Benjamin de la Peña

Member, Advisory Committee, The Roddenberry Foundation

Benjamin de la Peña is an urbanist, a strategist and a design thinker. He’s worked on urban development issues that cover technology, sustainable transportation and informal systems. His writing has been featured in Citylab, Atlantic Cities, Next City, FutureEverything and TED City 2.0. He has presented at national and international conferences including Bloomberg and Atlantic’s Citylab, Smart City Expo, Designing Cities, Meeting of the Minds and various industry conferences.

He was Director of Community and National Strategy at the Miami-based Knight Foundation and responsible for the publication of Jaime Lerner’s Urban Acupuncture and Gabe Klein’s Start Up City; and ground breaking reports such as Studio Gang’s Civic Commons, Gehl Institute’s Public Life Diversity Toolkit, and Next City’s Public Life Reader. He supported projects such as San Francisco’s Market Street Prototyping Festival, Place Lab and Theaster Gates’ Ethical Redevelopment Initiative, Welcoming Cities, CitizenshipWorks, the Local Elections in America Project, and Who Votes for Mayor.

Prior to Knight, Benjie served as Associate Director for Urban Development at the Rockefeller Foundation, where he supervised programming related to urbanization, the emerging science of cities, the informal transportation and informal settlements in megacities, cities, information and technology, and transportation and urban policy. He initiated the support that expanded WalkScore and built TransitScore; initiated CityCamp and Transportation Camp; and brought early support to new civic tech groups such as Code for America.