Benjamin de La Peña

Project for Public Spaces and of Gehl Institute Seattle, WA Advisor | Prize

Benjie recently stepped down from serving as the first-ever Chief of Strategy and Innovation for the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). He was working to prepare the agency and the city for institutional and technological change. 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. Benjie and his team drafted the first SDOT Transportation Information Infrastructure Plan. He also led the department’s Lean Transformation. The goal was 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 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 Cooper Hewitt Museum’s The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility and Design with the Other 90%: Cities.