The Trust for Public Land Appoints Aaron Koch as Chicago Director

The Trust for Public Land today announced that Aaron Koch, the former Chief Resilience Officer in the Chicago Mayor’s Office, has joined the organization as Chicago Director, responsible for developing and leading the organization’s Land for People mission delivery in and around the nation’s third-largest city.

Ann Morgan, Senior Vice President and The Trust for Public Land’s West Division Director extolled Koch’s experience. “Aaron’s deep experience in city planning–especially the use of parks and green spaces to improve city life and build more resilient cities–make him the ideal choice to continue to build our organization’s program in Chicago.”

The Trust for Public Land is leading a nationwide movement to ensure there is a great park within a 10-minute walk of every person, in every neighborhood, in every city across America. In Chicago, The Trust for Public Land has played a longstanding leadership role in building and expanding great neighborhood parks, including Ping Tom Memorial Park in Chinatown, Mary Bartelme Park in the West Loop, A. Montgomery Park in River North, and most notably, The 606, an elevated linear park and trail system running through Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square, and Humboldt Park. The Trust for Public Land is the lead private partner responsible for creating and programming The 606.

“Great cities need great parks, and quality parks and innovative green spaces are essential to both meet the needs of residences and to guarantee a healthy environment,” Koch said. “I am pleased to have the opportunity to lead The Trust for Public Land’s efforts to bring recreation to Chicago and build a livable and resilient future for a city I love.”

Most recently, Koch served as Chicago’s first Chief Resilience Officer, responsible for creating a resilience strategy and developing initiatives to help Chicago grow, adapt, and thrive in the face of acute shocks and chronic stresses. From 2012 to 2016, he served as Deputy Commissioner for Sustainability in the Chicago Department of Water Management, where he created Chicago’s Green Stormwater Infrastructure Strategy and led implementation of water initiatives for Mayor Emanuel’s environmental roadmap, Sustainable Chicago 2015.

Previously, Koch served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and as the Director of the Mayors’ Institute of on City Design, based in Washington, DC–a program of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Architectural Foundation.

Koch holds a B.S in Architecture from the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities and a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught courses in city planning for climate resilience at Columbia University and New York’s Pratt Institute.

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit