Julia Smachylo

Julia is an urban designer as well as a registered urban planner in Canada and the United Kingdom. Her research responds to an increased awareness and shift towards valuing natural capital in research and policy, as well as the growing influence of non-state actors such as environmental organizations, landowners, and the private sector in shaping landscapes in response to climate change.  Using film as a method of investigation, her recent work focus on woodland areas in the province of Ontario, Canada, documenting incentivized managed forests to reveal the extent to which these landscapes are tied to the social, economic and political histories of production and conservation within the region.

Before coming to Harvard, Julia worked in planning, landscape and urban design offices in London and Toronto, and in 2014 she was deputy curator of the Canadian exhibition at the 2014 Venice Biennale in Architecture with Lateral Office. This past summer she participated in the Canadian Center for Architecture’s PhD residency program, and is a current Canada Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.  She has been an invited critic at the University of Waterloo, Ryerson University and Harvard University for landscape, urban planning and urban design studios, and has taught core studio courses at both Ryerson University and the University of Waterloo.


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Julia in a patch of trilliums outside of Port Perry (Ontario, Canada).