Matthew Santagata is the Regional Planning Manager at Openlands and works with the land preservation team to integrate equitable, human-scale development with broader natural systems, and craft plans which increase climate resiliency, promote accessible green space, and foster environmental justice. Matthew believes the urgent need to address climate change presents a unique opportunity for communities to fundamentally rethink their relationship with nature, the built environment, and each other. Previously, Matthew served as an Academic Fellow with the City of Chicago Office of the Mayor, where he worked on the River Ecology and Governance Task Force, Invest South West, and We Will Chicago. Prior to this, he interned with the Magnificent Mile Association’s 21st Century Planning Committee and served as an Aid to the Senate Office of Bernie Sanders. Matthew was awarded the 2019 City of Chicago Mayoral Fellowship and 2020 Academic Fellowship, served as Treasurer for the Urban Planning & Policy Student Association, and is a certified LEED Green Associate. Matthew holds a Master’s in Urban Planning & Public Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, with a concentration in spatial planning and geospatial analysis.
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