Kaia Nesbitt, PLA, ASLA


“I lived in multiple countries around the world from a young age, which allowed me to experience regionalism and the way place reflects the uniqueness of culture.”

Kaia’s design approach is user-based and human-centered. She is always asking what need exists — what design problem can be solved — that will improve people’s lives, wellness and connection to one another. Before being drawn to urban design, Kaia worked in product design for Nike. And she honed her love for place-making from a lifelong interest in world travel. Kaia frequently bridges disciplines, integrating multiple design perspectives into strategic thinking and site solutions that drive design quality and maximize client value. Learn more about Kaia


Understanding Place-Specific Wellness

How can we shift and improve the health and wellness of a community by understanding and designing both tangible and intangible offerings that help make the healthy choice the easy choice? Using case studies, Kaia challenges the common perception of wellness in the built environment and how it can be defined in a more place-specific way. She also explores a unique process of user need-finding that can drive design solutions.

With a passion for place-making, practice building and problem solving, Kaia tells compelling stories about how to bridge disciplines and integrate multiple design perspectives into strategic thinking and site solutions for public and private sector clients.

Speaking + Publications

  • “Enabling Wellness through Intentional Design,” Healthy Cities Design 2017 International Congress, London, England, October 2017
  • “Health and Community: Beyond the Amenity Checklist,” Urban Land Institute Fall Conference, Los Angeles, CA, October 2017
  • “Experience Design and the Smart City,” Urban Land Institute-Colorado, Building Healthy Places Council, District quarterly meeting, Denver, CO, November 2017
  • “Experience Vision and Wellness Program Plan at Pena Station NEXT,” HDR Design Inreach Global 5x5, March 2018

Award Jury

  • University of Colorado Denver, Studio Juror, Ongoing 2005 – present