Transport Planner, Thought Leader, Blogger, Curator & Creator
Named by The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation as an ‘Emerging International Talent’
Described by News Limited as ’One of Australia’s brightest thinkers on the perpetual challenge of urban planning’
Shortlisted as a 2012 TED Global Fellow
Rachel is one of Australia’s leading active/sustainable transport planners and urban thinkers
… According to medical research Rachel should be dead. In 2001 she was involved in a near fatal scuba diving incident but thanks to the incredible staff at DDRC and Rachel’s own feisty determination she has become a respected Thought Leader and Project Implementor.
Rachel is passionate about social change, travel behaviour change, normal people riding bicycles, health & well-being, tourism, positive thinking, adult literacy and having really big conversations. Rachel isn’t afraid to ask the difficult questions and thrives on creating big visions, or what some would call ‘impossible’ ideas.
Rachel is a Principal Transport Planner at AECOM in Brisbane, had one of the top 1% most viewed LinkedIn profiles in 2012 and she regularly connects with the world’s leading thinkers.
British-born Brisbane-based Rachel has over 14 years experience creating, planning, developing, implementing and evaluating the delivery of cycling, active/sustainable transport, travel behaviour change, travel demand management and sustainable tourism programs and strategies, in addition to training colleagues and businesses, in the private and public sectors in the UK and Australia. Within 2 years of entering the transport profession Rachel was retained by the UK Government Advisor on three national transport expert panels for 6 years developing best practice transport projects working with schools, employers and tourist destinations.
Rachel is equally adept at presenting at conferences and community forums, hosting school hall assemblies and facilitating Think Tanks or interactive sessions. As a Keynote Speaker, Rachel can inspire, motivate and educate
Rachel is a problem solver and creative thinker. She is highly organised with first class communication and co-ordination skills. She delivers projects on time and on budget exceeding clients expectations
Winner 2008 AITPM Janet Brash Memorial Scholarship
Winner 2003 CIHT BP International Road Safety Award
Finalist 2004 International Walk to School Week Award
Rachel has had a variety of interactions with the media. TV appearances include DW-TV ‘Agenda’ chat show, BBC Breakfast Show and Disney Playhouse. Special guest on numerous radio shows including BBC Radio ‘Today’, BBC Breakfast, ABC National Radio ‘By Design’ and ABC Digital ‘Sunday Spin’. Rachel has been profiled by print media including Sunday Mail U magazine, B-Mag and Map Magazine.
BMW Guggenheim Lab
Founder and Creative Director of 7m wide Cycling Super Highways
Working with Disney Playhouse TV to produce a walking to school TV show
Co-creator Lazy Sunday Cycle
Co-creator Dynamic Connections
Blogger at ThisBigCity
Columnist at CycleBrisbane
Queensland Government art+place curator
Rachel is a member of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation CIHT and the Australian Institute of Traffic Planning and Management AITPM and former president of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Transport Institute of Australasia. Rachel ‘walks the walk and talks the talk’; living in a rented energy-efficient unit in a medium-rise development, with dedicated cycle parking, adjacent to a multi-modal public transport interchange (bus, ferry, city cat and public bike hire). Rachel lives 992m from her workplace and, of course, walks or cycles to work every day!
“Rachel’s dedication to the environment is inspiring and her passion for cycling is unmatched” TED Talks. New York
“Rachel’s knowledge, ideas and approach were crucial. In particular her ability to successfully and imaginatively facilitate our most difficult break-out groups and to collate comments during the wrap-up stage” Doug Wheeler & Associates, Brisbane
“Rachel is highly committed to the needs of cyclists and pedestrians” Sunshine Coast Cycling Alliance, Queensland
“The reports prepared by Rachel were delivered on time and on budget. The quality exceeded our expectations” Queensland Urban Land Development Agency
“It was a pleasure to have you participate in our Global Innovation Series. Your lecture was engaging, informative and one of the most interesting talks of the day. Thank you for contributing to the success of the event” Mashable, New York
“I just want to say again for the record how blown away I was by your clearly evident energy and constancy to purpose the whole time you were running your programs for the Lab in Berlin. And you probably don’t need me to tell you this, but your involvement in any sort of project could clearly only make it a better, more successful project. You have my full respect and heart-felt admiration” Joe Hatchiban, Bearpit Karaoke, Berlin
“I wanted to congratulate you on the interesting release of the Dynamic Connections crowdsourced map — this is precisely the type of data that we need to start understanding travel patterns and how to improve our bike networks in an urban area” University of California School of Technology
“First up a big thank you Amanda for organising Rachel Smith. She is wonderful, passionate talent, and her project really strikes a strong cord with our audience” Janne Ryan, By Design ABC Radio National
“Rachel you are a constant burst of inspiroimagination” Mara Bun, Green Cross Australia
“You’re an inspiration – thank you for all you do!” Rebecca Lehman
“Thanks for your vision Rachel. Truly you are inspiring. I so very much respect your willingness to act, to make simple, to lead!” Denise, Monkeysee Cycle Safety
“You are an inspiration. Let’s do some projects together” Gilbert Rochecouste, Founder of Village Well
“Your enthusiasm for your work and for life in general is so infectious – I think you are great” Sue Philbin, Traffic Planning Consultants Ltd
“That’s fantastic Rachel! You are a fantastic ambassador for cycling” Aaron Ball
“Your passion for your work resonated throughout the room and your involvement in the evening’s activities with our members was much appreciated. Again, we thank you for the important contribution you have made to our organisation and the positive impression that you have made on many of our members” FutureNet Queensland Committee
“… However, the highlight of our visit was a workshop with Rachel herself during which we were able to provide her with detailed feedback regarding many of the cycling and walking facilities planned for the MMTC. We found Rachel to be receptive and highly committed to the needs of cyclists and pedestrians. I would not hesitate to recommend her as a cycling facility planner” Damien Jones, SunCoast Cycling Alliance
“… As well as being highly qualified Rachel possesses excellent communication skills, putting her audience at ease while getting the facts down in a readable format. I would go on to say that as cycling advocates we often encounter blockages due to uniformed people, especially among government departments, but in Rachel’s case her obvious grasp of sustainability concepts made our job easy. We have no hesitation in recommending Rachel as a highly qualified, motivated and productive member of any sustainable transport team” John Stephen, SunCoast Cycling Alliance
“The judges chose this project for: its ability to improve the safety environment around the school gate, raising road safety awareness and skills amongst young people, its possible application to other similar school environments and its benefit of encouraging more children to walk to school” Louis Wheeler, Bitumen Manager, BP
“Hi Rachael. I’ve just read through your CV on Linkedin and am so overwhelmed by the depth your experiences and knowledge. You are an inspiration to mere mortals like myself. Well done and congratulations” Olinda