Aileen Melia

Aileen joined URBED in 2022 as a Senior Consultant in Landscape Architecture. She has extensive experience of community led landscape design on grassroots projects. Before joining URBED, Aileen worked as Landscape Design Manager at Newground, a CIC based in Lancashire, where her projects included working with local stakeholders to develop parks masterplans, heritage projects, school grounds development, play spaces, green routes, art trails and food growing projects. She was the lead landscape architect on Rhyddings Park HLF, a small neighbourhood park in Oswaldtwistle. The project was a collaboration with the local council, Newground and the local friends group and involved creation of an outdoor performance space, redefining the historic layout of the path network, entrance enhancements, and the development of a community orchard and kitchen garden, as well as the renovation of the old coach house into a thriving community café and events space.

Aileen developed an interest in the importance of collaborative community projects during her time studying at Leeds Metropolitan University, where her focus was on a ‘Habitation’ module looking at re-connecting communities on the outskirts of the city centre to natural spaces with green routes, community woodlands and natural play. For her post graduate diploma, Aileen spent a semester studying Landscape Architecture at Purdue University, USA. Her major design project whilst there was a re-imagining of Grant Park on the shore of Lake Michigan, and reconnecting the lost parts of the park with the local communities and the lake, and to past landscapes. She was also involved in a design project for the entrance plaza at Indianapolis Childrens Museum, again with a strong emphasis on community links and consultation with neighbourhood children using the museum, which included the creation of a pop up book of the design elements in the plaza as a fun and interactive presentation tool.

When not at work, Aileen loves being in the woods, on the fells, and in a river somewhere, immersing herself in wild spaces!

Aileen Melia