avatar for John Tolva

John Tolva

Denver, CO
John Tolva is a co-founder of CityFi, an urban change management consultancy dedicated to enabling smart, sustainable cities through innovative public-private partnerships, triple bottom line policymaking, and human-centric technology.
Formerly John was the president of PositivEnergy Practice, an systems engineering firm based on data-driven planning for new building design, retrofits, and urban design.
John’s career has focused on developing and applying technology to improve the urban environment. From 2011 to 2013 he was Chief Technology Officer for the City of Chicago, leveraging technology to streamline public services through more efficient data-sharing, digital communications, and next-generation infrastructure. He led the development of ‘The City of Chicago Technology Plan’, an initiative that sets forth a series of public-private strategies to accelerate economic growth, build educated and digitally-engaged communities and workforce, improve government services, and reduce costs through technology.
In 2012, the White House recognized John as a ‘Champion of Change’ as part of a group of creative individuals engaged in building stronger communities through innovative approaches to problem-solving.
Prior to joining the City of Chicago, he was Director of Citizenship and Technology at IBM Corp, where he worked on the firm’s ‘smarter cities’ initiative, advising cities how to incorporate data analytics into planning and operations. John led the City Forward project, the first global aggregator and visualizer of urban data sets.
Significant projects include the Wuhan, China Erqi District Parametric Model and Master Plan, Astana, Kazakhstan Expo 2017 Master Plan, The Broadband Challenge, Open Data/Civic Innovation, Open 311, and the City of Chicago Technology Action Plan.