She Builds Cities.org
is a celebration of the many women who are making cities more liveable.
In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half our human population, 3.3 billion people, will be living in urban areas. By 2030, this is expected to swell to almost 5 billion. Half of these will be women. People are moving to urban areas seeking new opportunities, new options, freedom in choices, and better resources. Women in particular believe that they can improve their status, position, and their children’s opportunities by seeking work and educational opportunities for themselves or their children in the cities. Many even venture beyond their own countries in search of a better quality of life. Billions of women have an important role to play in building the cities of tomorrow.
I am Leslie Woo . This site is inspired by many amazing women – DIVAS – some who I call friends, some who I have worked with and some who I have admired at a distance. A special shout-out to the 34 women of the IWF Womens’ Fellowship Class of 2011-2012 with whom I explored leadership from all angles. This site is the legacy from that year, a year that brought me an arresting clarity. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know, and when my eyes opened … much of what was okay for me before, would never be okay again – like the fact that women around the world are under-estimated, under-valued and when it comes to cities, under-celebrated.
From my small perch in Toronto, Canada, everyday I am navigating a way forward to own the change needed to transform our cities and towns into places of beauty, fairness and harmony. In my day job I head the planning for one of North America’s most aggressive multi-billion dollar city building ventures through public transit expansion. I practice public policy making, urban and regional planning and transit oriented development, in an industry where women are under-represented . Just to be clear, this is a venture to expose how much women around the world are a fundamental part of building a hopeful future.
Leslie Woo on LInkedin
“No one else knows what I am capable of but myself” Ann Miura Ko, Co-founding Partner FLOODGATE (October 2012)