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Walter Siembab
Siembab Planning Associates

Walter Siembab is an innovator with 30 years experience in the specialized field of cyber planning and development. He is a leader in the movement to deploy digital technologies to shape the city of the future, and he is one of the few practitioners capable of taking a cyber project from concept to implementation.

Siembab is best known for developing and demonstrating the Digital Centers Cyber Strategy as a cost-effective approach to:

  • reducing reliance on automobility (and its by-products fossil fuel consumption, carbon monoxide pollution, congestion, and transportation inequities),
  • fostering sustainable and equitable economic growth, and
  • improving quality of life, particularly in areas experiencing high levels of population growth.

His strategy involves community control of a portion of the regional telematics infrastructure as a practical approach to community development as well as an expression of basic democratic ideals.

This strategy has been applied to:

  • Regional demonstration projects that include the Telework Facilities Exchange (the largest multi-jurisdictional telework program in the nation), the Blue Line TeleVillage (the prototype Network Station), and the Southeast Los Angeles County Teleconferencing Network. The first two won awards for innovation in various competitions.
  • Retrofit an urbanized area, Hudson County, New Jersey.
  • Award-winning designs for the city of the future for competitions held in Orange County and the Central Valley in California.
  • The digital technology component for new towns being developed on greenfields according to new urbanist principles, Village One in Modesto and the Ahmanson Ranch in Ventura County.

Siembab has been a telecommunications policy advisor to the League of California Cities, Los Angeles County Transportation Commission, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, City of Long Beach Strategic Plan 2000 Committee, and the cities of San Diego, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Berkeley among others. Two of his publications -- Telecommunications Issues for Local Government, 1990 and Telecommunications Framework For Cities, 1991 were distributed by the League of California Cities to guide telecommunications analysis and policy in California cities.

He is a Research Fellow at the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University, where he served as Principal Investigator for a study entitled "Using Fiber Networks to Stimulate Transit Oriented Development: Prospects, Barriers and Best Practices" published by the MTI in December, 2001.

He has experience as a policy analyst in the general area of transit oriented development. For example, he researched possible partnerships between cities and the California High Speed Rail Authority for development projects at future high speed rail station.

Siembab has been a university lecturer and professional seminar leader teaching how to use digital technologies to shape the city of the future.

Siembab served as Chief, Policy and Planning Unit in the Long Range Planning Bureau of the Department of Telecommunications in the City of Los Angeles from 1989-92. In that capacity he managed the City's Telecommuting Pilot Project and the Language Line Pilot Project (an ATT language translation service), developed the City's positions on pending state and federal telecommunications legislation, participated in the working group that produced the air quality element of the City's general plan, and conducted the pre-planning for the City's telecommunications master plan.

From 1977 to 1989 Siembab provided technical assistance to local governments in the areas of telecommunications needs assessments, information resource management, and organizational design. Former clients include the cities of Atlanta, Georgia; Dayton, Ohio; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Fontana, and Torrance in California.

In 1976 he was the project manager for UCLA's "formative evaluation" of the Alternative Comprehensive Community Environmental Study System funded by the U.S. Department of Education. From 1968 to 1972 he performed market analyses for a variety of development projects as an employee of Daniel, Mann, Johnson and Mendenhall, and of VTN Orange County.


Siembab has the following degrees, all from UCLA:

BA in Mathematics, 1965
MS in Management (Major Field -- Urban Land Economics), 1969
C.Phil (All-But-Dissertation PhD) in Urban Planning, (Major Field -- Telecommunications Planning), 1976

Professional Associations:

Charter member of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) and founding member of the Southern California Chapter of NATOA. Member of the Chapter Steering Committee for 10 years, Chair of the Steering Committee for 1 year.

Board Member, International Telework Association, 1993-97


Siembab has given presentation on topics related to Telecommunications and the City of the Future to the following organizations: Department of City and Regional Planning, UC Berkeley; Department of Urban Studies, MIT; Dayton Chamber of Commerce; Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce; the American Planning Association; NATOA; the National League of Cities; the League of California Cities; Northern Telecom; League of Women Voters; Association for Commuter Transportation; California Engineering Society; National Telecommuting Advisory Council; Railvolution Conference; the National Federation of Local Cable Programmers; the National Council For Urban Economic Development; and the Urban Land Institute.

International Presentations:

Keynote speaker, Second European Community Telework Forum, Galicia, Spain, 1992.
"Telework and Rural Economic Development" at ECTF Regional Conference in Palma de Majorca, Spain, 1993
"Telecommunications and the City of the Future" at the Global Village Conference, Vienna, Austria, 1995
"Sustainable Cities And The TeleCity Development Strategy" at the 2nd European Assembly on Teleworking and New Ways of Working, Rome, Italy, 1995
"Building TeleCity: Lessons from the Blue Line TeleVillage" at the 3 rd European Digital Cities Conference, Berlin, Germany, 1997
"Stimulating Telework for the Millennium: Experience Implementing the Telecity Strategy in Los Angeles," at the 5 th European Assembly on Teleworking and New Ways of Working, Lisbon, Portugal, September, 1998
"Integrating Telecommunications into Metropolitan Policy and Planning: A Bricks and Bits Strategy for Livable Communities." at Cities in the Global Information Society: An International Perspective, Centre for Urban Technology, Department of Town and Country Planning, University of Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, 11/99.