Equitable • Sustainable • Playful

Gil's main services:

Keynotes • Master Classes • Advisor


Inspirational topics:

• 8 80 Cities, for Everyone
• Walk & Bike for Life
• Parks, Streets, other Public Spaces
• Living Older, Healthier, Happier

Contact Gil

Gil Penalosa


Founder & Chair, 880 Cities
Founder, Cities for Everyone
President, Gil Penalosa & Assoc.

Inspiring Doable Change

Gil (Guillermo) Penalosa is passionate about cities for all people. Because of his unique blend of experience, pragmatism, and passion, many cities worldwide seek his leadership and valuable advice. He has worked in over 350 cities.

Gil is the Founder and Chair of the successful Canadian non-profit organization 8 80 Cities and founder of Cities for Everyone. In 2022 Gil ran for mayor of Toronto. In 100 days, he got 100,000 votes, and changed many conversations. Currently Gil is an academic chair at the Norman Foster Institute for Sustainable Cities, as well as Expert Advisor to the International Society for Urban Health. He also runs Gil Penalosa & Associates

Gil was elected twice as chair of World Urban Parks. He holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, received a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Faculty of Urban Planning at Swedish SLU. In 2023 Gil was selected by Identity Review in 15 Thought Leaders in Sustainable City Development and voted to Planetizen’s Top 100 Most Influential Contemporary Urbanists, at #13.

Services offered in 2023

Inspirational Keynotes

Master Class

Strategic Advising

Global Clients

Because of Gil’s unique blend of experience, pragmatism and passion, many cities and organizations worldwide seek his leadership and valuable advice. He has worked in over 350 different cities in all continents. His work intersects with a number of fields such as transportation, public health, urban planning, parks and recreation, public realm, urban design, education, and economic development.

Check the map to see where Gil has worked since 2000.



Read all testimonials here

For almost two decades I have been able to follow the work of Gil Penalosa, as well as cooperating more closely on a number of occasions. Cooperating with Gil has always been very fruitful and inspiring with direct links to the experiences Gil has acquired through his extensive work in Bogota, Colombia which is indeed a good place for starting a lifelong career for making better cities for people.

Jan Gehl, world renowned urbanist. Founder Gehl Architects, Copenhagen, Denmark

Gil - You are so inspiring, and I can't tell you how much it means to have such a great partner and ambassador supporting our work both here and around the world. All best and thanks again from one of your biggest fans.

Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner, DOT NYC, USA

Gil, your broad experience, clear-eyed analysis, infectious enthusiasm and amazing accomplishments make you a "global treasure" in the urban parks movement. Keep up your great work!

Peter Harnik, Director City Park Excellence, TPL, Washington, USA

Gil, I truly cannot thank you enough for what you accomplished during your visit. You really succeeded in firing up our own (already-committed) troops and reminding them why our work at the ground level is so critical. And you raised the thinking and expectations of our city leaders to a new level. This is unprecedented.

Leah Shahum, Former Executive Director San Fco Bike Coalition; currently Founder & Chair Vision Zero Network, USA

Gil s a forceful, passionate speaker about places that create happiness and community well-being. He is articulate as well as knowledgeable; he can put these issues into terms that a politician, lay-person, designer, transportation planner or community center manager can see the benefits these issues can bring to their community.

Fred Kent, President Project for Public Spaces (PPS), USA

Your leadership was so critical to much of what we accomplished in Saint Paul. Thank you!

Chris Coleman, Mayor of St. Paul, MN, USA

Your powerful vision and ambition to holistically make cities a better place for all - toddlers and grannies - has had a long-lasting impact on our city-making. Your passion, experience and ability to communicate important concepts straightforwardly has inspired us to put kids at the center of our urban-scape. All cities need to hear your message of 'all ages, all abilities'.

Erion Veliaj, Mayor of Tirana, Albania

Gil Penalosa is one of those charismatic leaders that needs to be heard. His contribution in many cities around the world in providing simple solutions to improve the liveability of cities makes him a very important player in this age of urbanisation. Gil, founder of 8 80 Cities is a man who can assist in taking other cities forward on the quest for liveability.

Rob Adams, Director City Design, Melbourne, Australia

Gil is one of the most inspiring people I know. I first met him when he came to Victoria to help plan our bike network. His mix of warmth, intellect, experience and humour makes him a pleasure to work with; I look forward to future projects.

Lisa Helps, Mayor of Victoria, BC, Canada

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The 8 80 Cities Connection

Gil is the Founder & Chair of 8 80 Cities. After many years running the organization as Executive Director, he now serves as Chair of the Board of Directors. 8 80 Cities, Gil Penalosa & Associates, and Cities for Everyone, work closely on some projects when they require the strengths of more than one organization

To learn about 8 80 Cities services click here.

Interested in working with Gil?

Please contact us by clicking the "Get in touch" button and tell us about your interest

Contact Gil