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.

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 Manager

Jiya Benni

Jiya Benni joined 8 80 Cities in April of 2021. A great believer in the power of collaborative planning and placemaking in city-building, she is passionate about creating equitable, sustainable, and resilient cities. Jiya holds a Master’s in Urbanism from TU Delft, The Netherlands and a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the University of Kerala, India. Outside of work, you will find her writing on her blogs ‘Contemplating Urban Matters’ and ‘Patient Caterpillar’, making collages or taking long walks and hikes with her partner.

Project Manager

Jayne Armstrong

Jayne is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto who is excited to bring her passion for creating equitable public spaces to 8 80 Cities. As an avid beach bum, Jayne has taken her passions for public space and applied them to her research on reclaiming the nebulous public-private beachfront in Scarborough for everyone.

She previously worked at Bike Share Toronto and continues her passion for cycling all year round. Either by foot or by cycle, Jayne loves exploring the neighbourhoods of Toronto in search of the unique built form and pocket parks.


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


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.