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Speaker

Benjamin de la Pena

Benjie currently serves as the Chief of Strategy and Innovation for the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). He is working to prepare the agency and the city for institutional and technological change.

Benjie and his team drafted the first SDOT Transportation Information Infrastructure Plan. He also leads the department’s Lean Transformation. The goal is to make innovation—the drive for continuous improvement—part of the organization’s DNA.

He initiated the first ever city-wide Public Life Study to measure vibrancy and to understand how people use the right-of-way as public space. He also led the development of Seattle’s New Mobility Playbook.

Benjie’s worked on urban development issues that cover technology, transportation, and informality. His ideas have been featured in Citylab, Atlantic Cities, Next City, FutureEverything, and TED City 2.0. He is the principal author of “Catalyzing the New Mobility in Cities: A Primer on Innovative Business and Service Models” (a 2013 monograph on innovations in informal transportation).

Benjie serves on the boards of Project for Public Spaces and of Gehl Institute. He served on the advisory committees for L.A.’s Transportation Technology Strategy, the MobiPrize, and the Cooper Hewitt Museum’s The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility and Design with the Other 90%: Cities.