Gil Peñalosa has a simple rule: If you create a city that’s good for an 8 year old and good for an 80 year old, you will create a successful city for everyone. This is an 8-80 City. The Kamloops Chapter of the BC Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA) is thrilled to be sponsoring Gil Peñalosa’s visit to Kamloops as part of the CommUnity Innovation Lab (CIL) February 3-5, 2015.
Urban design might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to the BCSEA. Why bring in an urban advisor rather than an energy expert? According to Cheryl Kabloona, Chair of the local Chapter, it’s because urban design dictates lifestyle, and lifestyle has a huge impact on people’s energy footprint. “For example, if you have a city where people can enjoy a nice walk to work instead of an aggravating commute, you’re improving health, you’re saving money, you’re building a friendlier, happier community, and you’re using a lot less energy,” says Kabloona. “There are so many ways that the physical infrastructure around us influences our energy choices.”
As a specialist who works with cities all over the world, Peñalosa has seen the very best and the very worst of urban design. Because Kamloops is in the process of updating our Official Community Plan, Kabloona feels this is an opportune moment to hear his perspective on how we might become a more vibrant, liveable city. “If we incorporate more people-friendly alternatives into our future development,” says Kabloona, “we will all benefit. Really it’s about having a better quality of life in a resilient and thriving community. But we need to plan for it.”
Peñalosa’s approach is to work with people and communities across multiple sectors to inspire the creation of cities that are easily accessible, safe and enjoyable for all. His focus is the design and use of parks and streets as great public places, as well as sustainable mobility. Cities should be inclusive, he feels: enjoyable to everyone, regardless of age and social, economic, or ethnic background. As Executive Director of the Canadian non-profit organization 8-80 Cities for the past eight years, Peñalosa has worked in over 150 different cities in all continents.
“We’re very excited to bring Gil here,” says Kabloona. “We had been pursuing this as an independent project starting a year ago, and then when the Fresh Outlook Foundation announced the CommUnity Innovation Lab would be coming to Kamloops, we immediately saw the synergy and joined forces.”
During his time in Kamloops, there will be three opportunities to hear and meet Peñalosa. All of these take place at the Thompson Rivers University Campus Activity Centre.
- He leads the “Vibrant Solutions for City Centres” workshop on Tuesday, February 3 (for CIL participants). This includes a walking tour and facilitated discussion focussing on the Kamloops downtown.
- He participates as a resource person in the Sustainable Mobility break-out session Wednesday afternoon, February 4 (for CIL participants).
- The last event is free and open to the general public. Peñalosa delivers a keynote presentation “Healthy, Vibrant Cities for All” Wednesday evening February 4 at TRU’s Campus Activity Centre in the Mountain Room.
The CommUnity Innovation Lab is hosted by the Fresh Outlook Foundation and Thompson Rivers University in partnership with the Real Estate Foundation of BC, City of Kamloops, BC Sustainable Energy Association, and Urban Matters. It takes place at the TRU Campus Activity Centre from February 3-5, 2015 and features workshops, talks and breakout sessions that will inform and activate positive environmental, social, cultural and/or economic change.
General registration is $149/day or $349 for 3 days. Seniors and people from non-profit and community groups can register for $29/day or $79 for 3 days, and TRU students, faculty and staff register at no charge.
For more details and to register, visit the CIL webpage.