SMART Conference Participants
Gil (Guillermo) Penalosa
Multicultural executive and social marketing strategist, Gil Penalosa is passionate about improving Quality of Life through the promotion of Walking and Bicycling as Activities and of Parks, Trails and other Public Spaces as Great Places which foster Healthier Communities with Happier residents.
Gil earned a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from UCLA's Management School. Following years of private and public sector senior managerial experience, the Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia (pop. 7 m), appointed him Commissioner of Parks, Sport and Recreation for the City. Gil led his team to design and build over 200 parks, of which the best known is the Simon Bolivar (360 hectares). They were also successful in opening 91 kilometres of car-free city roads on Sundays, the Ciclovia, where over 1.5 m. people come out weekly to walk, run, skate and bike.
Gil is Executive Director of the Canada based non-profit Walk & Bike for Life as well as a successful international speaker and consultant. In his presentations and workshops on creating better Communities, he develops strong linkages of Walking, Bicycling, Parks and Trails, with improving the Personal and Public Health, enhancing our Transportation systems, providing Recreation for ALL, a cleaner Environment and advancing Economic Development.
He also works as Senior Associate with NYC's Project for Public Spaces, as Senior Consultant for the renowned Danish firm Gehl Architects, and Senior Advisor to Portland’s Alta Planning + Design. He serves on the Boards of Directors of American Trails and City Parks Alliance as well as on the Advisory Committees of America Walks and WalkON.
Gil lives in Ontario, Canada and enjoys outdoor activities with his wife and their three children.