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Our People

Executive Director

Amanda O’Rourke

Amanda has been with 8 80 Cities since the beginning in 2007. She was a key architect of the 8 80 concept, and has held several positions within the organization. She has been a key driving force in the development and growth of 8 80 Cities and has worked on numerous projects related to parks, public spaces, and sustainable transportation in North America, Europe, Mexico, and Australia.

Amanda holds a Master’s of Science in Planning from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology from Queen’s University. She is also currently Co-Chair of the Children, Play, and Nature Committee for World Urban Parks. She loves being a momma to three small kids, is an eternal optimist, and is passionate about transforming cities into great places for all people.

Managing Director

Lanrick Bennett Jr.

Lanrick joined 8 80 Cities in March of 2020. He held previous positions as the Hub Manager at Artscape Wychwood Barns, Regional Advisor in the Ontario Provincial Government and Education Officer at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

As an advocate for social programs, Lanrick was one half of #JacksLibraryTour, where he and his 5-year-old son visited all 100 Toronto Public Libraries using public transit. He is a year-round urban cyclist who champions protected cycling infrastructure in multiple forms.

Taking a page out of his improv training with the Second City, he celebrates the concept of “Yes, And,” which will enable him to keep moving the concepts of 8 80 Cities forward.

Senior Project Manager

David Simor

David joined 8 80 Cities in August of 2016, after several years working at Toronto City Hall. An avowed lover of all things urban, he has helped co-ordinate numerous public realm and park revitalizations, planning studies, and neighbourhood improvement projects.

Trained as an actor, David firmly believes listening is the first step towards creating inclusive, accessible and dynamic cities for everyone.

Project Manager

Rossana Tudo

Rossana joined 8 80 Cities in June of 2015. As a project manager, she leads community engagement processes in cities across North America, writes planning reports, designs immersive study tours, and more. She brings a creative approach to getting communities excited and engaged in transforming their public spaces.

Rossana holds a Master’s in Urban Planning from New York University and a B.A. in International Development from McGill University. Outside of work, she likes pottery, floral design, the Toronto Raptors, and visiting big messy cities.

Rossana is currently on parental leave.

Project Manager

Siva Vijenthira

Siva has worked on community building and civic engagement projects in over 30 cities, collaborating across multiple sectors and different levels of government. She believes that vibrant streets and public spaces are key to creating greater access to the public sphere and therefore greater connectivity, inclusivity, and equity.

Admin. & Communications Manager

Camila Uriona

Camila joined 8 80 Cities in 2011. A great multitasker, she takes care of both administration and communications.

Trained in communications, Camila has special expertise in internal and external client relations and is always keen to explore new approaches to her areas of work. She has outstanding sensitivity to people and brings creativity and fun to all the work she does.

Project Coordinator

Candice Leung

Candice Leung joins 8 80 Cities as a passionate urbanist that takes pride in celebrating the well-being of communities. As Project Coordinator, she brings her experience working in both the private sector of city building and community organizing to support various initiatives. Her focus has primarily been on building capacity in civic engagement, equitable transportation, and community driven design. Her background in urban planning and social and environmental inequities, continue to inspire her to do the work she does.

Summer Project Assistant

Brandon Miles

Brandon joined 8 80 Cities in September of 2019 starting out as a student volunteer and joined the 8 80’s team as  Summer Project Assistant. As a former resident of Calgary AB studying at the University of Calgary, Brandon transferred his studies and moved to Toronto in 2018 to gain new perspectives on urban life and pursue new ideas of city planning. With a passion for travel and culture, Brandon has ventured on multiple excursions to regions around the world to understand what makes cities excel and spaces unique. As an emerging graduate from the University of Toronto, his global experience and education have led to him to hone in a passion around city building, urban design, sustainability, and equity, with a keen interest around public space and transportation.

Brandon holds a diploma in Architectural Technologies for the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and is on his way to completing a Bachelors Degree in Urban Studies and Human Geography at the University of Toronto for the end of 2020.

Accountant

Liliana Diaz

Liliana joined 8 80 Cities in 2009, bringing over 10 years of working international experience in General Accounting, Financial Planning, Budget preparation, forecasting and reporting. Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, a specialization in taxation and a Financial Planning Postgraduate program recently completed, her hands-on knowledge of accounting standards and best practices allow Liliana to play an important piece in diverse projects and initiatives in different companies from the public and private sectors in both Canada and Mexico.
Liliana is passionate about starting up new projects and solutions. She loves outdoor spaces and nature and believes that being in harmony with nature is an important piece of anyone’s overall health and well-being. She is a firm supporter of 8 80 Cities initiatives, often involved as a volunteer as well, recognizing and contributing to the obvious benefits these multiple projects ultimately bring to society and people’s lives.

Board of Directors

Gil Penalosa, Director and Chair of the Board
Eti Greenberg, Director
Jared Kolb, Director
Sue Lantz, Director
Rafael Vargas, Director
Patricia Wood, Director
Jordana Wright, Director
Dr. Kate Mulligan, Director
Rabia Abrar, Director
Claudia Marcela Penalosa, Secretary

Founder

Gil Penalosa

Gil Penalosa is passionate about cities for all people. Gil advises decision makers and communities on how to create vibrant cities and healthy communities and focuses on the design and use of parks and streets as great public places, as well as sustainable mobility: walking, riding bicycles, using public transit, and the new use of cars.

Gil is the founder and chair of the board of the internationally recognized non-profit organization 8 80 Cities. The organization was created centred on a simple but powerful philosophy; if you create a great city for an 8 year old and an 80 year old, you will create a successful city for all people.

Gil also runs his own international consulting firm – Gil Penalosa & Associates and is an accomplished keynote speaker and facilitator of strategic workshops.

Work With Us

Let’s collaborate to create better cities.

The 8 80 Cities team is passionate about cities for all people. Let’s talk and explore opportunities for collaboration.