During the summer of 2014 Dan transitioned to his new role with Blue Zones, LLC. Seen as a visionary, innovator and source of inspiration and collaboration throughout his career, Dan is a nationally recognized authority on walkable, livable and sustainable communities, complete streets, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities and programs. Dan has become known for his pioneering work and leadership to mentor many in how to transform communities into places for people first; all while still accommodating the car, and not the other way around. In this new role as the Director of Innovation and Implementation, Dan oversees many additional community-built environment transitions, making dozens, and eventually hundreds of communities healthier, more active places to live.
Dan has always been a pioneer in his work, staying up on holistic trends in transportation and land use, and becoming a sought-after master of implementing change. In 1980, staff for Governor Bob Graham, chose Dan to help transform the Florida Department of Transportation, which made it one of the first multi-modal transportation agencies in the nation. As early as 1991, well before the term complete streets was coined, Florida became known for its holistic look at street making, helping create place out of space. Dan pushed for change, and became the nation’s first full time pedestrian and bicycle coordinator, a position now required in all 50 states. At the age of 60 Dan broadened his skill sets, embracing urban design and land use while serving as a principal and senior urban designer with the community-planning firm Glatting Jackson (from 2005-2009). Dan currently serves as an advisor for several national organizations, including: Walkscore (www.walkscore.com).
Dan’s efforts to get the world “back on its feet” earned him the two of the first-ever awarded lifetime-achievement awards. The first was issued by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. The second was issued by the New Partners for Smart Growth. The League of American Bicyclists named Dan as “one of the 25 most significant leaders in bicycling for the past 100 years.” In a peer driven process Planetizen Magazine ranks Dan as one of the 100 most significant urban thinkers of all time. Time magazine in 2001 named Dan as one of the six most important civic innovators in the world. And that same year the Transportation Research Board (National Academy of Sciences) honored Dan by making him their Distinguished Lecturer for that year. In 2014 the White House honored Dan as a “Champion of Change for Transportation”. Dan pioneers change in fields he helped create. He has more than 40 years of experience helping create livable communities. Dan served for 16 years as the first State Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the Florida Dept. of Transportation. This program became a model for other state programs, and in 1991 launched one of the nation’s first and most successful complete streets programs.
Dan and his wife, Lys, co-founded Walkable Communities in 1996. Since then, he has helped more than 4,700 communities throughout the world become more livable and walkable.