Maria Daniela Castillo

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Maria Daniela Castillo





Maria Daniela Castillo is a graduate student pursuing a Master’s in City Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 2015, upon being awarded a Resolution Project Fellowship, Maria and her co-founders, Nicol Chinchilla and Sasha Drumm, founded UpTica, a social venture where women in rural Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica, upcycle materials to make reusable bags to sell in local markets. As a young researcher, Maria has been studying the inequities of air pollution-attributable health impacts, the health benefits of urban climate mitigation actions and, more recently, how participatory processes help create justice-centered approaches to urban challenges like healthy mobility. Maria has volunteered with bike advocacy and air quality groups in Colombia, and was part of the inaugural Resolution Fellow Council cohort. Growing up as an athlete playing table tennis, Maria represented Colombia in 15 countries in the Americas and Europe, and participated in two World Championships. The opportunities to see new places and meet people from around the globe instigated her curiosity for city life and inspired her to study how we can make the places where we live healthier, more equitable, inclusive and beautiful.