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Mr. Grant A Donald - International Federation on Ageing. Shanghai, , CN

Mr. Grant A Donald Mr. Grant A Donald

Creative Director | Silk Tree International

Shanghai, CHINA

Design for an ageing population









Grant is a Shanghai based prize-winning Australian Urban designer/ Landscape Architect focused on creating nurturing environments for the elderly. He has 35 years experience in the design & development of urban, suburban & rural projects around the world, with 20 years work experience in Australia the Asia Pacific Region & 10 years in the Middle East. He has worked and/or lectured in 40 cities globally including lecturing at Universities in Abu Dhabi, Ankara, Beijing, Dubai, Edinburgh, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Nairobi, Perth, Prague, St.Petersburg and Shanghai.
His experience covers large-scale strategic and master plan designs as well as recreation and open space strategies and policies.
His design experience includes working on projects such as "The Palm" in Dubai, Durrat Al Bahrain and Expo Shanghai as well as working as an advisor on iconic projects such as Shanghai Disneyland and the Presidential Palace Abu Dhabi.
Grant also had a roving ambassadorial role with the International Federation of Landscape Architects which entailed working globally with students and governments to further the cause of the federation. In this role Grant was one of the initial coordinators for the development of the profession in Africa. He also assisted UNESCO for the development of world heritage sites in China (Da Zou & Suzhou) as well as providing advisory assistance to them for the development of Qur’anic gardens in the Middle east.
Along with his experience as a landscape architect and designer he is considered a renown keynote speaker and champion of the profession of landscape architecture.
In his current role as Creative Director of Silk Tree International he is championing the use of open space and parks to promote Active Ageing. His theories on the development of open space systems for the elderly has seen him lecture on the subject in Beijing, Shanghai, San Francisco, Washington, and the UK. His approach to aged care and open spaces see him as one of the worlds most innovative designers.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Design guidelines and policy development

Landscape Design

Urban Design

Master Planning

Accomplishments (28)

First Landscape Architect to be employed by Local Government in rural Australia (professional)

Employed by Orange City Council for the Redevelopment of Summer Street, Orange. Winner of various clean City awards.

Orange Botanic Gardens, Orange, NSW, Australia (professional)

Landscape Architect in charge of Gardens redevelopment and expansion

Streetscape redevelopment, Perth, Western Australia (professional)

Design, documentation and Site supervision of City of Stirling's Western Australia, streetscape programme.

Scarbourough Beach Redevelopment, Perth, Western Australia (professional)

Master planner, client manager and design review

Project 501 - Riyadh, Al Kharjh, Jeddah, KSA (professional)

Lead landscape Consultant for the Landscape design of air force bases in Saudi Arabia using the principals of CCD. Camouflage, Concealment and Deception.

Health Care facilites - Perth, Western Australia (professional)

Master Planning, Landscape Design various Health care facilities

Consultant Principal - Northbridge Urban Renewal, Perth, Western Australia (professional)

Principal in charge of the Landscape and Urban Design

Consultant Principal - Subiaco Urban Renewal, Perth, Western Australia (professional)

Principal in charge of the Landscape and Urban Design

Consultant Principal - Northam Urban Renewal, Perth, Western Australia (professional)

Principal in charge of the Landscape and Urban Design

Consultant Principal - Al Barari, Dubai UAE (professional)

Lead designer, Principal in charge of documentation and delivery of master plan at World's premier residential development.

Disneyland Hong Kong (professional)

Design Director for Hotel Landscape construction

Various Residential Project PRC, HK (professional)

Design Director for Belt Collins HK in charge of Design, documentation and Site Service

Principal Landscape Architect - RTA - Dubai UAE (professional)

Landscape design, documentation and Site Service for the Dubai light rail project.

Master Planner - Designer Frond F - Palm Dubai, Dubai UAE (professional)

Master Plan for Open Space development on Frond F for the Palm Dubai

Presidential Palace - Abu Dhabi, UAE (professional)

Master Plan, landscape design for Presidential Palace Abu Dhabi

Eighth Gate - Damascus, Syria (professional)

Mixed Use development, lead consulatnt

Sheikh Zayed Development - Damascus, Syria (professional)

Lead Consultant

Sharjah Botanic Gardens - UNESCO - Sharjah, UAE (professional)

Design consultant to UNESCO for the development of a Quranic Botanic Garden.

Doha Botanic Gardens - UNESCO - Doha, Qatar (professional)

Design consultant to UNESCO for the development of a Quranic Botanic Garden.

Success with Design - Landscape Workshops (professional)

Awarded certificate for the training of Saudi Arabian middle managers.

Shanghai EXPO - Shanghai, PRC (professional)

Master Planning

Shanghai Botanic Garden - Shanghai, PRC (professional)

Winner International Competition for the development of a Master Plan for Shanghai Botanic Gardens

Taizhou Botanic Garden, Taizhou, PRC (professional)

Master Plan

Disneyland Shanghai (professional)

Adviser to Disney for the development of Shanghai Disneyland

Lingan Aged Care development (professional)

Master Plan review, design appraisal

Finalist Australia- China Business Awards (professional)

2013 Finalist

Wanshou Park, Beijing, PRC (professional)

Design, consultant for one of the worlds fully integrated Elderly focused Parks

Advisor to China National Committe on Ageing (professional)


Assigned to assist the Chinese National Committee on Ageing with regard to Masterplanning, site design, Urban design and Site specific design.

Education (2)

University of New South Wales, Australia: B.L.Arch, Landscape Architecture 1985

The University of Melbourne: Grad Certificate in Ageing 2017

Affiliations (4)

  • Australian Institue of Landscape Architects
  • Shanghai Society of Landscape Architects
  • International Federation of Landscape Architects
  • Previous Chair of the Africa Committee for IFLA

Languages (2)

  • English - Native
  • Mandarin - Basic

Event Appearances (18)

Central Region Conference of the International Federation of Parks and Recreation, Prague, Czech Republic

New for old landscapes and new structures in old landscapes  Prague


China Landscape Design Forum

Multidisciplinary design  Shanghai, PRC


The future of Landscape Architecture in China

Landscape Design Forum  Dalian, PRC


Ecology, culture; place and image in the landscape

Asian Congress - IFLA  Mumbai, India


Cultural and Environmental Design

World Congress IFLA  Edinburgh, Scotland


Cultural Design

Annual Congress Kenya Architecture Association  Jomo Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya


Paradise Found, Identity Lost

Russian Landscape Architecture Annual Congress  St.Petersburg, Russia


Landscape and Site Planning

Green Buildings Conference  Abu Dhabi, UAE


Cultural design environmental problems

Water Wise Conference,  Dubai, UAE


It’s not just about the buildings

Green Buildings Conference  Beirut, Lebanon


Buildings aren't Green

Green Buildings Conference  Doha, Qatar


Sustainable Development

Urban Development Conference  Shenzhen PRC


The importance of water

Landscape Conference  Shanghai, PRC


Programming for the New Demographics

Greater & Greener, Innovation in Park Design  San Francisco, USA


Longevity Park

International Making Cities liveable  Bristol UK


District Redevelopment Driven by Park for the Elderly

International Association of Architects  Dalian, PRC


District Redevelopment Driven by Park for the Elderly

Ageing and Society  Washington DC, USA


Longevity Park

EFA Environments for Aging  Austin, Texas


Sample Talks (4)

Active Ageing

The principles of Active Ageing and the impacts it has on design

Parks and Open Spaces - redefining the users and uses

As the population ages the uses and user patterns of parks and open spaces will change. The change in demographics will have an impact on what type of open spaces we design and build.

Planning for a new demographic

As we become older and Urbanization is happening more rapidly how should the future of our cities cope with a larger older population.

RECLAIMED, a modern design approach to the issue of the Ageing population

RECLAIMED is an acronym to describe the nine processes we need to go through to when we design for the elderly.

Research Focus (1)


A modern design approach to the issue of the Ageing population


People are dynamic entities that have moods, change their minds, prefer different activities, different interactions. Buildings are limited in their ability, they are static in their form, limited in their uses. They provide the infrastructure for many requirements of an ageing population, such as health-care facilities and spaces for aged-care requirements. They also provide shelter and protection from the elements but they lack the dynamism that is required for active ageing. Open space and parks on the other hand have this dynamism. The ability of a park to be able to provide different settings at different times of the year, month, time give a park an ability to appeal to the widest range of active person. The ability of a park to have flexible spaces for a range of different recreation types enable any level of active interaction.

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Featured Articles (8)

Streetscapes for public and wildlife alike

World Congress of Parks


Streetscape Design

Street and Road Landscape Design

Australian Engineers Journal


Streetscape Design

Campus Planning

Landscape Design China


The complexities of Campus Planning in China

Security Design and CCD

Landscape Australia


Camouflage, Concealment and Deception in design

Sustainability of Cultural Landscapes

Construction Weekly, Middle East


How to design and maintain a significant cultural Landscape

Sustainability of Urban Development

Construction Weekly, Middle East


The need to be sympathetic with societal needs in a large scale development

Green Roofs and Green Infrastructure

New World Design


The design and development of Green roofs

Longevity Park

China Connections


Longevity Park, Beijing