Our Team

Courtney Kashima, AICP – Principal

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Courtney Kashima has been thinking about places and how to make them better since her high school days in Galesburg, Illinois. She has lived and worked in cities small and large and has been based out of Chicago since 2002. Courtney has been a practicing planner in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. She is the Immediate Past President of the Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association and President-Elect of the Ely Chapter of Lambda Alpha International. Courtney was a co-chair for the 2013 National Planning Conference held in Chicago. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and her alma mater including as a Wetmore Visiting Practitioner in 2012. Courtney is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and she is a certified charrette facilitator.

Romina N. Castillo – Community Planner

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Romina has been working closely with Chicago communities in different capacities since obtaining her Master Degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2014. Her efforts have been primarily focused on place-based community-driven projects to increase and improve open space, building community and school gardens, and advocating for equitable access to active transportation, healthy foods, and neighborhood revitalization. A Mexico City native, Romina has always been fascinated by urban communities and their relationship with the built environment. She volunteered for Slow Roll Chicago for three years and became its Interim Executive Director. Romina also engages and volunteers in her own community, especially the Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail.

Vitaliy Vladimirov – Community Planner

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Urban planner and artist, Vitaliy works to educate the Public about how the built environment shapes our lives so as to make Urban Planning Theory accessible and to empower urbanites to envision a Chicago that is healthy, vibrant, and just. Having worked at regional and block-level scales, his research focuses on how ethnic minorities cluster in the built environment. Strategies on preserving and growing commercial corridors packed with locally-owned small businesses are a key interest. His experience includes planning street festivals and farmers markets, as well as designing neighborhood branding and marketing.