The latest news and updates from World Urban Parks - May 2016
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World Urban Parks update

Dr Digby Whyte, Australia, World Urban Parks CEO

This column welcomes new members to World Urban Parks, provides information on membership renewals, and gives a progress report on committee and working group activity.

As World Urban Parks begins its second year, it’s a great time to join the international community of cities, organisations and individuals that champion city livability, place-making, conservation and access in the parks, open space and recreation sector, and who are ready to help each other. World Urban Parks works with members to provide congresses, working parties from Good Practices to Applied Research, professional certification, advocacy and support, partnerships, and networking.

For the first two years all members are considered to be foundation members, and from 2016 an organisation membership now also allows unlimited staff to join as professionals for free. 

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Election of Directors and AGM

Notice to World Urban Parks members

The first World Urban Parks Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held from Monday 15 August 2016. The AGM will be held via electronic survey so that all members will have the week commencing 15 August to participate.
Notice to World Urban Parks members is also given for the election of directors at the AGM. Director nominations from members are requested by 15 June 2016. Nomination forms should be sent to the Chief Executive Officer at

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Parks of the World

Central Memorial Park, Calgary, Canada

Central Memorial Park was designed in 1911 as an elaborate representation of the lush Victorian-era parks of the time. It is one of a few parks in North America with a Carnegie Library and associated landscape both intact, and is Calgary’s oldest park. 

By the early 2000s, the park had fallen into disrepair. The challenge of the restoration project was to preserve the rich history of the site, while still addressing the contemporary needs of the inner-city neighbourhood. 

Read more>>

World Urban Parks event at Habitat III

Report from Dr Richard Murray

World Urban Parks and Fedenatur co-hosted a side event at the UN Habitat III Thematic Meeting on Public Spaces in Barcelona on 5 April, and we are planning to follow up on the event's recommendations at the Habitat III conference this October in Quito, Ecuador. 

Titled Large Green Spaces, Key Public Infrastructure for Resilient, Healthy and Sustainable Cities, the event promoted the contribution of large green urban and peri-urban green spaces to cities. 

Read more>>

Read the event report by Richard Murray, Co-Chair of Large Urban Parks>>

WUP Congress: Last call for papers

Cape Town, South Africa | 26-28 September 2016

The deadline for abstracts has been extended to 20 May 2016, with 30 papers received by the end of April. Consider enhancing your participation by presenting at the World Urban Parks and IERM Congress. Abstracts of no more than 200 words, particularly based on case studies or research, are sought by the IERM Secretariat using the Proposal Form.  A wide range of papers are supported by the theme, 'Celebrating Diversity'.  

Read about the Congress themes in our call for papers>>

Europe Region Congress: final call for abstracts

Albi, France | 5-7 October 2016

Registrations are now open for this exciting bilingual congress: Green Heritage and Green Infrastructure: Evolution or Social Revolution?. The congress is held in partnership with French parks professional association Hortis, in the French city of Albi, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The full program is now available and includes symposia days, tours and site visits, workshops and conferences, and ‘master lectures’.
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World Parks Academy

2016 webinar series

The World Parks Academy continues to offer free 1-hour webinars, presented by World Urban Parks members to all parks, open space and recreation professionals. Register to join the online webinars or watch recordings of previous webinars. 

The May 2016 webinar, to be presented by Kevin Halpenny (Ireland) for a second time on 24 May at 9am Eastern Standard Time, will examine how public health issues coincide with park issues.

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Association article: Australian Parks & Leisure

Utilising the culture of the overseas experience for good of the industry

This article reproduces an item from the Summer 2015 issue of Australasian Parks and Leisure. 

It asks the question, ‘How can the wider recreation, parks and sport industry capitalise on the desire for staff to move or travel overseas?’

Read the article>>

WUP Applied Research Working Group

Recommended articles

This month's articles include a study on the benefits of contact with nature on different socio-economic groups in Bogota, Columbia; and the different attributes of park paths that determine use by seniors in Beijing, China.

Staying in touch with nature and well-being in different income groups: The experience of urban parks in Bogotá
"Investigation of the beneficial effects of nature is particularly important in dense urban areas characterized by heavy environmental stress-related problems, like crowding and noise, and for people suffering from income-related well-being inequalities." 
Read more>>

Do configurational attributes matter in context of urban parks? Park pathway configurational attributes and senior walking
"Neighborhood urban parks are easily available settings for seniors to engage in walking. Park pathway characteristics can promote or limit senior walking." 
Read more>>

Event: APGA 2016 Conference

Miami, USA | 6-10 June 2016

The American Public Gardens Association is holding their 2016 Annual Conference, Changing Perspectives: Planting for the Future, in Miami next month.

This year’s event will be hosted by no less than 13 APGA member organizations, representing a diverse slice of regional public gardens—from the European-inspired grandeur of Vizcaya, to the exotic edibles of Fruit and Spice Park, and the exceptional palm and cycad collection at Montgomery Botanical Center. 

Find out more>>

Upcoming events

We have an exciting schedule of events planned in fascinating locations all over the world. A comprehensive 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 James Heffield, 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

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World Urban Parks
PO Box 11 132
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Wellington 6142
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