Ph.D. candidate receives Leadership Award for Cycling Promotion

Friday, April 15, 2011 9:32:00 AM

Students News

Lake Sagaris(Photo from

Lake Sagaris was awarded the Leadership Award for Cycling Promotion at the Velo-City 2011 conference in Seville, Spain in March 2011.  The award was presented by the Cycling Embassy of Denmark, a network of cycling experts from Danish cities, private companies and NGO's.  Lake is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Geography's Program in Planning and President of Ciudad Viva (Living City) in Santiago, Chile. She is completing her doctoral research under the supervision of Professor Andre Sorensen (Department of Geography, U of T Scarborough).

The judges stated that "Lake Sagaris is an outstanding example of how a committed activist can raise public awareness and mobilize citizens in a joint effort to demand a livable city. The results of her great dedication and professionalism are an inspiration not only to Chile but also to the rest of the world."  Through her work with Ciudad Viva in Chile, she has created a platform for the different voices of the city to be heard - cross income, gender and age. Through Ciudad Viva, the citizens of Santiago are now playing an active part in creating a happier, greener and safer city. 

Lake has lived in Santiago, Chile for the past 30 years, covering the movement for democracy against the Pinochet regime for the London Times, Globe and Mail, Miami Herald, CBC, CTV and other media, and actively working on neighbourhood issues and rebuilding democracy once the military regime ended. As an elected leader of the Bellavista neighbourhood association, she was one of a group of 25 grassroots market and neighbourhood associations that founded Living City, in 2000. She holds a M.Sc. in Planning (U of T, 2006).  Her research focuses on citizens' participation in urban transport and other planning, particularly governance structures for institutionalizing this, and places and spaces for building the citizen learning necessary for its effectiveness.

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