Do thirteen year-olds really intuitively know more than trained engineers about how to plan and build a healthier, more livable future for your city? Gil Penalosa would say, “yes.”
That’s just part of the message 8-80 Cities advocate Penalosa delivered as the lunchtime speaker at the Greater Phoenix Friends of Transit conference on February 28. If you weren’t there, you can get a feel for Penalosa’s passion and message by viewing his TEDx Talk.
To Penalosa, it’s about creating cities that are great experiences for all, whether you are an eight year-old, a thirteen year-old or an 80 year-old person. Getting there isn’t about benchmarking against what is, but about what can be. For him the keys are vision and leadership. It’s not about how hard it will be to make better cities, but how great it will be.
As cities around the state work to find new livability solutions, Penalosa’s passion comes through loud and clear, and his advice on where to put our energies is succinct: we need to be all about solutions to problems and not the problems related to the solutions.