Gary Davidson

Dr. Gary Davidson is President of the Davidson Group and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners with over 30 years experience in a comprehensive range of planning, municipal management and teaching, including: public administration, governance, public participation conflict resolution, rural planning, waste management, community economic development, tourism, strategic planning and climate change adaptation.  His projects have taken him to many parts of Canada as well as England, Cuba, Guyana, Ukraine, China and The Philippines.  Dr. Davidson has been a principal researcher for CIP’s major climate change initiatives, both with Natural Resources Canada and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. He is a past President of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and the Canadian Institute of Planners.

George McKibbon

George McKibbon (M.C.I.P., R.P.P., A.I.C.P.) is the Ontario Professional Planners Institute's Director of Policy Development and a Council member.  He has over 35 years of planning experience and is a graduate of the University of Guelph (M.Sc., Rural Planning and Development) and York University (Masters in Environmental Studies).  He is a Registered Professional Planner in Ontario, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners in the United States and a Charter Member of the American Planning Association.  He has been the Director of Policy of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute from 2007 to the present and was the Canadian Representative on the Upstate New York Chapter Board of the American Planning Association (2003 to 2008).  He helped draft OPPI's Healthy Communities Policy Statement and Call to Action released on World Town Planning Day in November 2007 and has been involved in its implementation ever since.  He has also spoken on this subject to planners on several occasions in the United States and Ontario.

Gil Peñalosa

gil penalosaAn international leader in creating great cities and communities through active public spaces, Guillermo (Gil) Peñalosa is passionate about realizing the potential of great places to foster healthier communities with happier residents.  Gil will be this year's CAPS-ACEAU opening key note speaker.

Following years of private and public sector senior managerial experience, the Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia (population 7 million), appointed him Commissioner of Parks, Sport and Recreation for the City. Gil led his team to create one of the most successful and renowned parks and recreation systems in the world. Together with his team, Gil:

  • Transformed corporate culture from a bureaucratic orientation to a service focus, through an internal educational process and implementation of success indicators.
  • Successfully opened 91 kilometers of car-free city roads on Sundays, the Ciclovia, where over 1.5 m. people come out weekly to walk, run, skate and bike.
  • Created many recreational events, from small neighborhood activities to major events such as the Summer Festival with over 100 activities and attendance of 3 million people.
  • Re-designed the Master Plan for Simon Bolivar Park (360 hectares), renovated the 30% that was operating and constructed the central park area of 113 hectares which is now one of the world’s most successful parks with over 6 million visitors per year.
  • Designed and Built 3 metropolitan parks, 15 zone parks, 150 neighborhood parks.
  • Formulated the City’s Master Plan.
  • Developed strategies that generated new resources from sponsors and partnerships.

Gil also worked for 5 years as a Strategic Leader at the City of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada (Pop 700,000). There he was Manager of the Recreation and Parks 30 year Master Plan, led strategic Placemaking initiatives, worked on creating many great ppspublic places and helped form a new inter-agency task force called “Building the City of the 21st Century.” Having known Project for Public Spaces (PPS) from his days in Bogotá, he brought in PPS to collaborate on these efforts, training the city staff in Placemaking and guiding high profile Placemaking projects for the city centre.  He is now a Senior Associate with PPS and has led several significant projects with PPS in recent years including Calle Michoacan, in Mexico City, Parque Metropolitano, in Guadalajara and Walkable Edmonton in Canada.


Gil collaborates as Senior Consultant for the renowned Danish firm Gehl Architects and serves on the Boards of Directors of American Trails , City Parks Alliance.

penalosaIn addition to his work as a successful international speaker and consultant, Gil is also Executive Director of the Canadian 8 - 80 Cities (formerly Walk and Bike for Life). In his presentations and workshops on creating better communities, Gil develops the strong links between Walking, Bicycling, Parks and Trails, with economic development, cleaning up our environment, improving personal and public health, enhancing our transportation systems, and providing recreation for people of all genders, ages and abilities.

Gil earned a Master in Business Administration from UCLA’s Management School. He lives in Ontario, Canada and enjoys outdoor activities with his wife and their three children.

Source: Project for Public Spaces and Walk and Bike for Life

Guest Speakers/Conférencier Invité


CAPS-ACEAU 2010 Conference Speakers

Click here for the full 2010 conference program featuring all of these wonderful speakers.  And be sure to check out all of the exciting student presentations and poster displays to be featured at this year's event.


Gil Peñalosa This year's opening key note speaker, Guillermo (Gil) Peñalosa is an international leader in creating great cities and communities through active public spaces.  Gil is the former Commissioner of Parks, Sport and Recreation for the City of Bogotá, Colombia and the current Executive Director at 8 - 80 Cities (formerly Walk and Bike for Life).

Matt Blackett Matthew Blackett is the publisher, creative director and one of the founders of Spacing magazine.  Blackett was named Editor of the Year for 2007 by the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors and was awarded a 2007 Canadian Urban Leadership Award for “City Soul” by the Canadian Urban Institute for his part in creating Spacing.  Matt will be the conference's closing key note speaker.

Elizabeth May Environmentalist, writer, activist, lawyer, and leader of the Green Party of Canada, Elizabeth May will be joining CAPS-ACÉAU 2010 for a special address via Skype during the Thursday opening address.

Sandeep Kumar Agrawal Director of the graduate program in Urban Development at Ryerson University

Beate Bowron Over 30 years of experience and leader of the community adaptation planning components of CIP’s climate change initiatives both in Nunavut and in Canada’s Atlantic Region

Wayne Caldwell Former president of OPPI and an expert on rural communities

Marni Cappe President of the Canadian Institute of Planners, and a Senior Associate of the Canadian Urban Institute

Denise Carnochan University of Guelph's own, Denise is a student of the Rural Planning and Development program and a current land use planner with the County of Huron

Gary Davidson Extensive international experience, past president of  both OPPI and CIP, principal researcher for CIP’s major climate change initiatives

David J.A. Douglas A specialist in all aspects of community and regional development planning, management and governance, with emphasis on rural community economic development and strategic planning and management

Michael Gordon Senior Central Area Planner for the City of Vancouver overseeing planning in the downtown peninsula

David Gurin Former Deputy Commissioner of Transportation for the City of New York and former Commissioner of Planning for the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto

Stew Hilts A leader in farmland preservation in Ontario and Director of the Centre for Land and Water Stewardship.

Colin Lacey Project Manager at Evergreen leading hands-on community engagement, restoration and stewardship activities in Oakville, Downsview Park and Markham

Karen Landman Over 20 years of design practice in addition to planning experience with an interdisciplinary background in horticulture, landscape architecture, rural planning and development, and cultural geography

Pascal Lavoie Program Manager, Asia Region, at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) International

Harold Madi Over 15 years of experience gained across Canada and abroad,  expertise in master planning, revitalization, intensification and urban design strategies

George McKibbon OPPI's Director of Policy Development and a Council member, over 35 years planning experience

Eha Naylor 30 years of consulting experience in landscape architecture and environmental design

Maurice Nelischer Over 27 years teaching, research and practice experience and current director of the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph

Mark Paoli Senior Policy Planner at the County of Wellington and Director of Membership Outreach for OPPI

Lynne Peterson Manager of Planning Innovation in the Provincial Planning Policy Branch

Mohammad Qadeer Professor emeritus of urban and regional planning at Queen’s University, director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning for 10 years and a full time teacher for 30 years

Donald G. Reid Professor Emeritus in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph, Dr. Reid’s research focuses on community development and social planning, as well as, tourism and leisure planning

Dan Sandink Manager of Resilient Communities & Research at the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, an expert on urban flood mitigation, the social dimensions of natural hazard management, disaster mitigation and climate change adaptation

Charles Simon An international reputation in environmental design and founder of the ambitious "Eden Mills Going Carbon Neutral" project

Luc Zandvliet A specialist in building stakeholder engagement strategies for companies operating in "frontier markets", with experience in countries including Nigeria, Nepal, Tanzania, Pakistan, Ghana, Panama, Sri Lanka and Libya

Harold Madi


Harold is a Partner with The Planning Partnership, where his extensive urban planning and urban design background lends to the multi-disciplinary practice of the firm.   With an insightful, ‘big picture’ perspective on all aspects of urbanism from regional policy to streetscape design, Harold often leads large, multi-faceted and visionary projects. With over 15 years of experience gained across Canada and abroad, Harold has developed a respected expertise in master planning, revitalization, intensification and urban design strategies and guidelines for a variety of contexts and scales, including campuses, downtowns, corridors and waterfronts.

Harold gained an Urban and Regional Planning degree from Ryerson University, and a Master of Architecture from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.   Prior to joining The Planning Partnership, Harold was a Senior Associate at Brook McIlroy and then a founding Partner at Office for Urbanism.

Harold has been qualified as both a planner and urban designer before the Ontario Municipal Board.  He is also a faculty member at the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University, where he has been an instructor in planning and urban design for the last 9 years.  Consequently, Harold is often invited to serve as an advisor, panelist, juror and presenter on matters relating to planning and urban design practice, techniques, research and education.

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