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The Role of Private Sector Innovation in Shaping Our Cities

Tue, Feb 25    1pm

Who should have power to shape the city? How can the private and public sectors complement each other? And how might they be in tension? With the growth of venture capital in the last few decades and the continued shrinking of cities budgets, the private sector has gained even more influence in shaping urban outcomes, often initiating large-scale and rapid changes that compel governing bodies into reactive roles, and taking on challenges traditionally addressed by public sector urban planners. In this panel, we discuss how the continued shift towards private sector control impacts urban management and how urban technologies fundamentally change residents’ experience of the city.

Reception to follow

Stephen Larrick (Moderator) Stephen Larrick is an urban planner and open gov advocate who has spent his career working to democratize the way cities are experienced and made. He currently heads city success efforts at urban tech startup Stae, helping public officials better manage and collaborate with data to achieve their goals. Prior to joining Stae, Stephen founded and directed the Open Cities Team at the Sunlight Foundation and previously served as Director of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Central Falls, Rhode Island. Stephen received his Bachelor’s of Arts in Urban Studies and Political Philosophy from Brown University, and lives in Manhattan and Somerville, MA with his wife Sarah.

Newsha Ghaeli Newsha Ghaeli is currently President and Cofounder of Biobot Analytics. Prior to Biobot, she was on Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she was Project Lead at the Senseable City Laboratory and Instructor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Her work at MIT explored the future of cities and investigated the creative application of sensing technologies in urban systems to build responsive, resilient, and efficient cities. Trained as an architect, Newsha has collaborated on work with the World Economic Forum’s Council on the Future of Cities, the United Nations Climate Change Summit, the United States Department of Energy, and consulted for the American Samoan government on tsunami resilient communities.

Matthew Guichard Urban Planner + Technologist with a passion for helping cities leverage software to plan safer, more equitable transportation for their communities. From his time at Bloomberg LP, he has over 7 years experience helping customers use software to better understand the financial markets and make sound investment decisions. He also earned a Master of Urban Planning from Hunter College (NYC), where he focused on public transportation and street design.

Dawn Miller Dawn is Coord’s Head of Policy and Partnerships. She previously served as Chief of Staff at the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), the City agency that oversees New York City’s taxi, car service and ride-hailing industries. Her team created the first-ever minimum wage protections for Uber and Lyft drivers, landmark policies to combat congestion and pollution from ride-hailing vehicles, and regulations that have brought best-in-nation access to ride-hailing services for people who use wheelchairs. Dawn previously served as Director of Research and Evaluation at TLC and as a Research Associate at the Urban Institute. She holds a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Government from the University of Virginia. She lives with her husband and son in Brooklyn and loves parks, bikes, beaches, stoop-sitting and group fitness.

Liz Sisson Liz is the newest team member at Urban Us. Before joining the team, Liz was Managing Director of the network at the Roosevelt Institute, an economic think tank. In that role, she managed programs that deployed public policy initiatives in local communities across the country. The initiatives spanned across a variety of subjects including economic development, transportation, human rights, environmental impact and housing. Liz has also done consulting work on state government programs related to transportation and the environment. She primarily worked on reducing congestion and greenhouse gas emissions in New York State through an alternative transportation and carpooling initiative, 511NY. Liz graduated from Bentley University in 2012.

Free and open to the public.