Gil Peñalosa may be the world's most passionate and well-traveled promoter of Streets as Places—putting people before cars in some of the most important public spaces in cities worldwide. We are delighted then to announce that he will be participating in all three of our upcoming conferences this year: Future of Places in Buenos Aires (September 1-3), and the Placemaking Leadership Council meeting (September 7-9th) preceding Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place (September 8-11th) in Pittsburgh. This fall's conferences are especially notable as they all will be focusing on making streets vibrant public spaces and drivers of urban livability and prosperity.
Gil brought Project for Public Spaces to Bogota, Colombia, back when he was running the city's parks and recreation department in the late 1990's. Gil was parks commissioner before, then during, the mayoral term of his brother Enrique Penalosa. Their father, Enrique Penalosa Sr, was Secretary-General for UN Habitat, and led the first Habitat confernce in 1976. The goal of our Future of Places conferences with UN Habitat and Ax:son Johnson Foundation is to make public spaces and Placemaking a central issue for Habitat III in 2016.
Since serving Bogota, Gil has come to many PPS training sessions and his staff have joined us for many more. He also brought PPS to Mississauga, Ontario—where he relocated—to conduct Placemaking training and strategic planning, and help transform their civic centre.
As Executive Director of 8-80 Cities, Gil now travels the world, working on the front lines of change, and collaborating with leading Placemaking advocates, practioners and politicians to build a collective movement to transfrom cities around people. His story, his experience and his message are a central thread to how cities need to change in this century.
If you would like to hear Gil Peñalosa speak in person, there is still time! You can join the Placemaking Leadership Council—a group of dedicated Placemakers around the world—and register to attend the second annual meeting of the minds in Pittsburgh. Immediately following is the premier conference for bicycling and walking professionals: Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place (full list of conference speakers, here). And better still—if you attend both, you can benefit from a discounted rate. Register by this Friday, August 15th, for special summer rates and hotel reservation discounts and we'll see you there!