about us | our collaborators

Aisha Ali | equity, community engagement, strategic planning

Photo of Aisha with long brown hair and blue top.
Logo: Woman of Influence 2022.  The Planner.
Aisha’s contributions to planning and placemaking have been recognised widely including by the Royal Town Planning Institute


Aisha is a committed planning practitioner and educator whose work is underpinned by clear values and an approach to ethical practice that seeks to create with people. Her work is place based, with communities, and with organisations across both public and private sectors for the last two decades. Examples of recent policy work include contributing to Welsh Government’s Race Equality Action Plan including on housing and accommodation policy, and research to investigate and highlight the topic of period poverty. Creating with people is a key part of her practise: listening being a core part of this with evidenced benefits for creating health & wellbeing through supporting community agency.

Aisha is passionate about progressive placemaking, promoting good design and the positive impact it can have to support the growth of inclusive, happy, and thriving neighbourhoods. With experience of three large local authorities and as an independent consultant she has extensive experience in masterplanning, placemaking, project management, planning policy, regeneration, and stakeholder engagement. Her current focus is on integrating these skills with an open approach to community engagement to deliver meaningful changes to reduce inequalities.

Urban Habitats and Aisha have collaborated on the Community Consultation for Quality of Life project developing joint methods to co-production with people from local neighbourhood communities.

find out more

blog | ‘Why wouldn’t you have a say in the city or the town that you live in?’: A Q&A with Aisha Ali

video | People and Community: one of the six Design Commission for Wales Place Making Charter placemaking principles that cover the range of considerations that contribute to establishing and maintaining good places.

selected experience

Below are some examples of Aisha’s experience (undertaken within a number of different roles and organisations):

community facilities | grange pavilion

Planning and community engagement consultant for a community-focused initiative led by the Community Gateway Team at Cardiff University jointly with community groups. Co-design the re-development and revitalisation of a former council property. 3-year engagement programme in collaboration local residents from many different backgrounds.

neighbourhood environment | flourishing neighbourhoods Action Plans Birmingham

With a strong focus on delivery with local stakeholders these projects aimed to address physical and social needs by co-designing and regenerating key multicultural local centres and surrounding neighbourhoods in the NW of Birmingham.

community engagement | Soho and Edgware Road Community Engagement Action Plans, Westminster, London

Working closely with the multi-disciplinary community steering groups as well as the wider stakeholders who included the voices of LGBTQ+ people, Bengali, Arab, Persian and Chinese women groups as well as other wealthier, mainly white resident and business voices. Focus on improving wider wellbeing provision for marginalised and poorer communities in the area.

women’s health | Welsh Government’s Equality Unit ; Tackling Period Poverty/Dignity in Wales

Engaging with 110 participants who were from Black Asian Ethnic Minority backgrounds to understand their perspectives and lived experiences. Some common views on women’s health and periods were contrasted with varied cultural and religious practices highlighting specific approaches with different groups of people when addressing periods and women’s health.

race equality | Women Connect First, Hyaath Women’s Trust and Henna Foundation: Amplifying BAME Women’s Voices, Wales

Designed Engagement Strategy working with three women’s grassroots organisations to amplify the voices of women and understanding the challenges and lack of policies and structures which addressed the needs of the women creating the lack of equality, inclusion, and diversity in all spheres of their lives particularly women’s health. Key recommendations fed directly into the Action Plan.

race equality | Welsh Government Housing Policy

Working with the Housing Policy lead for the Race Equality Action Plan to ensure the voices of groups who experience racism are being heard when developing the Housing and accommodation aims and goals in the action plan. The role of the community mentor is to ensure the plan is truly reflective of the needs and aspirations of the community in relation to the housing sector in Wales.

race equality | Equality and Human Rights Commission Inquiry into the treatment and experience of ethnic minority workers in lower paid roles in the health and social care sectors

The primary focus for the inquiry was the health and adult social care sectors across Great Britain because of the high rates of infection and death from Covid-19 in these sectors, as well as the social care sector in particular being a ‘low paid sector’.