The latest news and updates from World Urban Parks
Congress Edition | October 2016
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World and Europe Congresses a success

Dr Digby Whyte, World Urban Parks CEO

It has been great to see so many of our international colleagues in person at the World Urban Parks and IERM Congress in Cape Town, South Africa and the World Urban Parks Europe Region and Hortis Congress in Albi, France.

Some fascinating ideas have been shared, ranging from Judy Ling-Wong's presentation on applying National Park principles in urban environments to a presentation on the parks of Tatarstan from Presidential Assistant Natalia Fishman. We have also collaborated in some vibrant workshops on the challenges faced by Europe's urban parks and the World Parks Academy.

We have heard about inspiring projects, important research and visited historic parks and sites where new techniques and technology have been implemented. We have had important opportunities to make contact with like-minded professionals from around the world, and put our heads together to share ideas and tackle challenges.

We have also committed to protect and develop urban parks. I hope you will spread the message far and wide to encourage more people around the world to recognise the value urban parks and green spaces provide. This is our role as advocates for the benefits parks and open spaces bring to our cities.

In addition to major World Urban Parks congresses, we also have upcoming events planned at the United Nations Habitat III conference, which started in Equador today and a panel event at the IFLA AR-URBIO Conference in Panama, not to mention a busy month of conferences at several national associations, including the NRPA Annual Conference, which took place in St Louis earlier this month, and the Parks and Leisure Australia National Conference at the end of the month.

As a consequence, this month's World Park News is a short edition, focussed on sharing some highlights of our Congress activity. We will return to our normal format next month.

In the meantime, I hope all in attendance at both congresses have had the opportunity to gain valuable insight, make meaningful connections and be inspired. Thank you to all the presenters and delegates, and to our our outstanding World and Europe Region Congress partners IERM and Hortis who gave their time to deliver excellent congresses.

Resolutions recognise value of urban parks

World Urban Parks media release

Leading parks professionals and parks agencies from around the world resolved to protect and enhance the world’s urban parks and green spaces in the face of looming global challenges at the World Urban Parks and IERM Congress in South Africa.

Read the media release >>

Europe's park leaders explore global solutions

World Urban Parks media release

The future of Europe’s urban parks and open spaces was discussed by leading parks officials and researchers at a meeting in the world heritage city of Albi, France.

Over 300 delegates attended the joint World Urban Parks Europe Region and Hortis Congress, which ran from 4–7 October and tapped into a global network of ideas and collaboration to build an impressive future for Europe’s historic parks and open spaces.

Read the media release >>

Second World Urban Parks Congress report

The second World Urban Parks congress was held at the President Hotel, Cape Town from 26-28 September, in partnership with the Institute of Environment and Recreation Management of South Africa and their annual convention.

Read the Congress Report>>

IFLA AR-URBIO Conference

Panama City, Panama | 25-27 October 2016

The World Urban Parks Americas Region is supporting the IFLA AR-URBIO Conference 2016, hosted by Urban Biodiversity and Design (URBIO) and the International Federation of Landscape Architects, Americas Region (IFLA-Americas) in Panama City from 25-27 October.

There will be a World Urban Parks panel on the theme of Cities within Landscapes: the Roles and Values of an Urban Parks System on 27 October. The panel will include Chair Gil Penalosa of Canada, Americas Region Co-Chairs Martha Fajardo of Colombia and Keith Anderson of the USA, as well as David Ellis, who is from Lethbridge, Canada. This will be the main opportunity for many World Urban Parks Americas Region members to get together.

Last chance to register>>

Event: NZRA National Conference

Queenstown, New Zealand | 9-11 November 2016

The New Zealand Recreation Association's National Conference 2016 will be held in Queenstown, one of the world's hot spots for high-quality recreation experiences. Network with recreation professionals, hear presentations on technology and sustainability, and embark on fantastic field trips.

Visit the event website to find out more or register>>

Event: IPRS Conference, Singapore

Singapore | 29 November - 2 December 2016

The Institute of Parks and Recreation Singapore is hosting this event at Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre. International speakers from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond have been secured, and this conference will feature tours of Singapore's landmark green spaces.

Read more and register via the event programme>>

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.

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