Internationally renowned livable city advisor and social marketing strategist, Gil Peñalosa is passionate about vibrant and healthy communities. Hoping to improve the quality of life for all residents, Mr. Peñalosa promotes walking and cycling as well as the creation and use of great city parks and trails. As Executive Director of Canadian non-profit organization 8-80 Cities and former Commissioner of Parks, Sports and Recreation in Bogotá, Colombia, his commitment to fostering healthy communities remains front and centre. He also works as Senior Consultant for the renowned Danish firm Gehl Architects, and serves on the Boards of Directors of American Trails, Ciclovias of the Americas, and City Parks Alliance.
As Commissioner of Parks, Sports and Recreation for the City of Bogotá, Colombia, Mr. Peñalosa successfully led the design and development of over 200 parks of which Simón Bolívar, a 360 hectare park in Bogotá, Colombia is the best known; they created the Summer Festival, with over 100 events in 10 days and more than 3 million people attending making it the main recreational and cultural event in the country. His team initiated the Bogotá, Colombia Ciclovia event—car-free Sundays— today an internationally recognized program which sees over 1.3 million people walk, run skate and bike along 121 kilometers of Bogotá’s city roads.
Mr. Peñalosa’s leadership and advice has been sought out by many cities and organizations. A speaker in high demand, he has presented at over 150 workshops and seminars in North America and has provided consultation throughout the Americas, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of California’s Anderson School of Management.