Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Reception will precede and follow presentation. Presentation begins at 4:30 pm
Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President of the National Capital Region and the Urban Affairs and Planning Program in the School of Public and International Affairs.
Presenter: Gabe Klein
Cities at different stages of development all grapple with managing the traditional challenges of housing, transportation, infrastructure financing, and environmental sustainability. These complexities are further compounded by rapidly changing modes of operation, new and disruptive technologies and changing expectations and demands from citizens and business. What innovations are taking place in cities these days, and how can government, business and non-profit leaders utilize this wave of change to shape a quality of life that is improved and not compromised? How can they work together vs. at cross purposes?
Gabe will discuss the larger macro trends in society, address process innovation and governance, and talk about how city leaders are re-organizing their urban systems to be synergistic vs. at odds with one another and the cities goals. High return public-private partnerships, active transportation, and enhanced public space projects all play a role in the ideal city of the future.
Gabe is a co-founder of CityFi, an advisory services firm, as well as is the former Commissioner of the Chicago and Washington D.C Departments of Transportation. In both cities he revamped technology platforms and government processes while focusing on putting people first vs. automobiles on city streets. This included launching two of the first and largest bike share systems in the U.S. and building protected bike lanes and better pedestrian infrastructure for vulnerable citizens citywide, as well as facilitating private services like carshare and rideshare that could help each cities mobility goals. Gabe honed his creativity and leadership skills working in business, including Zipcar, where he served as Vice President, Bikes USA as national Director of Stores and his own electric powered, organic food truck chain, On The Fly.
Post-government, and after an enriching fellowship with the Urban Land Institute in 2014, Gabe joined Fontinalis Partners as a Special Venture Partner on their $100 million 2nd fund. Gabe also advises governments and companies worldwide on innovation in cities including Singapore where Gabe has been a visiting fellow for the Centre For Livable Cities, working on creating a “car-lite” city-state. In 2015, Gabe also published Start-Up City with David Vega-Barachowitz on Island Press, a manifesto on revamping how (and how fast) we innovate in cities and rethinking public-private partnerships with a triple-bottom line approach as technology shapes a dramatically different future.
Gabe sits on the boards of Streetsblog, Carma, and advisory boards of NACTO, Sensity Systems, Zendrive, and advises next-gen start-ups including Phone2Action and Transit Screen. As Commissioner, he has worked to bring a new Riverwalk to Chicago as well as the breathtaking Bloomingdale Trail, 100's of miles of bike lanes, new policies combined with technology solutions to revamp parking, permitting, and many other arcane government processes.