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Introducing 15-Minute City Forum Panelists and Moderator


Alex Bozikovic, Architecture Critic and Journalist at the Globe and Mail (Panelist)

In his columns, Alex mixes reporting and critical analysis to reveal what is happening in the built environment and to advocate for buildings and better cities. Alex’s work spans a diverse range of urban topics including affordable housing, post-pandemic future, urban design and how architecture shapes our daily lives. 

Alex’s work consistently situates architectural projects in a social context to give an understanding of why design matters and advocates for good architecture. He is the co-author of Toronto Architecture: A City Guide (2017). Alex has won a National Magazine Award and has also written for design publications such as Azure, Blueprint, Dwell, Spacing and Wallpaper.

Notably, Alex was a guest speaker on the Big Story podcast, which focused on how we can build 15-minute cities where we live and how to make changes for the future.   


Neluka Leanage, Founder of an award-winning startup called SafeGround and Principal at groundSHIFT consulting. (Panelist)

Neluka is devoted to fostering vibrant, safe and inclusive places for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. She brings together her expertise and passion to challenge current thinking with data-driven, equity and user-experience lenses to inform plans, strategies and frameworks.

She has led many active transportation and trails plans, walkability and safety audits, as well as, served on the Steering Committee for The Centre for Active Transportation for 4 years.

Neluka is a PhD candidate at the School of Planning at University of Waterloo with a focus on active transit, public spaces, liveability and transformational solutions to urban challenges. She has led research and published on the topics of future-proofing cities with pedestrian-oriented development, smart growth, uneven residential intensification and overcoming obstacles to sustainable urban development. She has led key research on downtowns and building active communities in indigenous and other urban settings. Notably, Neluka co-authored a discussion paper looking at how the 15-minute walking city can save intensification hubs in and beyond COVID-19.


Cherise Burda, Executive Director at City Building Ryerson, which is a university-wide collaborative to advance multidisciplinary urban research. (Moderator)

Cherise a strategic thinker that leverages her experience and leadership skills to bring together research, policy analysis and leaders from diverse backgrounds to tackle today’s critical urban challenges and advance sustainable solutions.  Previously, Cherise Burda was the Ontario Director of the Pembina Institute, where she led the transportation, climate and clean energy policy in Ontario. She also held positions as senior researcher at University of Victoria’s Eco-Research Chair of Environmental Law and Policy and as program director with the David Suzuki Foundation. She holds a Masters in Environmental Policy from University of Victoria as well as a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Bachelor of Education, both from University of Toronto.

Her expertise in engagement and communication is an asset to advance sustainable solutions for a better future.


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