The #CitiesFirst Podcast

by Scott Shepard

New Podcast Series hosted by Scott Shepard, and focused on the intersection of AI, Urbanism, Active Transportation, Shared Mobility & Decarbonization

Podcast episodes

  • Season 3

  • Episode 18: Veronica Vanterpool

    Episode 18: Veronica Vanterpool

    Veronica Vanterpool is the Federal Transit Administration’s Acting Administrator, assuming that role on February 24, 2024. Before that, she had served as Deputy Administrator since May 2022. She first joined FTA as Senior Advisor in August 2021. As Acting Administrator, Ms. Vanterpool helps advance the goals of the Biden-Harris Administration related to equity, climate, innovation, safety and workforce development. She oversees policy priorities and objectives along with day-to-day operations of the 700-person agency. She created FTA’s first Data Office, a new business line in the agency dedicated to data analysis, governance and communication. She also represents FTA on the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation and serves as a member of The White House Inter Policy Council on Puerto Rico. Ms. Vanterpool came to FTA from Delaware Transit Corporation, where she served as the agency’s first Chief Innovation Officer. Her previous roles include being the Deputy Director of the national Vision Zero Network, executive director of the New York City based Tri-State Transportation Campaign and board member of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority Having served on a number of boards, commissions, task forces and working groups, Ms. Vanterpool has 17 years of experience in advocacy, policy, media communications, public outreach, coalition building and issue campaigns. She is co-founder and former president of WTS Delaware; a member of Latinos In Transit, and a 2023 Awardee of COMTO Headquarters’ Women Who Moves the Nation. She was also selected to join the first cohort of the Biden Administration’s Presidential Leadership Workshop. She is a native New Yorker born and raised in The Bronx. Here's a sneak peek into the episode, which is all about federal public transit leadership: 👇👇👇 ✅Tell us about how FTA delivers equity in public transit ✅How can we make public transit more accessible to all users ✅What are the latest innovations that can bring riders back to public transit ✅How has FTA leveraged the Infrastructure Bill to build back better

  • Episode 17: Andrew Savage

    Episode 17: Andrew Savage

    On the founding team at Lime, the world's largest electric micromobility company operating in over 250 markets globally, Andrew Savage helped lead the company from its inception through expansion across more than 30 countries while raising over $750 million in investment. Serving on the company’s executive team, Andrew built an organization which led Lime’s market development, government relations, and policy strategy before creating and leading the sustainability function at the company. Prior to Lime, he served on the executive team of an Inc. 500 solar manufacturer and renewable project developer where he spearheaded market-transforming policies, led new business development, and supported the company's national expansion. He was a twice-elected member to the Solar Energy Industries Association board of directors representing 1,000+ member businesses. While working in US Congress, Andrew helped author and lead the U.S. House of Representatives-passage of a $6 billion home energy retrofit program endorsed by President Barack Obama and included in the 2022 IRA. Andrew serves as an advisor to several impact start-ups, mentors at Harvard University’s iLab and Techstars, and is a past board member to several community non-profits. Here's a sneak peek into the episode, which is all about sustainability in micromobility: 👇👇👇 ✅What was micromobility and Lime like early on with cities and how has it changed/evolved? ✅How has Lime built the sustainability arm of the business? ✅What are the most important form factors in scooter and bike share design that encourage mode shift? ✅How can operators and cities strengthen partnerships to achieve better public policy? ✅Tell us about your mentoring work at Harvard’s iLab and Techstars, and how it strengthens the startup ecosystem

  • Episode 16: Thijn van Helvoirt

    Episode 16: Thijn van Helvoirt

    Thijn is based in Amsterdam and is a Venture Capital Investor at No Such Ventures and is responsible for portfolio management, fundraising, LP relations, internal operations, deal making, and deal flow management. Thijn is also the Founder of Check and led efforts across the organization such as operations (local, central, markets, analytics, hardware, launch), corporate development and legal. Thijn also currently advises and invests in Dockler B.V. and other startups. He was previously VC at Ponooc and Associate M&A and Junior Associate Equity & Debt Capital Markets at Linklaters. Trained as an attorney, Thijn graduated with both a Master of Laws (LL.M.) cum laude in Corporate and Commercial Law and a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from the European Law School at Maastricht University.Here's a sneak peek into the upcoming episode, which will be all about the “Dutch Way” of investing in mobility: 🇳🇱🚲💰👇👇👇 ✅Why is the Netherlands (and Amsterdam in particular) such a dynamic ecosystem for mobility startups and investors? ✅Tell us about the “Dutch Way” of investing, and how the Triple Helix model of public/private/academic collaboration factors in? ✅What can founders learn from the post-COVID city, and refine their pitches to align with impactful mobility use cases? ✅How can cities more effectively align sustainable mobility plans (SUMPs) with private sector innovation and investment? ✅Tell us about No Such Ventures and your “No BS”, democratic approach to investing in EU startups?

  • Season 2

  • Episode 15: Andrea Learned

    Episode 15: Andrea Learned

    Andrea Learned is the Founder of LEARNED ON, LLC. She is a sustainability-focused writer and communications strategist specializing in digital thought leadership. Her early career success in marketing to women, culminating with the publishing of her book, Don’t Think Pink, gives her current sustainability and leadership work an underlying gender lens as well. After a year serving as a We Mean Business Coalition social engagement strategist around COP21, Andrea has returned to her independent consultancy, and is back to leveraging her networks and guiding clients to leadership platforms for a carbon footprint-countering, positive collective impact. Here's a sneak peek into the episode, which is all about sustainability: 👇👇 ✅What are key strategies that cities can put in place to encourage active transportation? ✅How has Seattle positioned itself as a leader in shared mobility and tactical urbanism? ✅What are the main factors that reinforce the role of mobility as an urban change agent? ✅How can communities create safe and empowering public spaces for women? ✅Tell us about Learned On and your book Don't Think Pink

  • Episode 14: Daniel Casas Valle

    Episode 14: Daniel Casas Valle

    Daniel is Founder & Owner of Urban Dynamics - design | planning | research | reflection (Porto and Amsterdam) and Director of the Future Design of Street - association, a platform for street design - improving streets as a social, natural and mobility space. Daniel works as an urban designer, planner and researcher at several spatial and urban assignments, projects studies, this from the level of a street to regional planning. Daniel has a PhD in Architecture – Dynamics and Urban Forms (Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto) and a Master in Urbanism (Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten), and since 2002 has been a guest professor at several universities in Portugal and the Netherlands, among other European universities.Here's a sneak peek into the episode, which is all about urbanism: 👇👇👇✅How can superblocks help cities reclaim public space for people?✅What are the best recent examples of tactical urbanism in Portugal?✅Can the 15 minute city become a viable alternative to auto-centricity?✅How has urbanism shifted post-COVID, and what are the impacts on cities?✅Tell us about your work with the Future Design of Streets association and bookUrban Dynamics:www.urbandynamics.infoThe Future Design of Streets: