David Leipziger

Specialist areas

  • Low-carbon cities
  • Infrastructure finance
  • Transport planning
  • Climate innovation policy
  • Building energy efficiency


  • MBA - University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • MA, Urban & Regional Planning - University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • BA - Brown University

David Leipziger

In a nutshell, tell us about yourself.

I am passionate about cities — and the pubic-private interactions that make them greener, fairer, and more productive. I’ve spent 15 years facilitating sustainable urban development in cities like Nairobi, Mexico City, Seoul, & Baku. My focus areas include low-carbon transport, infrastructure finance, green buildings, and climate tech innovation. As a consultant, I have advised development banks, real estate developers, and local governments around the world. As a civil servant, I served as chief urban mobility expert at the UK’s innovation agency, overseeing their £30M EV charging innovation fund. Perhaps more importantly, I love languages, architecture, geography, and fitting the perfect music to a given social situation.

Name three things on your bucket list.

  • Give a keynote speech
  • Hike a volcano
  • Ride the public transport in 100 cities

What book has changed your life?

‘Guns, Germs, & Steel’ by Jared Diamond. His integrative methodologies and global reach were like nothing else I’d ever read. The book addressed long-standing complex questions I’d had about how the world turned out the way it has.

Who or what do you most admire?

Michaela Coel for her authenticity, creativity, and activism.

What makes you laugh?

People falling. But also word play, impressions, and general outrageousness.

What drives you to do this kind of work?

I am driven by a Venn diagram of motivations: loving your work, maximum learning, and improving people’s lives. In my case, sustainable urban development sits at this intersection.

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