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Faculty of Community Services
Nina Maria Lister

Nina-Marie Lister




416-979-5000, ext. 6769

Email Address:


  • Ecological Design
  • Landscape Planning
  • Urban Ecology
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Resilience Planning & Design
  • Sustainability


Nina-Marie Lister is graduate program director and associate professor in the School of Urban and Regional Planning. From 2010-2014, she was visiting associate professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Harvard University, Graduate School of Design. A registered professional planner (MCIP, RPP) trained in ecology, environmental science and landscape planning, she is the founding principal of PLANDFORM, a creative studio practice exploring the relationship between landscape, ecology, and urbanism. Lister’s research, teaching and practice focus on the confluence of landscape infrastructure and ecological processes within contemporary metropolitan regions, with a particular focus on resilience and complex, adaptive systems design. At Ryerson University, Lister founded and directs the Ecological Design Lab, a collaborative innovation incubator for ecological design research and practice, and an experimental generator aimed at rapid prototyping for resilience. She is a member of the Ryerson Urban Water Centre where she contributes work on flood-friendly design and resilient water infrastructure. Her current research is funded by a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant and a Graham Foundation publication grant. 

She is co-editor of Projective Ecologies (with Chris Reed, Harvard and ACTAR Press, 2014) 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 40 professional practice and scholarly publications. These include notable contributions to Nature & Cities: The Ecological Imperative in Urban Planning & Design (Lincoln Land Institute, 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 connectivity, and is a recent contributor to Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment to a special issue on climate change for the 100th anniversary of the Ecological Society of America.

Her work has also been featured in many international exhibitions, including the 2016 Venice Architectural Biennale in which Lister is a collaborator on Canada’s entry entitled EXTRACTION—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 launched in Toronto at Evergreen Brick Works in 2013 and now on permanent exhibit at the Toronto Zoo. 

In recognition of her international leadership in ecological design, Lister was awarded Honourary Membership in the American Society of Landscape Architects.

See also:

Research Interests:

Research interests:

  • Landscape and ecological design

  • Urban parks and natural heritage systems

  • Landscape infrastructure

  • Design for resilience

  • Complex socio-ecological systems design

  • Large-scale wild landscapes

Current Courses:

Teaching areas:

  • Planning studio

  • Urban ecology

  • Landscape and physical planning

  • Ecological design

  • Landscape urbanism

  • Research methods

Professional Affiliations:

  • MCIP Member, Canadian Institute of Planners
  • RPP, Registered Professional Planner
  • Honourary ASLA, American Society of Landscape Architects

Position Currently Held:

Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor

Creative Activity

Contact details

Office details

  • SBB-432, South Bond Building