Transport & Cycling

Rachel is a Strategic Transport Planner, Bus+Active Technical Specialist, Congestion Reduction, Road Safety & Behaviour Change Expert, Author of award-winning book Decongestion and Keynote Speaker.

Rachel is an enthusiastic and confident professional, with extensive skills and experience in Transport Planning, City Planning, Behaviour Change and Project Management. Passionate about transport, mobility, city planning and finance/economics. Highly skilled in understanding and solving complex problems. Effective in developing and delivering feasible and innovative solutions to achieve clients/stakeholders needs, aims and objectives. Rachel is an expert in inspiring and facilitating change. She has exceptional abilities in understanding and explaining what change/transition means and involves. She’s an inspirational leader, supportive mentor and competent project planner who relishes working within a team. Rachel is a talented communicator and negotiator, with brilliant presentation and interpersonal skills. She has an outstanding track record in delivering projects on time and on budget with an excellent track record in customer service and client relationships. Rachel is an original thinker with vision and optimism who is committed to identifying and solving multifaceted transport and urban planning issues.

Career Summary

  • Over 19 years of experience working as a Transport Planner and Program Manager, in international engineering consultancies and the public sector, in the UK and Australia.
  • Experienced Consultant delivering projects and programs to Government and private sector clients.
  • A successful track record of developing, managing and delivering bus and active transport strategies, infrastructure concept designs, operational readiness and change program initiatives
  • Outstanding ability to deal confidently and effectively with stakeholders, Councillors and the public on difficult, complex and contentious planning/transport topics.
  • Chartered Member of the Institution of Highways and Transport and a Member of the Australian Institute of Traffic Planning and Management

Strengths – Rachel works best helping clients/stakeholders to solve complex transport and urban problems:

  • Understanding and identifying problems
  • Gaining clarity on wants, needs and expectations
  • Unpacking existing processes
  • Understanding and evaluating data
  • Identifying opportunities
  • Developing, programming and delivering solutions
  • Inspiring and facilitating change
  • Communicating effectively through narratives
  • Managing training and development

Rachel has two TEDx talks, is the Author of Decongestion, has spoken in London’s Palace of Westminster’s House of Lords, is on the Smart Cities Task Force, is a Sourceable columnist, was part of the BMW Guggenheim Lab in New York, Berlin and Mumbai  (nominated by Enrique Penalosa), created the Cycling Super Highways concept, was retained by the UK Government for 6 years as an expert advisor and was awarded the BP International Road Safety Award.

“Rachel Smith is one of Australia’s brightest thinkers on the perpetual challenge of urban planning” (News Limited)

“an emerging International Talent” (The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York)

“her dedication to the environment is inspiring and her passion for cycling is unmatched” (TED, New York)

Why Cycling Rachel Smith?

  1. Cycling Super Highways – My first dream is to build Cycling Super Highways. My vision is that anyone will be able to safely ride a bicycle regardless of their age, gender, physical abilities, cycling skills and road safety awareness. When the Los Angeles Department of Transport said “for the bike to catch on we need a revolution in our bicycle infrastructure” they were right. If we really want riding a bicycle to be a central part of our lifestyle, our transport system and our cities we need an ‘infrastructure revolution’. That’s why I created Cycling Super Highways, 7 metre wide bicycle ways with six lanes for slow, medium and fast bicyCl e riders, completely separated from all parked and moving cars.
  2. Floating Bikeways made out of waste plastic – My second dream is a floating bikeway on the Sydney Harbour or on the Thames in London, constructed out of recycled waste plastic and used aluminium drink cans. Let’s use our waste. David de Rothchild built his Plastiki boat using used plastic drinks bottles, Vertec build road bridges with waste plastic and in Kuranda, Australia benches in public places are made from old plastic milk bottles. I’d like us to innovate and build floating bicycle paths from waste plastic. Imagine it. Watch my TEDxQUT talk “Who says building the impossible is impossible?”
  3. Lazy Sunday Cycle – I was the co-founder of Lazy Sunday Cycle. LSC was all about normal people, in normal clothes on normal bikes. It’s not about no special clothes or specialized and technical equipment. We encouraged and enabled anyone and everyone who wanted to ride a bicycle for fun; people who were ‘interested but a little bit concerned’ about cycling, people who just wanted to get out there and have a go at cycling, enthusiastic bicycle riders and people who wanted to cycle with other people so that they can chat. It was aimed at young people, old people, families with children, children with stabilizers, people with fancy bikes and people with cargo bikes and people with bikes with baskets!