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The latest news and updates from World Urban Parks
December 2016
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Fresh thinking, new partnerships, and a call for more champions

Gil Penalosa, World Urban Parks Chair

It has been a year of growth for World Urban Parks. After collecting your feedback on some of your most pressing challenges facing urban park management, planning, and advocacy we have re-freshed and expanded our portfolios and committees. We have also forged new strategic partnerships, and expanded our membership.

Parks have the power to address some of our most important global challenges. As advocates and park professionals we know this, but parks are still under threat. Our committees should reflect the wide-ranging benefits of parks to everyone, young, and old, rich or poor, in developed countries and developed countries.

We have identified four new focus areas and committees that will help strengthen World Urban Parks as an organisation and meet both our short and long term organisational objectives. Our new committees include Parks and Older Adults; Children, Play, and Nature; Healthy Parks, Healthy Cities; and Green Infrastructure.

We need your participation and advice! We are looking for strong leaders to chair and co-chair these new committees. We encourage organizational members to open the opportunity for your staff to get involved in committees, based on their relevant experience or interest. Make sure the benefits and services of World Urban Parks go beyond the one contact person. Share our newsletter in social media as well as with staff, encourage colleagues to be members of committees, the new ones as well as the established ones like Large Urban Parks, Membership, Marketing and others.

The executive committee has also been hard at work formalising partnerships such as recently signing Memorandums of Understanding with the International Federation of Landscape Architects and International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI).

Lastly, our membership is increasing due to the commitment of a few very enthusiastic champions, but we need more of you involved in the process. A big thank you to those that have invited organisations to become members and a call to action to all others. We are a member based organisation, and our success in networking, knowledge sharing, influencing the conversation on parks and city building, as well as financial strength, depends on maintaining current members and attracting new ones. Everyone’s help is much appreciated.

I wish everyone and your families a great holiday season and all the best in 2017.

Hortis and Europe Region Congress Report

The World Urban Parks Europe Region Congress was held from 5-7 October in partnership with French association for urban parks management Hortis and its annual congress. The venue was the Grand Theatre in the UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Albi, France.

Themed Green Heritage and Green Infrastructure: Evolution or Revolution in Society, the superbly hosted congress attracted 374 enthusiastic registrants, featuring 46 speakers and workshop presenters (17 international) plus regional Hortis presenters and technical tour leaders for a dozen local destinations.

Read more>>

A Memorandum of Understanding with ICLEI

A Memorandum of Understanding for ongoing partnership between the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and World Urban Parks was signed at on 11 December at the 5th Global Biodiversity Summit of Cities and Subnational Governments.

From 9 to 11 December, 700 delegates from over 70 countries gathered in Cancun, Mexico for this event, where they focused on ways to mainstream biodiversity as part of development planning.

Read more>>

Parks of the World

Jubileumsparken, Gothenburg | Helena Bjarnegård, Sweden

The first phase of Jubileumsparken (the Jubilee Park) will be inaugurated on Gothenburg’s 400-year anniversary on 4 June 2021.

This large urban park is planned to be a meeting place for everyone, characterised by biodiversity and with a close proximity to the water.

Read more>>

Visit World Urban Parks on social media

We have produced an infographic illustrating the statistics from our Facebook page, the World Urban Parks Europe Facebook page, Twitter and LinkedIn. Please visit and contribute. Your colleagues are interested in what's going on at your workplace and in your comments.

Use @WUParks in your tweets if they are of interest to members, and if you share the news and 'like' what you see, you will help expand the network.

View the infographic>>

World Parks Academy webinar series

The next World Parks Academy webinar will be presented by Emmanuel Maphorogo, Regional Manager at Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo on 11 January. It will focus on the impacts of urbanization on communities’ physical and social health using case studies from South Africa and other international locations.

The World Parks Academy welcomes presenters looking to share their knowledge. If you would like to be a presenter, contact Hana Cleveland at the Eppley Institute of Parks and Public Lands with a brief outline of your presentation concept. Past webinars in the 2016-17 webinar series can be accessed online for continuing education units towards World Parks Academy Certified Parks Professional (CPP) accreditation and revalidation.

Register for the Social and Health Benefits of Parks webinar>>

Good practices from Parque del Agua, Zaragoza

The Large Urban Parks Committee's Good Practices Working Group is preparing a good practices database. As part of this project, Alberto Ipas, Managing Director for the Municipal Society of Zaragoza, Spain, shared good practices from large urban park Parque del Agua.

To expand the database you are invited to contact Co-chair of the Good Practices Working Party Peter Verdyck with good practices suitable for large urban parks. Succinct examples should be submitted in MS Word or PowerPoint format, together with the location and contact details of the park.

View good practices from Parque del Agua>>

Recommended research articles

Selected by the World Urban Parks Applied Research Working Group

This month's recommended research articles from around the world comprise an interesting study on the impacts of different green space on apartment prices in Helsinki, and a comparison of the types of parks visited in weekdays versus weekends in Berlin. Read the abstracts>>

Making the case for healthy places

The Project for Public Spaces recently released The Case for Healthy Places, a report summarising the evidence for improving public health outcomes through making places for healthy activity.

Read the report summary>>

Take part in the International Challenge

Communities are invited to take part in the International Challenge, an evaluation of the efforts of communities towards their heritage areas and green spaces.

The International Challenge evaluates winners from national assessments in an annual international awards programme. Participants include Communities in Bloom (Canada), Britain in Bloom, America in Bloom, Tidy Towns of Ireland, Japan in Bloom, Entente Florale and Comuni Fioriti.

To find out how to register for participation, or information on getting your national association involved, please contact Communities in Bloom President Raymond Carrière via email or phone 001-514-912-6535.

For more information, visit the International Challenge webpage>>

Event: Canadian Parks Conference 2017

Banff, Canada | 8-11 March 2017

Themed 'Parks for all', this conference will build on the momentum and outcomes of the 2016 Canadian Parks Summit. The conference is bi-lingual, and will be presented in English and French. To find out more view an early conference flyer or visit

For more information, visit the event website>>

Event: C&NN International Conference

Vancouver, Canada | 18-21 April 2017

The Children & Nature Network will hold their International Conference in collaboration with the Canadian Wildlife Federation in April 2017. Starting with a summit on Nature for an Urban World, the conference includes presentations on learning, advocacy and helping communities connect with nature.

For more information or to register, visit the event website>>

Event: Greater and Greener 2017

Minneapolis and St. Paul, USA | 29 July - 2 August 2017

Greater & Greener is the two-yearly conference of the City Parks Alliance. Early bird registrations are open until 3 March 2017, special rates apply for World Urban Parks members, and World Urban Parks will co-present a day-long International Forum at the event on 2 August 2017.

Find out more>>

Upcoming events

We have an exciting schedule of events planned in fascinating locations all over the world. A list of upcoming training events is listed on the World Parks Academy website.

For information about all upcoming World Urban Parks conferences and events, visit the Congresses & Events section of our website.

Call for contributions

We welcome your contributions to keep the World Park News interesting, vibrant and relevant. Contributed articles of up to 1,000 words in length are preferred, and each should ideally be accompanied by at least one photo or image.

If you have a news article, research summary, event report or photo to share with the World Urban Parks community, please email CEO Digby Whyte at or Fraser May, Communications, at

Please note: member associations are welcome to forward selected articles from their e-newsletters and e-magazines for publication.

Join World Urban Parks

Organisations and individuals interested in connecting internationally for advocacy, best practice and collaboration are invited to join World Urban Parks.

Members of World Urban Parks are invited to share the one-page 'Pocket Prospectus' with colleagues who they believe will benefit and add value to the organisation.

Members can now join online and pay by secure credit card or separately by bank transfer. Individual annual membership is $50 USD while organisations pay on a scale relative to their size.

Please share World Park News with staff and friends

Copyright © 2016 World Urban Parks, All rights reserved.

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World Urban Parks
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Manners Street
Wellington 6142
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