Mark Gorton, the founder of a series of innovative financial and technology companies, is a leading advocate for alternative transportation and livable streets.
He is the founder of Tower Research Capital LLC, a money management firm specializing in quantitative trading and investment strategies, as well as the founder of Lime Brokerage LLC, Lime Wire LLC, Lime Labs LLC, and OpenPlans.
Prior to creating these companies, Mark pursued a career in electrical engineering followed by a career in finance. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Yale University, a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and a MBA from Harvard University.
A serial entrepreneur, Gorton is known as something of a creative genius who just happens to run one of the most sophisticated trading outfits in the U.S. – CNBC
Mark’s involvement with urban issues began officially when he founded OpenPlans in 1999. OpenPlans is a non-profit technology organization focused on open government and livable streets. Mark founded OpenPlans after realizing the incredible potential of the open source movement to create tools that catalyze civic engagement. OpenPlans approaches its mission with two primary initiatives: open source software development and journalism.
Through ongoing projects such as OpenTripPlanner and OpenGeo as well as custom built solutions and advocacy, the software team at OpenPlans is helping cities to share their data and engage citizens in the civic process. OpenPlans also houses three important news outlets that focus on urban issues: Streetsblog, Sreetfilms, and Gotham Schools.
Gorton wants citizens to question the role of automobiles in the world and to recognize how inefficient and inappropriate they are for an urban environment. – Utne Reader: 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing the World
In 2005 Mark founded the New York City Streets Renaissance campaign in partnership with the Project for Public Spaces and Transportation Alternatives. The campaign launched with a public exhibition, “Livable Streets: A New Vision for New York,” at the Municipal Arts Society. The exhibition highlighted the potential of public plazas, pedestrian areas, and bike lanes to transform dangerous and traffic clogged streets into safer, more dynamic public spaces.
The impact of the NYCSR campaign on New York streets has been truly impressive. The exhibition, subsequent demonstration projects, and reporting on Streetsblog and Streetfilms, created a demand for innovation that eventually led to the appointment of a new commissioner at DOT in 2007 and the implementation of livable streets initiatives throughout the city.
Through his philanthropy, his leadership at OpenPlans, and his public and media appearances, Mark Gorton continues to advocate for alternative transportation, livable streets, and open government. He lives on the Upper West Side and bikes regularly to his offices in Lower Manhattan.