PLANDFORM | Landscape Ecology Urbanism Planning | N.M. Lister

PLANDFORM is a collaborative design studio led by NM Lister in Tkaronto/ Toronto.

How we work

Across all our projects, collaboration is the heartbeat of our practice. Working at the intersection of landscape, ecology, urbanism and planning, we leverage a diversity of skills, practices, and methods through our extensive network of creative collaborators to meet the complex challenges of our time.


Professor Nina-Marie Lister

Prof. Nina-Marie Lister, MCIP, RPP, Hon. ASLA

Nina-Marie Lister is an ecological designer and registered professional planner working across applied research, teaching and practice to connect people to nature in cities. Her transdisciplinary work advances designs for green infrastructure that protects biodiversity and supports equitable, accessible and healthy community-based solutions to the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Through design activism, she advocates for co-existence of wildlife and people in healthy, connected landscapes.

  • Lister is a Professor at the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Toronto Metropolitan University, where in 2006 she founded the Ecological Design Lab, Canada’s first hands-on community-based research incubator focused on applied urban ecology and design. Through the lab, funded by national research and foundation grants, Lister engages, trains and supports students working directly with professionals and communities to advance research and develop tangible solutions to complex, transdisciplinary problems such as climate resilience, urban biodiversity and human wellbeing.

    Lister is a Senior Fellow of Massey College and was Visiting Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Harvard University, Graduate School of Design from 2010 to 2014. She will return to Harvard in 2022 to teach a graduate research course on (re)wilding landscapes. She is the editor of three books, including the highly-cited volume The Ecosystem Approach: Complexity, Uncertainty, and Managing for Sustainability, the ASLA-awarded Projective Ecologies, and the author of over one hundred scholarly research articles and professional practice publications.

    As the founding principal of PLANDFORM, Lister engages in creative practice that emerges from collaboration across disciplines, working with ecologists, artists, landscape architects, engineers and planners to apply research and develop practices that support ecological design in urbanising landscapes to transition to climate-resilient communities. Through PLANDFORM, Lister collaborates on projects that are transforming the way communities think about and interact with the natural and built environments.

    In recognition of her international leadership in ecological design, Lister was awarded Honourary Membership in the American Society of Landscape Architect and an inaugural Senior Fellow of the Society for Humans and Nature. She was named an “Inspired Educator” by the Canadian Green Building Council’s excellence and leadership awards and was nominated among Planetizen’s Most Influential Urbanists.

    • 2021 Winner of the Margolese Prize
    • 2021 Senior Fellow, Massey College, Toronto.
    • 2021 Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education Award, Yeates School of Graduate Studies, Ryerson University
    • 2019 American Society of Landscape Architects’ ASLA Best Book List of 2019: Design With Nature Now, edited by F. Steiner et. al. (N-M. Lister, contributing author)
    • 2018 Inspired Educator Award, Canada Green Building Council, Ontario Green Building Excellence & Leadership Awards
    • 2017 Azure Design Award for Social Good. Awarded for Extraction Empire, Canada’s entry to the Venice Architectural Biennale, awarded to Pierre Bélanger, curator (OPSYS) with N-M. Lister (Ecological Design Lab) and RVTR Architects.
    • 2016 American Society of Landscape Architects’ ASLA Best Book List of 2016: Nature & Cities, edited by F. Steiner et. al. (N-M. Lister, contributing author)
    • 2015 Honorary Membership in the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).
    • 2015, Environmental Excellence Award. Awarded by the US Federal Highway Administration to the ARC-Solutions Partnership (N-M Lister, Partner).
    • 2014 American Society of Landscape Architects’ ASLA Best Book List of 2014: Projective Ecologies, edited by C. Reed & N-M. Lister.
    • 2012 Boston Society of Architects (BSA) Citation for Design. Awarded for Botanic Overlooks: Minneapolis Riverfront (team award) to Stoss Landscape Urbanism with N-M Lister.
    • 2010 Research Excellence Award (New Directions category) of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute, OPPI.
    • 2008 J.B. Jackson Book Prize in Landscape Studies, awarded to “Large Parks”, edited by J. Czerniak & G. Hargreaves (N-M. Lister, contributing author).
    • 2008 EDRA Places & Metropolis Planning Award, awarded for RIVER+CITY+LIFE, Master Plan for Toronto’s Lower Don Lands. Team award, in collaboration with Chris Reed/Stoss Landscape Urbanism (Boston), Brown + Storey Architects (Toronto) and ZAS Architects (Toronto).
    • 2004 Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) Excellence in Education Award, for outstanding educational contribution to sustainable practices.
    • 2000 Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA), Citation for Design Excellence in Landscape Architecture. Awarded for Humberwood Centre, Etobicoke (team award) to ZAS Architects and Hough Woodland Naylor + Dance Ltd. with N-M. Lister.
    • 2000, Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI), International Design Award of Distinction. Awarded for the Toronto Island Public/Nature School design (team award) to ZAS Architects with N-M. Lister.

What we do



PLANDFORM works within landscapes and communities for climate resilience. We value and honour culture and nature through the ecologies that sustain us. We collaborate through design and across disciplines to connect people to nature in cities.

CoLab Montana FRP 2018


Lister is an experienced and compelling public speaker, having given more than 50 keynotes and distinguished public lectures across the world in the last 6 years. From international conferences to small symposia and grassroots organizations, Lister’s talks are known to motivate, activate and inspire audiences across cultures and places, from dozens to hundreds, online and in-person.



Good writing is critical to catalyzing and supporting good design. Lister’s works weave together landscape, ecology and design for a better world. Her publications record is well-established, with 3 edited books and over 100 publications including scholarly articles, essays, professional papers, technical reports, creative exhibitions and conference papers.

Click on the book covers below to learn more about each of the featured publications.


Projective Ecologies (Second Edition)
Design with Nature Now
Nature and Cities: Resilience Beyond Rhetoric in Urban Design
Ecological Urbanism
The Ecosystem Approach
Large Parks


Lister’s international reputation as a leading authority in ecological design is built on collaborative leadership. Through creative projects that range from design competitions to master plans, from design activism to artistic installations, we ignite your team’s capacity for creative thinking, making and doing.

Click the image below to see the full artwork.
Research Gate
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