Urbanist Gil Peñalosa Running for Toronto Mayor

The former parks commissioner for Bogotá, Colombia is throwing his hat in the ring in Toronto’s mayoral race.

1 minute read

July 15, 2022, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Prominent urbanist, advocate for parks and sustainable mobility, and one of Planetizen’s 100 Most Influential Urbanists Gil Peñalosa has entered the Toronto mayoral race. As Ben Spurr reports in the Toronto Star, “Peñalosa, 65, says he’s running in part because no high-profile left-wing candidate has emerged, and the problems Toronto is facing around issues like housing and climate change are so urgent the city can’t afford four more years of the status quo.” Peñalosa, founder of 8 80 Cities, says over the last eight years of the Tory administration, the city has become “less affordable, less equitable, less sustainable.”

With a stint as Parks Commissioner in Bogotá and passionate supporter of that city’s Ciclovia initiative, Colombian-born Peñalosa hopes to bring his expertise to his adopted city. Unlike his predecessor, who Peñalosa says has allowed the city’s public spaces to fall into disrepair, “He says he would invest in public amenities by setting different priorities in the city’s budget, starting by cancelling the rebuild of the Gardiner Expressway, which is expected to cost $2 billion over ten years.” Peñalosa also wants to reduce speed limits on certain streets to improve traffic safety and “To get more housing built, he would permit buildings between five and eight storeys tall on all major corridors served by transit, like Dundas St., Queen St., and Davenport St.”

Thursday, July 14, 2022 in Toronto Star

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