Gil is the Founder and Chair of the board of the Canadian non-profit organization 8 80 Cities, as well as Ambassador of World Urban Parks, the international representative body for the city parks, open space and recreation sector. In addition, Gil leads a private international consulting firm — Gil Penalosa & Associates, providing services as facilitator of strategic workshops and advisor to decision makers and community groups.
Gil Penalosa focuses on the design and use of parks and streets as public places and promotes the sustainable mobility: walking, riding bicycles, using public transit, and new use of cars.
Throughout his career, Gil has been a strong advocate for improving city parks, making his first mark in the late 1990s where he led the design and development of over 200 parks in Bogota Colombia. His team also initiated the “new Ciclovia”/ Open Streets — a program that sees over 1.7 million people walk, run, skate and bike along 121 kilometers of Bogota’s city roads every Sunday of the year, and today is internationally recognized and emulated. He also serves as senior advisor to Vision Zero Network, Children & Nature Network, and America Walks.
Gil holds an MBA fr om UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, wh ere he recently was selected as one of the “100 Most Inspirational Alumni” in the school’s history. In 2015 Gil received a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Faculty of Urban Planning at the prominent Swedish university, SLU. He is a Certified Professional Speaker by the US-NSA.