Landlab is a development firm and full-service consultancy providing landowners and developers with proven tools to build the best communities on earth. We know the benefits of innovation, harness the advantages of good design, and minimize the risks associated with developing land.

Landlab developments are proof positive that investments in thoughtful urban design and high quality architecture are rewarded by healthier, more vibrant communities. Known for creating unique and valuable real estate, Landlab projects regularly include innovative financial systems to sustain value-added community space.”


Twenty years ago, Landlab Founder, Sean McAdam, purchased 50 acres of land behind his house in an effort to control the sort of development that would happen there. He quickly discovered that the development industry and municipal governments tend to approach questions of urban planning and architectural design as though they are trying to make life better for cars and trucks instead of people and their environment. McAdam balked at zoning regimes that required oversized roads, the unnecessary separation of land uses, and the imposition of regulations that he felt conspired to degrade the natural beauty of the land and, ultimately, the lifestyle of the people who would eventually live on it.

Armed with the view that people are inherently drawn to communities that are built to human scale, McAdam designed that first project around the people he envisioned living there. He insisted on high quality design elements in both the urban planning and in the way that new homes were situated on the land. This approach made his first development an immediate success and further convinced McAdam that the application of standard-issue government regulations and run-of-the-mill development practices not only lets down the people for whom developments are ultimately built, but represents a real lost opportunity for the development business case.

Within its first ten years, McAdam’s vision led to the creation of three highly successful developments and set the stage for what has come to be known as Adaptive Development. Today, Landlab still pursues its own development projects while consulting with landowners and developers on how they can maximize their profits by designing and building better, more beautiful communities.


Sean McAdam

Founder & President

Fred Brisco

Vice President

Yves Alary

Chief Financial Officer

Jules Ribi

Managing Director

Alex Barrette

Business Development

Megan Aubin

Administrative Assistant



Landlab has a developed an entirely new approach to neighbourhood design: Adaptive Development. While incorporating aspects of New Urbanism, we focus primarily on the specific land on which our neighbourhoods are developed.

Adaptive developments seek to design and build meaningful places that are responsive to their surroundings and, ultimately, create economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable communities for people and nature.

Each Landlab project is as unique as the property on which it is developed. We reject the traditional notions of zoning in favour of people-centred form and function.  We have demonstrated that this approach constitutes a win/win for residents, communities and developers.

At its core, Adaptive Development is the idea that development planning should be centred around the physical, environmental, social, and economic realities of the place.”


Listen to the land

What does the topography, geography, or location suggest about what the land should be used for? Is there an existing vocation for the land? Does the community currently interact with the land in a potentially valuable way? What natural or environmental conditions exist and how will they be protected or managed?

Listen to the market

What is the current market demanding around or on the property? Will that market remain or is there a more important demand short-term? What are the likely longer-term commercial vocations for the site? What is the best balance of short, medium, and longer-term economic uses for the site?

Design for place

Define open space with the same care as one would define the built, architectural form that surrounds it. Open space should act as a ‘room’ in the greater ‘building’ that is the site.

Create social spaces

Relationships between commercial/civic buildings must be to human scale and promote comfortable, social places for people to move and mingle. Open spaces between buildings need to be designed as ‘hallways’ between the ‘rooms’. Residential buildings should offer a social side and a private side.

Scale to surroundings

Plans should focus on the physical integration of the site in the context of its surrounding neighbourhood and the project should be physically scaled accordingly.

Mix uses

Commerce—including business(es) that allow for social interaction—must be included in plans whenever practical.

Protect architectural consistency

Architectural style can be mixed from unit to unit, but not within a single unit. Building massing must be consistent by block, and minor variation should be symmetrical to the block.

Ensure frontage interacts with streetscape

Building fronts must be adjacent to public walkways and present an articulated face to the street or pathway.

People first, cars second

Car traffic/parking integration must be secondary to human use of place. Parking lots should be hidden from the streetscape and built with walkability in mind.

Integrate site with surroundings

Design must include real/practical links between the new development and existing surroundings.


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