Enrique Penalosa – Keynote Speaker

Mayor of Bogota and leading sustainability and mobility in cities advocate

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Enrique Penalosa Profile Picture

Specialist Subjects

  • Urban Vision
  • Urban design and policy
  • Transportation and Development Policy
  • Transportation Reinvention
  • Sustainability


  • Spanish


Enrique Penalosa is an internationally respected urban thinker, who, as Mayor of Bogota in two non-consecutive terms, profoundly transformed his city. As advisor and lecturer, he has influenced policies in many cities throughout the world.

His advisory work concentrates on urban mobility, quality of life, competitiveness, sustainability, and the leadership required to turn visions into realities.

Penalosa has lectured in hundreds of cities and in the world´s most important universities. He has advised governments in Asia, Africa, Australia, Latin America and the United States.

He was President of the Board of New York´s ITDP (Institute for Transportation and Development Policy) of New York for over a decade; member of the CITISCOPE Board of Directors; member of the London School of Economics´ Cities Program Advisory Board; and is a Fellow of the Institute for Urban Research of the University of Pennsylvania. He was member of the Commission for the Reinvention of Transport of the Metropolitan Transit -Authority created by the New York Governor Cuomo.

He recently published the book Ciudad, Igualdad, Felicidad (City, Equality, Happiness) which will also be published in English by the University of Pennsylvania and in Portuguese by the IPP (Instituto Pereira Passos) in Rio.

As Mayor of Bogota Penalosa profoundly transformed the 8 million inhabitants city, changing it from one with neither bearings, nor self-esteem or hope into an international model for improvements in quality of life, mobility, equity, and sustainability.

Penalosa is not only an urban innovator who has influenced many cities but a leader, a team maker, and a risk taker. He conceives projects and turns them into realities. He undertook projects where there was certainty of conflict and a high risk of visible failure; he confronted powerful opposition and has persevered and achieved the sought results.

Enrique Penalosa was Advisor to the BMW Guggenheim Lab, a cultural program that engages a new generation of leaders in architecture, art, science, design, technology and education in order to work on the challenges of our urban future.

Penalosa has been awarded important international recognitions such as the Stockholm Challenge; the Gotenburg Sustainability Prize; the 2018 Edmund N. Bacon Award, the highest tribute of The Center for Design and Architecture of Philadelphia, given to him because of ¨the world-wide influence his pioneering initiatives have had on public transportation, infrastructure investment, and public space, including in cities such as Philadelphia and New York City¨. For Penalosa´s work Bogota was awarded the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale.

Penalosa has a BA in Economics and History from Duke University, a Degree in Government from the IIAP (now fused with ENA) in France and a DESS in Public Administration from the University of Paris 2 Pantheon-Assas. He was also a Visiting Scholar at New York University for 2 years.

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