You are now in the main content area
Nina Maria Lister

Nina-Marie Lister

Professor and Graduate Director, School of Urban Regional Planning; Director, Ecological Design Lab; Founding Principal, PLANDFORM
EducationBA Hons, MScPI, MCIP, RPP, Hon. ASLA
OfficeSBB-432, South Bond Building
Phone416-979-5000, ext. 556769
Areas of ExpertiseEcological Design; Landscape Planning; Urban Ecology; Green Infrastructure; Resilience Planning & Design; Sustainability; Biophilic Design.

Nina-Marie Lister is Professor and Graduate Director in the School of Urban + Regional Planning at Ryerson University in Toronto. She is a Senior Fellow of Massey College, external link, and was previously Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture + Urban Planning at Harvard University, Graduate School of Design (2010-2014). A Registered Professional Planner (MCIP, RPP) trained in ecology, environmental science and landscape planning, she is the founding principal of PLANDFORM, , external linka creative studio practice working at the nexus of landscape, ecology, and urbanism. Prof. Lister’s research, teaching and practice centre on the confluence of landscape infrastructure and ecological processes within contemporary metropolitan regions, with a particular focus on resilience and adaptive systems design. At Ryerson University, Lister founded and directs the Ecological Design Lab, external link, a collaborative innovation incubator for ecological design research and practice. Her current research is funded by a SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant, and she recently led and completed a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant and a Graham Foundation publication grant. She is co-editor of Projective Ecologies (with Chris Reed, published by Harvard University and ACTAR Press, 2014, 2020) and The Ecosystem Approach: Complexity, Uncertainty, and Managing for Sustainability (with David Waltner-Toews and the late James Kay, Columbia University Press, 2008), and author of more than 100 scholarly research & professional practice publications. These include notable contributions to Design With Nature Now (Lincoln Land Institute 2019), Nature & Cities: The Ecological Imperative in Urban Planning & Design (Lincoln 2016), Is Landscape…Essays on the Identity of Landscape (Routledge 2016), Ecological Urbanism (Harvard GSD with Lars Müller Publishers 2010), and Large Parks (Princeton Architectural Press 2008, winner of the J.B. Jackson Book Prize). She was Guest Editor of the Journal of Ecological Restoration for a special issue on landscape infrastructure and is a contributor to Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment to a special issue on climate change. Her work has also been widely featured in international creative exhibitions, including the 2016 Venice Architectural Biennale as a collaborator on Canada’s entry entitled EXTRACTION, external link —a critical examination of Canada’s role as a global resource empire, featuring an installation, film and book exploring the ecologies and territories of resource extraction (curated by Pierre Bélanger). Locally, Lister is curator and director of a public exhibition on wildlife, infrastructure and urbanism: XING - (re) connecting landscapes, external link now on permanent exhibit at the Toronto Zoo. In the community, Lister currently serves as a member of the Waterfront Toronto Design Review Panel, external link, as Chair of the SSHRC Banting Post-Doctoral Fellowship, external link Committee, as an advisor to the Biophilic Cities Network, external link, and as jury member for the inaugural On the Brinck Book Award and Lecture Program, external link at the University of New Mexico. In recognition of her international leadership in ecological design, Lister was awarded Honourary Membership in the American Society of Landscape Architects. She was named an an “Inspired Educator” by the Canadian Green Building Council’s excellence and leadership awards and was nominated among Planetizen’s Most Influential Urbanists, external link.

Teaching areas:

  • Planning studio

  • Urban ecology

  • Landscape and physical planning

  • Ecological design

  • Landscape urbanism

  • Research methods
  • Sustainability

Research interests:

  • Landscape and ecological design

  • Urban parks and natural heritage systems

  • Landscape infrastructure
  • Biophilic design

  • Design for resilience

  • Complex socio-ecological systems design

  • Large-scale wild landscapes
  • MCIP Member, Canadian Institute of Planners
  • RPP, Registered Professional Planner
  • Honourary ASLA, American Society of Landscape Architects