The Ecological Design Lab is led by Professor Nina-Marie Lister at Ryerson University’s School of Urban and Regional Planning, to test strategies, develop evidence-based next-generation practices, and find tangible, solutions to sustainability and resilience, as we rethink, remake, reinvent and renew our relationship to nature in the city. Creative, evidence-based thinking, community-collaborative planning and informed, inspired design are composite, requisite criteria for active and informed responses to complex socio-ecological problems.
Nina-Marie Lister is Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor in the School of Urban + Regional Planning at Ryerson University in Toronto. From 2010-2014, she was Visiting Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture + 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. Prof. 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 adaptive systems design.
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 recent contributions to 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.
As a member of the Ryerson Urban Water Centre, Lister contributes work on flood-friendly design and resilient water infrastructure. Her work has also been featured in many international exhibitions, including the 2016 Venice Architectural Biennale in which she 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. 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 is now on permanent exhibit at the Toronto Zoo. In recognition of her international leadership in ecological design, Lister was awarded Honorary Membership in the American Society of Landscape Architects.Read more
Marta is a graduate of the Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning program at Ryerson University where she worked as a Research Assistant and Project Coordinator at the Ecological Design Lab since 2013.
Her interests, in research and practice, centre on the implementation of green and adaptive infrastructure, specifically for enhanced landscape connectivity. Marta is co-author of “Embracing Complexity: Ecological Design for Living Landscapes” published in Oz, the Journal of the College of Architecture, Planning and Design at Kansas State University’s issue on Complexity and “Integrated adaptive design for wildlife movement under climate change” published in a special issue on climate change for the 100th anniversary Frontiers in Ecology and Environment.
She has been closely involved with the development of the XING: (Re)Connecting Landscapes project and the creation and installation of exhibits at Evergreen Brick Works, the Royal Ontario Museum, and most recently at the Toronto Zoo.Read more
Alyssa is a Master of Planning in Urban Development Candidate at the Ryerson School of Urban and Regional Planning. Prior to pursuing a career in Urban Planning, Alyssa worked for over four years with Partners in Project Green, a group within the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority that works directly with businesses in the Greater Toronto Area to implement sustainability projects. In particular, her focus was on event and workshop organization and facilitation, stormwater management and low impact development technologies, and water and wastewater efficiency improvements. She looks forward to exploring how ecological functions, green infrastructure technologies and wildlife crossings with best practices in sustainable community and city building with the Ecological Design Lab.Read more
Aaron Hernandez is a Master of Landscape Architecture candidate at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto. Currently, his research is focused on the visualization of policy pertaining to wildlife crossing infrastructure and landscape connectivity.
Prior to Toronto, Aaron completed a bachelor’s degree in Rhetoric and Professional Writing with a minor in Business and Economics from the University of Waterloo. It was here that he developed an interest in the questions around how we inhabit land, and the cultural and economic processes that influence the physical makeup of inhabitation. Previously, Aaron has worked as a musician and a lavender farmer.Read more
Noah Lister-Stevens is a graduate of the Arts & Contemporary Studies at Ryerson University, specializing in Philosophy and Law. He has worked with the Ecological Design Lab since 2017 as a legal researcher and analyst, specializing in the case law surrounding motor vehicle collisions with wildlife within Canada and North America. His interests include legal environmentalism, sustainable design, and modern dance.Read more
Ethan has been a communications assistant working for the Ecological Design Lab since May 2018. He is currently in his final year at Ryerson University in Urban and Regional Planning.Read more
Jayme Carter is a second year student in the Urban and Regional Planning undergraduate program at Ryerson University. Jayme is particularly interested in the intersection of sociology and the planning practice, as well as the role of planners in creating connected greenspace networks and in implementing green infrastructure. Jayme also enjoys transit politics, queer comedy, and collecting vintage maps.Read more