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

EmanuelIt’s good to see the World Urban Parks Organisation Task Force testing the fundamental premise for a new world urban parks organisation.

The group is looking into the viability of the new organisation, what its scope would be (quite possibly all things ‘recreation’ and ‘open space’ within an urban context), and what organisations and individuals want from a global organisation of this kind.

These are the kind of questions that will be put to a growing advisory or reference group of key cities, organisations and respected individuals over coming months as the Task Force explores the value of an inclusive new-model world urban parks organisation.

I am grateful for those volunteering their time on the Task Force. Thank you also to our hard working executive and commissioners, whether they are organising our conferences, the Ifpra Academy, committees, or engaging associations and professionals to become part of our international and regional revitalisation. I offer a warm welcome to new commissioners Anne Charlton for Canada, Kevin Halpenny for Ireland, and Li Xiong for China.

I’m also pleased Ifpra is being recognised for its role in championing world urban park standards with our CEO Digby Whyte invited to join an international jury in Moscow. The jury will be tasked with determining the best design and development proposal for Sokolniki Park, a big brother to New York’s Central Park. You can check out the international competition at

It would also be great to feature the parks of our own membership in the up-coming Annual Report and I invite you to send photos of your parks or park activity to help illustrate the Report.

Best regards,

Emanuel Trueb, President

Challenges in urban parks post GFC - rebuilding the UK

By Mark Camley, Chair of The Parks Alliance

As park enthusiasts we inevitably believe in the intrinsic value of parks. Some, I expect, would even subscribe to "parks for parks' sake". So it comes as a shock when others don't "get it" and don’t automatically agree with our view of the world.

However, we should all be clear that "they" don't always get it. In response to a recent story in the online Guardian newspaper relating to a lack of housing in the UK, one commentator has posted "... first of all we must infill all of London's parks and open spaces with affordable homes". I thought at first that this was some form of joke but it was "liked" by 153 people the last time I checked.

Read more>>

Ifpra Academy attracts early interest

Several national associations are showing strong interest in the work of the new Ifpra Academy, says the Academy’s Deputy Chair, Torgeir Soerensen.

“We are still just at the beginning and have yet to roll out our accreditation programmes in full, so we are pleased with this early interest.”

Read more>>

Ifpra Academy launches e-newsletter

By Austin Hochstetler

The Ifpra Academy has launched a monthly e-newsletter called the Ifpra Academy Exchange. The Exchange provides a brief synopsis of current events, news, updates, and provides links to additional information. Interested individuals are encouraged to join the Ifpra Academy email list using the form at People can “unsubscribe” at any time.

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Wi-Fi hotspots for Canada's national parks

By Cliff Lacey

Parks Canada, custodian of some of Canada's most pristine wilderness, is considering the provision of Wi-Fi in some portions of the national park system.

This proposal has brought great consternation from the conservationist movement in Canada who see this as a first step in further development of Canada's precious wild lands.

Read more>>

European benchmarking survey

By Chris Rutherford

A number of organisations in Finland, Denmark and Norway are looking to undertake the Ifpra Yardstick Visitor Survey of Parks users during this European summer. The survey measures the level of expectation of parks users against their satisfaction with the services being provided.

Read more>>

Yardstick benchmark of the month

This new 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 “median garden beds maintenance cost (Euro) per square metre”.

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

Membership fees for the coming year

A friendly reminder that Ifrpa membership fees are due for the coming financial year. Invoices have been emailed to all members who have provided email addresses for our database. If you have not received yours, or if you have any questions about your membership or the invoice you have been sent, please email Katie McCrae on

Ifpra Asia Pacific and World meetings

Ifpra members should have received an email this week providing formal notice of the Ifpra Asia Pacific Region and World meetings to be held on Monday 23 June in Penang, Malaysia, ahead of the Malaysia Urban Green Space and Ifpra Asia Pacific Conference 2014. Further information about the meetings is available on the Ifpra Congresses & Events section of the Ifpra website.

Event: Malaysia Urban Green Space and Ifpra Asia Pacific Conference

Ifpra Program 23 June, Conference 24-26 June, Post-conference Tours 27-28 June. Register on Ifpra's website.
There is still time for people to register for Malaysia Urban Green Space and Ifpra Asia Pacific Conference 2014 being held in Penang from 24 – 28 June. Registration closes June 10.

This year’s theme is Parks as melting pots and venues for environmental learning. The Ifpra Asia Pacific Conference takes place the afternoon before the Malaysia Urban Green Space, beginning in the morning with a technical visit to Penang Hill.

Read more>>

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
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