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Colette Santasieri - New Jersey Institute of Technology. Newark, NJ, US

Colette Santasieri

Executive Director, Center for Community Systems, NJ Brownfields Assistance Center @NJIT, and NJIT Technical Assistance to Brownfields Communities Program | New Jersey Institute of Technology


Santasieri steers projects, programs and research in environmental, infrastructure, and land-use planning and community revitalization.






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Redevelopment for Resiliency-Transforming Brownfield Sites | Colette Santasieri | TEDxNJIT TCS: NJ Brownfields NJIT (Colette Santasieri, PhD)




Colette Santasieri is executive director of the university's Center for Community Systems, and the NJ Brownfields Assistance Center @NJIT. In addition, Santasieri heads NJIT's Technical Assistance to Brownfield Communities Program (NJIT TAB), which provides free technical assistance to state, regional, county, tribal, and local government entities and nonprofit organizations interested in learning about, identifying, assessing, cleaning up, and redeveloping brownfield sites in EPA Region 2.

Santasieri has secured and managed hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for projects, programs and research studies in the fields of environmental, infrastructure and land use planning, climate change resilience planning, brownfields redevelopment, and community revitalization.

She also has extensive experience in the planning and design of sustainable and resilient properties, communities and civil infrastructure systems; strategic planning; brownfields redevelopment; capital programming; community redevelopment; transit-oriented development; port-city relationships; identifying and analyzing how projects impact socioeconomic, natural and man-made settings; and educating elected officials, government staff, nonprofits, communities and students on urban, infrastructure, environmental and regulatory topics.

Santasieri's program and project management experience includes leading multidisciplinary teams of planners, engineers, scientists, architects, economists, cultural resource experts and students.

Her academic degrees and diverse professional experience give her a well-rounded perspective when addressing the challenges and opportunities facing governments, regions and communities in their efforts to be sustainable and resilient.

Santasieri is also the co-founder and co-leader of the Hub for Creative Placemaking in NJIT's Martin Tuchman School of Management; a core faculty member of the Paul Profeta Real Estate Technology, Design and Innovation Center at NJIT; and an instructor for NJIT's certificate program in Creative Placemaking.

Areas of Expertise (10)

Brownfields Redevelopment


Environmental Planning

Community Revitalization


Climate Change Research

Civil Infrastructure Systems

Transportation Planning

Strategic Planning

Urban Planning

Accomplishments (3)

Environmental Leadership Award (professional)

2019, 2020

Commerce and Industry Association of NJ Environmental Leader Award (professional)


NJIT Distinguished Alumni Award (professional)


Education (3)

New Jersey Institute of Technology: Ph.D., Urban Systems 2012

New Jersey Institute of Technology: M.S., Civil Engineering 1989

Rutgers University: B.S., Environmental Planning and Design 1984

Media Appearances (6)

How NJIT’s Center for Community Systems will help 4 N.J. counties get grants to assist in environmental, energy initiatives

ROI-NJ  online


School is partnering with Inter-American University in Puerto Rico on identifying and addressing issues.

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Blighted site in Trenton is being pitched for major redevelopment

NJ Spotlight News  tv


A brownfield site — derelict, industrial, environmentally challenged — it’s one of the few major multi-acre sites left for redevelopment in Trenton and the city is soliciting proposals for its redevelopment. New Jersey is offering loans and grants through a new Economic Development Authority program to help attract investors to rescue and renovate such brownfield sites statewide.

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NJIT Launches NJ Brownfields Assistance Center

Newark Patch  online


"Our first order of business is to provide free guidance to NJ communities in an effort to get them over their brownfields hurdles," said Colette Santasieri, executive director of the center.

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Redevelopment for Resiliency-Transforming Brownfield Sites

TEDxNJIT  online


NJIT's Colette Santasieri explains how to enhance economic development by transforming brownfield sites.

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Coalition says creating access to airport train station would revitalize Newark community

ROI-NJ  print


Colette Santasieri, another NJIT leader and an Airport City Newark Coalition member, said that could be transformative for the community closest to the Newark Liberty International Airport Station. “From a socioeconomic perspective, it is an area without a lot of opportunity for people who work in that area,” Santasieri said. “If they wanted to get jobs at the airport, for instance, they can’t easily access it. They have to go way out of their way to get to it.”

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NJIT Launches Hub for Creative Placemaking

New Jersey Business  online


“The hub’s technical assistance will be tailored to help communities identify their needs, link and leverage their assets, develop partnerships and collaborations and build capacity, all in an effort to stimulate economic development, address social equity and reinvigorate community engagement,” said Colette Santasieri, NJIT's executive director of policy and planning innovation for civil infrastructure and environment.

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Articles (2)

Don't Go It Alone! The Importance of Partners in Brownfields Redevelopment

Downtown New Jersey

Colette Santasieri


A brownfield project has many working parts. Well-developed and sustained partnerships serve as the glue that holds the entire process together.

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NJIT corporation says it’s ready to help rid N.J. of nasty former industrial sites


Colette Santasieri


NJIT's New Jersey Innovation Institute stands ready to work with the NJEDA and the NJDEP in their efforts to rid our communities of contaminated properties, spur economic development and improve the quality of life for our community residents.

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