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Kara Riggio


Kara joined MPC in 2012 and works primarily on Placemaking, Bus Rapid Transit, and Stormwater Management. Her work focuses on creating vibrant, well-used public spaces through community engagement, establishing BRT as a new mode of transportation and community development in Chicago, and helping communities use green infrastructure to manage stormwater such as along the Milwaukee Avenue Green Development Corridor.

Kara co-led MPC's research on the impact of Chicago's People Spots and our 2014 Placemaking Challenge, Old Place New Tricks, which equipped communities across the City with tools to take on their own Placemaking initiatives. Kara regularly works with stakeholders and governmental leaders on issues related to neighborhood vibrancy and public space.

A native of Connecticut, Kara taught in public schools for six years before pursuing a master’s degree in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Kara completed training with the Project for Public Spaces in New York, has worked with the League of Illinois Bicyclists and studied in China on a Fulbright-Hayes scholarship.

Kara lives in Edgewater, and enjoys spending time with her husband and their daughter.

Photo of Kara Riggio


Kara Riggio Associate
312 863 6022

Areas of expertise

  • Placemaking
  • Stormwater Management and Green Infrastructure
  • Bus Rapid Transit
  • Water 
  • Education



M.U.P.P., Urban Planning and Policy, University of Illinois, Chicago
B.A., Studio Art and Art Education, University of Maryland, College Park                                 Fulbright-Hayes Scholar

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Helping create competitive, equitable, and sustainable communities

For more than 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area's toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Read more about our work »

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