Show No. 38: The Making of a Happier City with Gil Peñalosa

Show Summary

Award-winning Canadian writer, Charles Montgomery, in his book titled Happy City wrote that “The latest wave of experiments in public space can be traced back to Bogota, and the moment when a quirky idea found its champion in an accidental city bureaucrat.” For today’s show, we tracked down that accidental bureaucrat by the name of Gil Peñalosa… and it took us all the way to Malaysia!

It’s life, music, talk – all grown up!

00:05:00 into the Show

Talk with special guest, Gil Peñalosa

Gil Peñalosa (Photo: 8 80 Cities)
Gil Peñalosa (Photo: 8 80 Cities)

Gil Peñalosa was instrumental in helping to change the conditional landscape of Bogota with his infusion of inclusionary events, interactive green spaces and recreational life – he has helped in part to change the perspective on how cities can positively influence people – if we work to incorporate the most vulnerable in its design. He now works out of an organization he founded based in Toronto called 8 80 Cities where he travels to places around the world to spread his message of possibilities.

Tune in as Gil Peñalosa shares on how to make cities not only happier – but healthier and more vibrant.

00:47:47 into the Show

Death and Life in City Parks

Jane Jacobs as chairperson of a Greenwich Village civic group at a 1961 press conference.
Jane Jacobs as chairperson of a Greenwich Village civic group, 1961 press conference.

In her book “The Death and Life of Great American CitiesJane Jacobs asks the question “Why are there so often no people where the parks are and no parks where the people are?” Tune in to weigh thoughts on what can turn parks into either danger zones or a coveted public space full of conviviality and positive human connection.

00:55:07 into the Show

What to Expect from Future Shows

Although we are on show no. 38, this will be our first show to air on 99.1 CJAM FM – so I’d like to take a moment to tell you a bit about what you can expect in the future. The tagline of this show is “Life / Music / Talk – all grown up.” So I’m going to spend my time here with you talking about things that can make our lives better – happier – things that we should know more about. I’ll throw some politics in there from time to time… culture for sure; and I’ll talk with others about how we can improve the places in which we live, and how we can avoid isolating others in the process.

And since we are broadcasting this content out of a border city, I hope to have conversations that bring us closer together and help us appreciate both the similarities and differences between our countries – the United States and Canada.

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