Read all the latest news and updates from Ifpra - June 2014
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A word from the President

EmanuelI am writing this from Penang, Malaysia, where I have been attending the Urban Greenspace and Ifpra Asia Pacific Conference. Our hosts, the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia and Municipal Council of Penang, have excelled themselves by putting on a great mix of presentations, park visits and hospitality. Our tour busses even enjoyed police escorts to help us through Penang’s bustling traffic.

We have just come off the stage at the gala dinner, where there had been traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian dancers, and where we announced the first Ifpra Academy Certified International Parks Professionals. Five successful applicants also attended the conference.

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Tell us about the 'best' green space

Alain de Botton, author of The Architecture of Happiness, explains the vital role played by the urban park: “In the midst of a busy city, a park becomes quite literally an oasis and a tree can bring about an epiphany no less intense than a beautiful painting”.

We want you to tell us which park – ideally an urban park or open space – you rate highest. Tell us briefly why this particular park wins your seal of approval.

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Ifpra Academy CIPP Awardees

Congratulations to the following people who received their Certified International Park Professional certificates at the Malaysia Urban Green Space and Ifpra Asia Pacific Conference 2014 held in Penang, Malaysia, last week: Chris Rutherford, Nic Crous, Yoritaka Tashiro, Kenzo Oguchi and Digby Whyte.

Congratulations also to the following awardees who were not in attendance at the conference: Christy Boylan, Steve Wolter, Neil McCarthy, Dr. Richard Hendrick and Russel Wedge.

For more information about the Certified International Park Professional certification or the Ifpra Academy, visit:

Sokolniki Park competition

By Digby Whyte, Ifpra CEO
I’m writing this contribution in Moscow’s largest and most-visited metropolitan park, which is in the heart of the city. Sokolniki Park, at 515 ha, is Moscow’s larger answer to New York’s Central Park. For 200 years the park has been a favourite of Muscovites to enjoy nature, recreation, sport, and cultural activity.

However, the Ministry of Culture and Mosgorpark (Moscow’s parks department) are on a park renaissance roll. They recently launched a major international competition to determine the best concept for the comprehensive redevelopment of the park, and have engaged the public, experts, and an international jury to choose the winning entry from 79 applicants - of which, by far the most were from the Netherlands.

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Moscow metropolitan parks

By Digby Whyte, Ifpra CEO
Part of gaining an understanding of the place of Sokolniki Park among Moscow’s large metropolitan parks included visiting Gorky and VDNH parks. Although under separate departments, both parks have enjoyed recent capital renewal and restoration.

Gorky Park, Moscow’s oldest and perhaps most famous park, on the banks of the Moskva River, was the first of the new Mosgorpark (Moscow Department of Parks and Recreation) major parks to undergo an international competition for its development.

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Jane Goodall launches IUCN World Parks Congress’ Education Programme

Renowned environmentalist Dr Jane Goodall launched the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's World Parks Congress’ Education Programme in Australia on 11 June.

The Congress is held just once a decade and is often referred to as ‘the Environmental Olympics’.

The Congress takes place this year in Australia, at Sydney Olympic Park from 12 – 19 November.

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URBANBEES – bee awareness for cities

URBANBEES is planning meetings in 20 European cities for city park managers to raise awareness of the critical biodiversity value of wild bees and the need to create good conditions to host wild bees.

The URBANBEES project team wants to hear from Ifpra urban manager members keen to assist in organising the meetings, which aim to explain how all cities can easily improve wild bee conservation and become pollinator-friendly with very simple actions.

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Europe Ifpra members measuring parks user satisfaction

By Chris Rutherford
How satisfied are your park users? How do you know?

From July through the summer months a number of Ifpra Europe members are going to be participating in the Yardstick Parks User Survey.

If your organisation would like to measure its levels of service and benchmark the results with other organisations in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, consider joining the project.

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Yardstick benchmark of the month

This regular item shares a little of the value of Yardstick each month from the 2013 data for Parkcheck members in Europe, North America, Africa and Australasia. This month’s benchmark looks at the provision of street trees per 1,000 residents.

Visit the Yardstick Global website for more information about Yardstick>>

Upcoming events

We have an exciting schedule of events planned in fascinating locations all over the world. For information about all upcoming Ifpra conferences and events, visit our website.

Visit the Ifpra Congresses & Events section of our website>>

Contributions sought

We welcome your contributions to keep the newsletter interesting, vibrant and relevant. Contributed articles up to 1,000 words in length are preferred, and each should ideally be accompanied by a photo or image.

If you have a news article, research summary, event report or photo to share with the Ifpra community, please email Ifpra CEO Digby Whyte at or James Heffield, Ifpra Communications, at
Copyright © 2014 International Federation of Parks and Recreation Administration, All rights reserved.

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