Redefining mobility – from spatial to social
What do we mean when we say mobility is a universal enabler for human development? We intend to look at the topic from a 360% perspective: we see mobility as providing spatial and social access to opportunities, allowing citizens to take part and advance their life in all senses regardless of social background, gender and race.
Mobility, we believe, is at the heart of a balance between the mantra of ‘People & Planet & Prosperity’ where the whole society and not only the few have the power to develop and decide. This goes hand-in-hand with ideas on ‘inclusive urban development’, providing accessible learning and job opportunities, concepts around decentralization or ideas on democratic systems with commons driven approach to data.
This session is part of a 5-part series run by the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt’s ‘RISE Cities’ programme. RISE Cities explores the leadership required to enable our urban environments to be more resilient, intelligent, sustainable and equitable (RISE).
Benjamin de la Peña
CEO / Shared-Use Mobility Center; Chair / Global Partnership for Informal Transportation; Founder / Agile City Partners
Benjamin de la Peña is the CEO of the Shared-Use Mobility Center, a public-interest organization dedicated to achieving equitable, affordable, and environmentally sound mobility across the US. He also chairs the Global Partnership for Informal Transportation and serves on the US Advisory Group of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. He is a senior fellow for the Canadian Urban Institute and he also founded the boutique consulting firm Agile City Partners.
Benjie writes and curates Makeshift Mobility, a fortnightly newsletter on innovations in informal transportation. He wrote Catalyzing the New Mobility in Cities: A Primer on Innovative Business and Service Models (in informal transportation).
Benjie served as Chief of Strategy and Innovation for the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) where he led the development of ground-breaking and nationally recognized technology and mobility strategies such as Seattle’s New Mobility Playbook and the draft Transportation Information Infrastructure Plan. He initiated lean transformation and also introduced agile methodologies at SDOT. He spent nearly a decade in philanthropy working on urban and transportation issues in the US and across the Global South.
Chief Executive Officer / Detroit Future City
Anika Goss is the Chief Executive Officer of Detroit Future City (DFC), a think-and-do tank focused on land use and sustainability, community and economic development, and economic equity in Detroit. Anika leads a team of experts to implement the DFC Strategic Framework, a comprehensive 50-year guide to decision making and investment in Detroit. Since taking the helm of DFC, Anika has repositioned the organization to be laser-focused on the equitable implementation of its economic development, land use and sustainability, and research. After launching the Center for Equity, Engagement, and Research at DFC, Anika led the development of several significant research studies, including the 2019 release of “Growing Detroit’s African-American Middle Class” and the 2021 release of “The State of Economic Equity in Detroit”; along with a web-based dashboard that tracks overtime six indicators that illustrate the deep disparities that exist in Detroit and the region. She also has helped bolster the future of Detroit’s land use and sustainability by awarding over $330,000 in grants aimed at accelerating vacant land revitalization in Detroit and developing a dynamic community educational network of nearly 50 neighborhood leaders and nonprofits to develop standardized green stormwater infrastructure practices.
Professor for Cultural Theory / HafenCity University Hamburg
Gesa Ziemer (Prof. Dr. phil.) is Professor for Cultural Theory at the HafenCity University Hamburg.
She heads the CityScienceLab, a cooperation with the MIT Media Lab (Cambridge, MA, USA), which researches on the future of cities (with a special focus put on digitalisation).
She is currently a fellow of the Humboldt Foundation (Feodor-Lynen Program) at the Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA, USA.
Her research foci are: the digital city, new forms of collaboration and urban spaces. Gesa is also a member of the sounding board of RISE Cities, BMW foundation.
Professor Social & Cultural Geography / Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Eric is a cultural philosopher and social scientist. He is professor (em.) social & cultural geography at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and founder of COSMOPOLIS, as well as vice chair of the Brussels Studies Institute, director of the Brussels Academy, member of the jury Stadsvernieuwingsprojecten Flanders and chair of think tanks Vooruitgroep and Aula Magna.
President / Creative Bureaucracy Festival
Charles Landry is an international authority on the use of imagination and creativity in urban change. He is best known for having invented the concept of the Creative City in the late 1980s. Its focus is how cities can create the enabling conditions for people and organizations to think, plan and act with imagination to solve problems and develop opportunities. The notion has become a global movement and changed the way cities thought about their capabilities and resources.
Charles noticed, however, that there was a crucial gap in the Creative City concept that needed addressing: a focus on the vital role of bureaucrats as facilitators and drivers of change. It was at this point that he came up with the Creative Bureaucracy idea – a seed planted 3 years ago which has since developed into the movement you’re part of today.
Charles helps cities and the public administrations behind them to identify and make the most of their potential by triggering their inventiveness and thinking and by opening up new conversations about their future. His aim is to help cities become more resilient, self-sustaining and to punch above their weight.