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Healthiest Practice Open Streets
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Gil Penalosa, Director and Chair of the Board
Amanda O'Rourke, Director
Jared Kolb, Director
Rafael Vargas, Director
Juliana Berrio, Director
About Gil (Guillermo) Penalosa, MBA PHDHC
Gil Penalosa is passionate about cities for all people. Gil advises decision makers and communities on how to create vibrant cities and healthy communities for everyone regardless of social, economic, or ethnic background. His focus is on the design and use of parks and streets as great public places, as well as sustainable mobility: walking, cycling, and public transit.
Gil is Founder and Chair of the Board of 8 80 Cities. Gil also runs his own international consulting firm, Gil Penalosa & Associates, and is an accomplished presenter and inspirational speaker. Because of Gil's unique blend of pragmatism and passion, his leadership and advice is sought out by many cities and organizations. Over the past eight years, Gil has worked in over 180 different cities across six continents.
As former Commissioner of Parks, Sport and Recreation for the City of Bogotá, Colombia, Gil was an integral part of the city's much celebrated transformation of public space and sustainable mobility during the late 1990s. Gil successfully led the design and development of over 200 parks including Simon Bolivar, a 113-hectare park in the heart of the city. Gil's team also initiated the "new Ciclovia," a program that sees over one million people walk, run, skate, and bike along 121 kilometres of Bogotá's city roads every Sunday, and today is internationally recognized and emulated.
Gil also works as Urban Expert on Mobility and Citizen Engagement for the renowned Danish firm Gehl Architects. He serves on the Board of Directors of City Parks Alliance (USA) and is a Senior Advisor to StreetFilms in NYC, American Trails, and America Walks.
Gil holds an MBA from UCLA's Anderson School of Management, where he recently was selected as one of the "100 Most Inspirational Alumni" in the school's history. In 2013 he received the Queen Elizabeth II - Diamond Jubilee Medal, given by the Governor General of Canada, and was named one of the "Top 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians". In 2014 Gil received a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Faculty of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at the prominent Swedish University SLU.
8 80 Cities is a Canada-based non-profit organization with an international outlook. We promote walking and bicycling as activities and urban parks, trails, and other public spaces as great places for all.
What we do
Taking a ground-up approach, our work inspires cities and communities to reach their potential as people places. First we engage the community in a conversation. Then we inspire. Finally, we support our clients in taking action. Our services empower elected officials, key stakeholders, and residents to reimage their communities.
We focus on 4 key areas:
Parks & Public Spaces
Sustainable & Healthly Mobility
Inclusive Community Engagement
Healthiest Practice Open Streets Programs
Visit our Services page to learn how we can help your community become an 8 80 community.