Gia Biagi, former head of Chicago’s Department of Transportation, Returns to Studio as Principal of Urbanism

We are excited to announce the return of Gia Biagi, who rejoins the Studio as Principal of Urbanism. In this new role, she will lead the Studio’s growing portfolio of planning and urban design work, which unites an emphasis on ecology and revitalizing cities with a renewed focus on how to reimagine public assets, institutions, and neighborhoods to be more relevant, connected, and responsive to their communities.

“Gia has an immense talent for guiding and realizing transformative projects that, through collaboration and great design, make real improvements in the lives of residents,” said Jeanne. “Her leadership will ensure that working with and for communities remain at the center of the Studio’s urban-scale work.”

Biagi’s career, spanning both private practice and public service, has established her as a visionary leader in community-centered and environmentally responsible urban planning and design. From 2019 to 2023, she served as Commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Transportation (CDOT), where she delivered hundreds of innovative transportation projects citywide and created a nation-leading strategic plan focused on safe, sustainable, and efficient mobility options and building equity into its daily operations. This new role marks Biagi’s return to Studio Gang, where she previously worked from 2015 to 2019. Prior to that, she held positions in Chicago’s Park District and Department of Planning and Development, where her work focused on neighborhood revitalization through planning, programs, policies and capital investments.

“I have spent my career thinking about how the spaces in cities that connect us all can be more equitable, inclusive, and accessible,” said Gia. “I am looking forward to the ways that this new role will allow me to share this experience with cities around the world.”

Her tenure as Principal of Urbanism will begin on September 1, 2023, coinciding with the completion of one of the Studio’s most significant civic projects. Tom Lee Park, a public park in Memphis that Studio Gang designed in collaboration with SCAPE, will open to the public September 2. Gia played a critical role in setting the direction for the project when it originated as part of the Studio’s 2017 planning and concept work for the transformation of Memphis’s riverfront commissioned by the city.