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Jan Gehl co-founded Gehl Architects in 2000, based in Copenhagen, is one of the most renowned architects and urban designers, whose career has focused on improving the quality of urban life by re-orienting city design towards the pedestrian and cyclist.

Jan is currently a Senior Advisor at Gehl. He also continues to research and develop the people first approach through his books and lectures.

Over the course of his career, he has published several books, including,

  • “Life Between Buildings”
  • “Cities for People”
  • “New City Spaces”
  • “Public Spaces – Public Life”
  • “New City Life”
  • “How to Study Public Life”
  • “People Cities” / “Mennesker Først”.

He is an honorary fellow of RIBA, AIA, RAIC, and PIA.


Born in Mexico City, Mario obtained a degree in Architecture from the National University of Mexico (UNAM) in 1968. He proceeded to obtain a Master Degree in Landscape Architecture with an emphasis in urban design at the University of California, Berkeley in 1970. In 1984 he was selected as a Loeb Fellowship at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. In 1977,

Mario started his own firm, Grupo de Diseño Urbano / GDU, along with José Luis Pérez, having executed a wide range of projects, including diverse typologies and scales in architecture, urban design and landscape architecture. GDU and Mario Schjetnan have been distinguished with national and international awards and recognitions in architecture, urban design and landscape architecture.

Mario Schjetnan has also devoted his life to teaching. He has given numerous workshops and studios in several universities including: Harvard University in 1994, 1998 and 2005. In 2001 the University of California, Berkeley invited Mario to give the Beatrix Farrand Chair in Landscape Architecture. Mario was the director of the School of Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona, Tucson from 1999 to 2001. He was distinguished with the Federico Mariscal Chair in Architecture from UNAM in 2001. In 2006, he received the Cathedra Rose Carter from the University of Austin Texas and in 2007, the Cathedra Talbott from the University of Virginia. He has been a lecturer at Universities in the EUA, Brasil, Perú, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Puerto Rico, Australia, Rusia, China, Nueva Zelanda, España, Italia and Irlanda, to appoint some countries.

In 2010 the College of Architects of Mexico City and the Mexican Society of Architects granted him by Maria Ignacia Rodriguez de Velasco prize for Projects of Urban Development and Landscape Architecture and for his trayectory. In 2012 he had the honor of being appointed a member of the Academy of Arts of Mexico and in this 2015, he has received the Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award 2015 given by the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), this is the highest award of Landscape Architecture worldwide and Architect Schjetnan is the first Latin American to get it.

The work of GDU has been published in the books: Mario Schjetnan / TEN LANDSCAPES from Rockport Publishers; Arquitectura, Ciudad y Naturaleza published by CONACULTA-INAH, in conjunction with a major exhibit of his work. Another publication “Landscape, Architecture and Urbanism” from Spacemaker Press. His more recent publication is “Mario Schjetnan: Urban Environment and Landscape” from Arquine which has text introduction from Roberto Segre and Jimena Martignoni. Schjetnan´s work has been published in numerous reviews, magazines and newspapers in Mexico and abroad.


Cecil Konijnendijk, a Dutch national, is a Professor in the Faculty of Forestry, and Program Director for Urban Forestry at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He studies, teaches, and advises on the role of trees and green space in our cities and towns.

His particular interests include green space governance, people-nature relationships and cultural ecosystem services, and implementation of urban forestry and urban greening programs. At UBC Cecil heads the Urban Forestry Research In Action (UFORIA) lab, a group of urban forestry scholars from four different continents. Cecil’s research has taken him across the globe where he has worked in close dialogue with decision-makers and practitioners, from the local to the international level.

Cecil is founding editor-in-chief of the journal ‘Urban Forestry & Urban Greening’ and editor of the ‘Future City’ book series. He is a prolific writer, and has (co-)authored books such as ‘The City and the Forest: the cultural landscape of urban woodland’ and the ‘Routledge Handbook of Urban Forestry’.

Jean Fraser

Jean Fraser brings more than two decades of experience managing complex public agencies to her role as Chief Executive Officer of the Presidio Trust, a position she assumed in September 2016.

From 2009 to 2015, Jean was the Chief of the San Mateo County Health System, a $650 million organization with 2,200 employees. While there, she advanced active transportation, access to parks and recreational facilities, and progressive land use decisions to promote healthy and sustainable communities.

From 2000 to 2008, she was CEO of the San Francisco Health Plan, a Medi-Cal health plan that developed and managed the Healthy Kids program providing insurance to all uninsured children in San Francisco, as well as the Healthy San Francisco program, a first-in-the-nation health coverage program providing affordable health care to all uninsured San Franciscans.

Jean is a graduate of Yale University and Yale Law School, and of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). She has served on the boards of non-profits working to make Bay Area communities sustainable and equitable including TransForm, the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.


Terry Hartig has spent more than 30 years studying the psychologically restorative and other beneficial effects of contact with nature in residential, work, leisure and institutional contexts. With advanced training in environmental psychology, social ecology and social epidemiology at the University of California (Irvine and Berkeley), he has contributed to the understanding of benefits of nature experience through development of theory, methods, and infrastructure.

He has presented his work to audiences of scientists, professionals and laypersons in more than 30 countries, and is a frequently cited contributor to the international scientific literature. He has a long history of service to applied research communities, currently as president of the Environmental Psychology Division of the International Association for Applied Psychology, as a member of the Coordination Committee of the European Network for Housing Research, and as an editorial board member for the Journal of Environmental Psychology and other journals. He works as Professor of Environmental Psychology with the Institute for Housing and Urban Research and the Department of Psychology at Uppsala University, Sweden.


Chris is nationally recognized for his leadership in waterway and urban water management and for his contribution to establishing Melbourne as a world leader in water sensitive urban design.

At Melbourne Water, he was instrumental in building and leading the Waterways business providing waterway management and developer services to a region of five million people. His strong leadership and personal vision helped transform services with a focus on a vision of ‘Life and liveability’.

Chris was the founding CEO of the Office of Living Victoria (OLV), an agency established by the Victorian Government bringing agencies together to ensure water was planned for and used in ways that support and enhance the liveability of Melbourne.
He has chaired a number of Ministerial advisory committees related to urban and water planning that have led to significant planning and legislative reforms and was recently appointed by the Minister for Water to chair the Birrarung Council, a new statutory body, which brings together Traditional Owners and community to act as the ‘voice for the Yarra River. Chris continues to contribute to the management of Victoria’s water resources as a Commissioner of the Victorian Environmental Water Holder and supports practitioners involved in the shaping of our cities through his role as Chairman of a not for profit organization, Loci Environment and Place (Vic).

Currently, Chris is a key strategic thinker at the Co-operative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities where he leads research into integrated urban and water planning. He also continues to influence the industry through a number of advisory panels for Melbourne Water, the Victorian Planning Authority and the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability and Urban Development Institute of Australia.


Jayne is the President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (PPC), a U.S. nationally recognized parks conservancy. The PPC was founded in 1996 by a group of citizens concerned with the deteriorating conditions of Pittsburgh’s historic city parks. To date, the PPC has raised over $112M for Pittsburgh parks and has completed 20 major improvement projects.

Currently active in 22 parks, the PPC is poised to raise its profile even further; working with the City for a parks referendum in 2019 and creating a unified governance structure with the PPC being responsible for management, operation and development of all Pittsburgh parks. The Pittsburgh Park System is a diverse park system with 4765 acres of parkland that include 5 historic regional parks that account for over 2000 acres and frame the park system.

From November 2010 through February 2018, Jayne served as the Superintendent of the nationally renowned and CAPRA accredited Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB). The MPRB has been recognized for the last six years, 2013-2018, by the Trust for Public Land as the #1 Park System in the United States and for the last 3 years, 2016-2018, by the National Recreation & Park Association as a Gold Medal Finalist. The MPRB is a diverse system of land and water spanning 6,804 acres of parkland and water featuring 179 parks with 22 lakes serving approximately 23 million visitors annually.

Jayne serves on the board of the World Urban Parks, currently serving as board chair, and also serves as a board member of the City Parks Alliance and Indiana University Executive Development Program. She is also a commissioner on the Commission on Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies. Jayne served as a Founding Member of Editorial Board for the Journal of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism in Public Health.

Enrique Peñalosa

The Major of Bogotá is a worldwide leader in the urban field who has contributed significantly to the improvement of many cities with his vision and proposals. His work is focused on the areas of sustainability, mobility and public space related to equity and well-being as well as the definition of organizational mechanisms to achieve the goals set by cities.

Peñalosa has been a keynote speaker on environment, urbanism and urban policy at forums and universities around the world and has worked as a consultant for governments in Asia, Latin America and the United States.

As the Major of Bogotá, the capital of Colombia with over 7 million inhabitants, Peñalosa transformed the city, changing it from a city with serious and increasing problems, without self-esteem and hopeless to be during some years a model and an international example in sustainability, mobility and improvement of quality of life and equity.

He conceived Bogotá’s bicycle lane network when there was no infrastructure of this type anywhere else in America, or in European cities such as Paris, London or Madrid, and built more than 250 kilometers of the bike lanes. He built more than 60 kilometers of motorways for bicycles and linear parks structured around bike lanes. The best protection and the best status granted to cyclists made the participation of the bicycle as a mode of transport increase from 0.2% in 1998 to 7% in 2015.

He conceived and built two linear parks, of unprecedented magnitude in the developing world: the Juan Amarillo, 35 kilometer-long, which required great efforts to decontaminate streams and wetlands, linking neighborhoods with low and high income levels; and “Alameda El Porvenir, 23 kilometer-long, for pedestrians and cyclists, through some of Bogota’s poorest neighborhoods.


The Director of the District Institute of Recreation and Sports (IDRD) was born in Bogotá 46 years ago. He studied architecture at Universidad La Gran Colombia and has a specialization in Construction Management of Universidad Javeriana and an MBA from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Barcelona).

In 1998, during Enrique Peñalosa’s first administration, he worked as a project advisor in the Administrative Department of District Community Action and was part of the project Works with Pedagogical Balance. He also worked as coordinator of the Technical Area of ​​the Executive Unit of Localities (UEL).

In 2004 he was advisor of the Family Subsidy Program of Social Interest Housing in the Vice Ministry of Environment, Housing and Territorial Development and in 2015 he formed the promoter team that promoted Enrique Peñalosa’s second mayoralty, and was the manager of the mobilization team of the campaign as well.

He is a great executor and leader. He has a broad experience in evaluating, structuring and managing civil works construction projects. Since last January 4, 2018 he is the General Director of the District Institute of Recreation and Sport (IDRD), an entity that is currently one of the most recognized by the people of Bogota thanks to the work and the sports and recreational revolution that the city is experiencing.

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