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

EmanuelThis month has seen considerable progress on the Malaysia Green Space and Ifpra Asia Pacific Conference, being held in Penang from 24-28 June 2014.

The conference includes a great selection of tours and local and international speakers and offers a dedicated Ifpra member programme the day before on 23 June.

Our regional conferences are one of the highlights of our calendar, providing opportunities to share knowledge and best practice from a uniquely local and international conference program and understand the host nation and city’s approach to urban parks and open space.

It goes without saying that our regional conferences have a reputation as great social and networking events, providing opportunities for Ifpra members to come together and develop working relationships beneficial to their work programs.

Malaysia is particularly suited for the theme of parks as melting pots and venues for environmental learning, given the country’s demographic shifts, multicultural population and the increasing role of urban conservation in the rapidly developing Asia Pacific Region. We can also look forward to different cultural, environmental, and heritage perspectives in Malaysia.

As a modestly funded organisation your executive has been working on creative ways to support this important conference and join our Asia Pacific members. I'm pleased to say that most of us will be there by earning our passage as conference speakers.

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Ifpra medallist profile - Alan Smith

AlanAlan Smith’s significant contribution to Ifpra over 30 years’ service as General Secretary/CEO was recognised with an Ifpra Gold Medal, and uniquely, recognised as a Life Commissioner, during the 2013 World Congress held at Lake Louise, Canada at the end of last year.

In this article we salute Alan’s contribution to Ifpra and share Alan’s thoughts on his time in Ifpra and his wider service and career.

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Valedictory for Dr Mariko Handa

By Makoto Aruji, President of Ifpra Japan

MarikoIt is with great sorrow that I have to inform you that Dr Mariko Handa, Ifpra Commissioner for Japan and Vice President of Ifpra Japan, passed away on February 17, 2014. She was 66. All those in the parks and landscape industry in Japan and worldwide have reacted with shock to her unexpected death. Our thoughts go out to Junko Takeda, her elder sister.

After studying landscape planning and urban ecology at the University of Tokyo, she began work for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and then Department of Parks and Green Spaces, Ministry of Construction.

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Trees and park benches keeping memories alive

By Gilbert Briscoe

Memorial benchSome people want public recognition and others prefer to donate to good causes very quietly. There are many such causes including charities, hospitals, religious organisations and educational grants such as the well-known Rhodes scholarship. It's all about giving something back to the community.

Even local governments have jumped on the bandwagon. It is becoming increasingly common for citizens to donate park benches or have trees planted in a favourite spot, bearing commemorative plaques.

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A tale of two cities

From Daniel Boulens, Director of Green Space for the City of Lyon

Meandering through the cityAn exhibition held in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City earlier this month explored the urban policies and management of Ho Chi Minh City and the City of Lyon, France, and the similarities between both cities.

The “Meandering Through the City” exhibition used over 300 pictures, display panels, videos, 3D animations and touch screens to highlight the innovative urban policies of the two cities through their large urban projects, urban management of public spaces, mobility, and the role of nature in each city.

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Make the most of your Ifpra membership

Ifpra logoAre you making the most of your Ifpra membership? Here are a few tips to make sure you are getting maximum benefit from our organisation, whether you are a corporate member or individual.

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Time to survey your park users

Yardstick logoHave you asked your parks users what is important and how satisfied they are with your parks?

The Ifpra Yardstick Parks User Survey is a face-to-face survey that asks parks users about their levels of expectation and satisfaction with a range of typical parks assets and facilities.

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Yardstick benchmark of the month

This regular section will share 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 “Area of sports parks per 1,000 residents”. Note that the number of members varies per country with only Australia, New Zealand and Denmark reasonably reflective of a national level of provision.

Event: Urban Parks in focus at World Parks Congress

From John Senior, Chair WUPO Task Force

World Parks CongressAre you interested in learning more about how urban parks can positively influence human health and protect the environment? If so, the upcoming World Parks Congress is a must-attend event.

The Congress, being held in Sydney from 12-19 November 2014, is a landmark global forum on parks and protected areas held once every 10 years. The theme is Parks, Planet, People: inspiring solutions.

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Event: Examining partnership approaches to land management

Ifpra member organisation New Zealand Recreation Association is joining forces with Parks Forum to organise an international seminar looking at partnership approaches to management, including co-management of land and marine environments returned to indigenous groups under settlement processes.

The two Australasian lead park agencies will hold the Co-governance and Co-management of Parks and Environments seminar at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington from 16-18 June 2014.

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Event: International rose festival coming to France

Attendees from more than 40 countries are expected to attend the 17th International Convention of the World Federation of Rose Societies in Lyon, France, between 27 May and 1 June 2015. Lyon Roses will offer a series of conferences, visits, events, workshops and encounters with some of the city’s most beautiful rose displays.

Daniel Boulens, Ifpra Commissioner for France and a co-organiser of Lyon Roses, says Ifpra world commissioners can assist by highlighting the event and website to local horticultural societies.

For more information visit

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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