Institute for Transportation Development and Policy’s Data-Based Approach to Transforming Transportation

 |   Mariko Davidson

Transportation — whether plane, train, or automobile — is a central need in our cities. As our civic landscape progresses, it is necessary that our transportation systems (both public and private) progress alongside urban advancements. I’m thrilled to collaborate with the Institute for Transportation Development and Policy (ITDP), a global, sustainable transportation non-profit, that works with cities in the developing world on transport policy, as they work to transform transportation in conjunction with the growth of society.

ITDP is a global organization, with field offices in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. They are a great fit in our mission to advance the civic life, as they are deeply networked into cities across the developing world, and highly respected by city leaders and large global institutions.

In San Francisco, ITDP is engaged with the city’s design of BRT plans along Van Ness Avenue and on Geary Boulevard, as well as helping to build political support. This included a preliminary trip to Mexico City with members of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors, government employees, local non-profits, and more, where they observed Mexico City’s Metrobús BRT and Ecobici bicycle share system, on which the Van Ness project is based.

Now we’re helping ITDP kickoff their new new data and transportation initiative called the Mobility Analytics Partnership (MAP). MAP is a multi-year initiative to create a series of world-class urban mobility indicators to advise and support city leaders across the world. They have convened a collaborative global network of stakeholders including those in the World Bank, UN-Habitat, OECD, the Asian Development Bank, and city leaders.

This week, I’m joining ITDP for a two day symposium, designed to better leverage new data sources to facilitate better decision-making by city leaders. This working symposium in San Francisco will bring together experts in data and transportation to lay the groundwork for ITDP’s MAP initiative.

I’m excited to work with ITDP to support opportunities for technology and thought leadership with city leaders, large institutions, private sector data providers, in San Francisco and across the developing world.

Stay tuned as our work with ITDP and MAP progresses.

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Mariko Davidson
Mariko Davidson

As San Francisco’s Civic Innovation and Partnerships Strategist, Mariko builds civic initiatives across sectors to leverage technology for the public good. She brings a deep expertise in cities, formally trained as an urban planner at MIT, specializing in governance, data policy and transportation. As an Innovation Fellow for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, she launched the Commonwealth’s new Open Data Initiative where she also worked on data management policy, data governance, and privacy issues. There she brokered the first multi-municipal open data agreement between Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville. She also served in the Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics where she focused on maker technology and girls STEM education programs. In 2015 she ran a close race for Cambridge City Council. Most recently she led the civic-focused Engagement Lab @ Emerson College as their Managing Director where she established partnerships with organizations including the UNDP Egypt, Living Cities, and the World Wildlife Fund. Prior to this, she worked across Asia on city-focused initiatives with the East-West Center and ITDP (Institute for Transportation Development & Policy). She holds a Master in City Planning from MIT. Off hours you can find Mariko riding her bicycle or surfing the nearest coastline. In 2010 she traveled around the world on $25/day with a small backpack and her surfboard. She owes her love of community and loathing of traffic to Honolulu, her home. Come talk to her if you want to chat cities, data policy, equity, transportation, and technology.