Gia Biagi is an urban planner and designer with experience in the private and public sectors who was appointed Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot in December 2019. The Mayor charged Biagi with implementing a vision for a transportation system that prioritizes equity and mobility and works to lower the economic and environmental burden of transportation on residents and communities, especially for people in poverty, people with disabilities, and people of color.
As Commissioner of CDOT, she oversees a department responsible for Chicago’s roadways and bridges, sidewalks and bike lanes, the citywide bike share system, traffic signals and signage, streetlights and alleys, the permitting of activities in the public right-of-way, and policies focused on human-centered urban design, climate adaptation, infrastructure equity, and mobility.
Before answering Mayor Lightfoot’s call to return to public service, Biagi was a Principal at Studio Gang Architects, one the world’s leading architecture and urban design firms led by renowned architect Jeanne Gang. At Studio Gang, Biagi developed and led the Urbanism + Civic Impact practice that specialized in urban design, planning, and strategy. The work centered on how to move toward equity, mutuality and positive change in cities by working with a range of partners including community-based organizations, cultural institutions, developers, government, and other public and private groups and individuals.
Prior to joining Studio Gang, Biagi spent more than a decade in public service as a planner for the City of Chicago, with roles that included Chief of Staff and Director of Planning for the Chicago Park District. Much of her work for the city focused on neighborhood revitalization through planning, engagement, programs, policies, and capital investments.
Biagi serves on the Board of the City Parks Alliance and NeighborSpace, a non-profit land trust that provides community-based management and long-term protection to over 100 urban gardens across Chicago. She is also a member of Lambda Alpha International, an honorary society for the study of land economics. Biagi attended the University of Michigan for her Bachelor of Arts degree and has a Master of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She currently serves as the Secretary of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO).