David Gilford


David helps public and private sector clients build equitable digital infrastructure, deploy technology in the public realm, and create long-term strategies for urban innovation.

He is also co-founder of the Broadband Equity Partnership, HR&A’s mission-driven consultancy advising cities and regions on programs to close the digital divide. David leads projects that bridge traditional boundaries between technology and urbanism across the public and private sectors, including:

  • Negotiating tech-enabled public-private partnerships, including advertising contracts for nearly $400 million in new revenue and $100 million in digital infrastructure for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s airports, commuter rail, and bus terminals.
  • Governance strategy and implementation recommendations for New York City’s groundbreaking Internet Master Plan, the first citywide strategy to provide universal broadband, currently being implemented with $157 million in capital funding.
  • Developing the strategic plan for the City of Long Beach, Calif.’s Smart City Initiative to support an inclusive, resilient future and recovery from COVID-19.
  • Helping the City of Pittsburgh modernize its approach to equitable economic development, including a new organizational strategy for the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
  • Shaping new products and business models for leading urban technology companies, foundations, and private equity investors.

Prior to HR&A, David co-founded the Connected Communities practice at Intersection, a technology and media company focused on the built environment, transit systems, and public space. David has led the creation of digital master plans for over 40mm square feet of mixed-use developments, using technology to unlock new sources of revenue, reduce costs, and improve quality of life.
David previously held leadership positions with the City of New York, including Vice President for Urban Innovation & Sustainability at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), where he created programs including the $30 million RISE : NYC resiliency program following Superstorm Sandy and the UrbantechNYC initiative to support entrepreneurs focused on sustainability, energy, transportation, and other city challenges.
David serves as an advisor to the Urban Future Lab, URBAN-X, and other programs supporting urbantech entrepreneurship. He is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer at Columbia University, New York University, and national conferences. David holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Williams College.