The latest news and updates from World Urban Parks - September 2016
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An AGM, an Annual Report and an update

Dr Digby Whyte, World Urban Parks CEO

It was good to see 52 of our organisations and individual members vote online in the World Urban Parks Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2016. The Annual Report of the first year of World Urban Parks activities was approved, along with our service performance targets and audited financial report.

Voters contributed a helpful list of their most valued World Urban Parks services. We also have a new elected board of 23 voting and two co-opted non-voting directors.

Gil Penalosa, Chair of World Urban Parks and of the AGM, declared the election of the Board following the AGM. The combined board of First Directors and Elected Directors met on 25 August 2016 and appointed the three skills-based directors. The Board also decided to co-opt two non-voting directors to add their expertise.

Jim Griffin, Director of Pittsburgh Parks and Recreation, who narrowly missed election, was co-opted to strengthen agency representation. Rob Small, former CEO of Colac-Otway Shire Council and local government parks and environment director, was co-opted in the skills-based category.

The following table shows the new directors.

Read more>>

Introducing the 2016-17 Executive Committee

We are pleased to announce the new members of the World Urban Parks Executive. These were one-year appointments of directors made by the new Board on 25 August 2016.

Meet the World Urban Parks Executive Committee>>

Parks of the World

Gage Park, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

This month's Park of the World, Gage Park in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, is the first to receive the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects’ new Legacy Project Award.
The Award is intended to recognize distinguished landscape architecture projects that were forward-thinking for their time, are still relevant examples of excellence in the profession of landscape architecture, contributed significantly to their communities, and demonstrated leadership and innovation. The following article is reprinted with kind permission of CSLA.

Read the story of Gage Park >>

World Urban Parks Facebook account live

World Urban Parks is now on Facebook. We look forward to sharing expertise from across our membership, as well as parks news from around the globe. If you have any material to share, don’t hesitate to contact Jenn Halliday via LinkedIn or make a post through one of our social media channels.

Join us on Facebook>>

World Parks Week proposed for 2017

From May 2017 World Urban Parks will champion World Parks Week - an annual opportunity to celebrate our parks and green spaces! This annual event will be held in the first week of May. For this inaugural year, the dates will be 1-7 May 2017.

Read more>>

World Parks Academy webinars continue

The World Parks Academy free one-hour webinar series continues. The next webcast is from 2.00-3.00pm. Eastern Time on 20 September 2016. The topic is Identifying Our Community Needs - What Should We Do?, delivered by Austin Hochstetler. You can register for the webinar here.

Read more>>

The Roles of an Urban Parks System

This overview of contemporary urban parks explores the critical roles urban parks systems play in achieving public sector objectives for culture, recreation, community development, heritage, economic development, health and wellness, natural environment, education, and transportation.

Written by Ryan Schwartz and Dave Ellis, parks manager for the City of Lethbridge, this July 2016 paper is in part based on Benefits of Urban Parks - A Systematic Review, a 2013 meta-study of published research applied to Canada to help cities understand the role and benefits of their parks systems.

Read The Roles of an Urban Parks System>>

Recommended research articles

Selected by the World Urban Parks Applied Research Working Group

This month's recommended research articles from around the world comprises a meta-study of park access as it relates to different socio-economic and ethnic groups, a study on the parks needs of Taiwan’s aging population and a study on the effects of off-leash dog policies in Canada.

Final call for World Congress registrations

Cape Town, South Africa | 26-28 September 2016

This is a final call for registrations for the World Urban Parks Congress, held in conjunction with the Institute of Environment and Recreation Management Annual Convention. World Urban Parks pre-congress meetings have now been incorporated into the main programme.
With over 65 presenters from host South Africa and 15 other countries, the World Urban Parks Congress is a fantastic opportunity to network with colleagues and gain insights into different approaches to parks from around the world in the fantastic surrounds of Cape Town.

Register now>>

Last call for Europe Congress registrations

Albi, France | 5-7 October 2016

This is a final call for registrations for this exciting bi-lingual congress, held in partnership with French parks professional association Hortis in the French city of Albi, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

World Urban Parks members are invited to a pre-congress afternoon on Tuesday 4 October. All members are welcome to attend. If possible, please RSVP via e-mail to World Urban Parks CEO Dr Digby Whyte to notify your attendance at the pre-congress meeting.

City parks and heritage areas have increasing social, cultural, environmental and economic relevance. Find out how these spaces will evolve to meet the needs of different European populations in the twenty-first century at the Europe Region Congress.

Register now>>

Large Urban Parks at Habitat III Conference

Quito, Ecuador | 17-20 October 2016

Dr Richard Murray, Co-chair of World Urban Parks Large Parks Committee, has arranged a World Urban Parks side-event as part of the United Nations Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador. This approved side event will be hosted in partnership with the Italian Society of Silviculture and Forest Ecology (SISEF).

Find out more and get involved>>

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 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.

Find out more>>

Event: NZRA National Conference

Queenstown, New Zealand | 9-11 November 2016

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

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

Event: IPRS Conference, Singapore

Singapore | 29 November - 2 December 2016

IPRS Conference dates have shifted to November to allow further programme development. The theme of the event is Greenery, Parks & Recreation. The event will be held at Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, with an added cycling option on Saturday 3 December.

A number of international speakers from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond have been secured and some speaking places remain. Those interested in speaking should send a brief statement of interest, including an abstract (relating to themes in the programme), CV and photo to IPRS President Maria Boey Yuet Mei for inclusion in the final programme.

Read 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.

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