworks and resilience and is passionate about improving planning systems to better respond to the threat of natural hazards. Sam bolsters his planning and resilience capabilities with qualifications in bushfire assessment from the University of Melbourne.

Lauren Young

Lauren Young is an Associate with nearly 10 years of experience in statutory planning, strategic planning and master planning. She has worked in both the public and private sectors in Queensland and the Middle East. Lauren is also an admitted Australian Lawyer in the Supreme Court of Queensland.

Lauren brings a depth of experience in relation to regulatory planning systems. In particular, Lauren is highly skilled in interpreting and applying statutory assessment frameworks, having previously been involved in administering the Minister’s powers and planning practices related to development assessment and greenfield developments, coordinating and preparing applications related to the construction and operation of large-scale infrastructure and working on master planning projects and developing housing strategies. Lauren is focused on achieving outcomes that are practical, innovative and responsive to the needs of stakeholders.


Damien Scalora

Damien Scalora is a Senior Planner with experience in both the private and public sector, working across levels of government in Queensland, the Northern Territory and the UK. He has worked on strategic land use plans and community development strategies, with a particular focus on regional and growth areas. He has experience in both statutory and strategic planning, and has developed environmental planning strategies for local government.

Damien holds a degree in Urban Development (Urban and Regional Planning) and is also currently completing a Master of Environmental Management. Damien’s strong technical understanding of strategic planning processes is complemented by an interest in the links to local community resilience and climate adaptation.

Mitchell Stoter

Mitchell Stoter is a Senior Planner with more than 6 years of experience in strategic planning across Queensland and Victoria. Mitchell brings specialist capabilities in project management, community consultation, strategic planning and structure planning.

Mitchell specialises in urban growth management, housing strategy, statutory plan drafting and natural hazard risk analysis. His experience working across regional Victoria provides him with a depth of appreciation of issues that affect regional and rural communities. Mitchell’s key planning interests include building climate resilient cities, master planning and sustainable development, social and affordable housing and heritage planning.


Ryan McNeilly Smith

Ryan McNeilly Smith is a Senior Planner, Urban Designer and Urban Climate Specialist with multi-sector experience. He has worked on projects across strategic planning, urban design and placemaking and community resilience. Ryan has also had experience on the frontline of human and social disaster recovery following disaster events in Queensland, including Cyclone Debbie, the Central Queensland bushfires in 2018 and the Townsville monsoon trough flood event in 2019.

Ryan has specialist capabilities in strategic, policy and design responses to urban heat and heatwaves, considering both built environment and systematic solutions to address the health and socioeconomic impacts of heat. Ryan draws upon his research as a current PhD Candidate to investigate, analyse and develop evidence-based responses to heat hazards. Ryan is passionate about using his practice to create and sustain just and equitable settlements. Ryan holds a Bachelor in Urban Design and Town Planning (Honours Class I).


Jonathan Saunders

Jonathan Saunders is a senior spatial and data analyst with extensive experience across various industries. He specialises in spatial analysis, data visualisation, data management and ESRI enterprise software including web-based application development. Prior to joining Meridian Urban, Jonathan has worked in the pipeline and forestry industries where he was responsible for implementing new methods such as the use of dashboards, deep learning and python which lead to increased data accuracy and higher efficiency to filter and visualise data.

Jonathan is passionate about improving and automating processes and holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Waikato.

Jessica White

Jessica White is a spatial information analyst with experience working with a variety of data sets and complex data processing and manipulation She has extensive knowledge in managing and analysing large databases and drawing insights that highlight essential information and providing recommendations to solve different issues.

Jessica has worked with spatial analysis fields including LiDAR and aerial imagery processing and analytics. She possesses an undergraduate degree specialising in physical geography and geographical information systems and a Master of Environmental Management from the University of Queensland.


Olivia Scroope

Olivia Scroope is a Planner having recently completed a Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning at Griffith University. Olivia’s planning interests include resilience and adaptation, urban design, green infrastructure and community engagement. Olivia is experienced in both Queensland and New South Wales planning frameworks. Her capabilities also extend to bushfire hazard assessment and mitigation, having worked across South East NSW on various recovery and reconstruction development assessment projects following the devastating Black Summer bushfires.


Jessica Dumbell

Jessica Dumbell is a corporate services and resilience professional with over 16 years of professional experience across government and private sectors in Australia and abroad. As Operations Manager she has an expansive knowledge across a broad range of corporate areas including finance, human resources, operations, and business systemisation. Jessica further supports this with professional experience in program and project management, having a proven ability to coordinate complex teams and initiatives. Jessica has a Double Bachelor’s Degree in Business (Management) and Psychology from Griffith University which supports her enduring interests in resilience and organisational psychology.


Heidi Dredge

Heidi Dredge is Meridian Urban’s Co-founder and Corporate Advisor. With qualifications and experience in Business Management and Social Science, Heidi has 20 years of professional experience in Australia and abroad across a range of sectors including planning and governance. Heidi brings a big-picture perspective to Meridian Urban, providing corporate leadership, strategic advisory and mentoring.

Heidi’s focus is on ensuring Meridian Urban operates and grows in line with its vision, mission and corporate values to provide a meaningful and inspiring work environment for the team and to pave the way for ongoing business success, sustainability and impact.

Corporate Social Responsibility

At Meridian Urban, we have a responsibility to commit to and act on issues that have a positive impact on the world. A key part of contributing to sustainable, resilient communities across Australia comes from recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first land use planners, scientists and engineers. We acknowledge and deeply respect the stewardship of Country and waters that Australia’s First Nations peoples have provided over many tens of thousands of years.

Our Reconciliation Action Plan establishes the foundation that will guide our continued strengthening of relationships and partnerships with First Nations peoples, and our continuously growing awareness, empathy and understanding of First Nations culture and experience.


Jessica Dumbell
Ph. 0422 224 810