The latest news and updates from World Urban Parks - March 2016
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World Urban Parks activity flourishes

Dr Digby Whyte, Australia, World Urban Parks CEO
World Urban Parks will be a year old in April, having publicly launched at the first World Urban Parks Congress at Ponte de Lima in May 2015.

2016 is shaping up to be very active, with members taking the lead in organising the World and Region congresses, making conference presentations, organising regional and standing committees and developing their services, particularly through working parties.

Read more>>

Make a World Congress presentation proposal

Save the date and consider presenting at the World Urban Parks and Institute of Environment and Recreation Management Congress, to be held on 26-28 September 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Abstracts of no more than 200 words, particularly based on research or case studies, are sought by the IERM Secretariat by Friday 29 April 2016 using the Proposal Form.

Read more>>

Parks of the World: Mexico City

In this month’s Parks of the World segment, Mexico City shares an infographic overview of three of its largest urban parks with a social context.

This fascinating presentation looks at San Juan De Aragón Park, Chapultepec Park and Tlalpan Park, factoring in housing, employment, public transportation links, marginalisation levels, insecurity index and social stratum.

Read the overview>>

Join our Large Urban Parks network

Join the new World Urban Parks Large Urban Parks network and be part of an influential group of urban park leaders and professionals from around the world.

Members of the network will have the opportunity to learn from some of the most sophisticated, diverse, and world-renowned parks and parks management practices and join any of three associated Working Groups: Good Practices, Knowledge and Research, and Advocacy and Events.

Read our invitation to join the Large Urban Parks network>>

Read our invitation to join a Large Urban Parks working group>>

2015 Annual Indicators Report released

The World Urban Parks Annual Key Performance Indicators Report 2016 report is now available for all members to view as a free introduction to World Urban Parks' new benchmarking service.

In following years, this service will allow city agencies and similar park organisations, in countries without Yardstick benchmarking, to enter their online data for 25 of the most frequently sought benchmarks for a cost-effective $380 USD. For this introductory year, it is presented free of charge.

Read more>>

World Parks Academy 2016 webinars

Thanks to Dr Christy Boylan for providing a fantastic 'History of Parks' webinar in February. Upcoming speakers are Torgeir Sorensen (Norway) in March, Kenzo Oguchi (Japan) in April, and Kevin Halpenny (Ireland) in May.

Each month through till May 2016, the World Parks Academy will offer a short (1-2 hour) webinar covering one of the competencies requiring certification. All webinars are free and eligible for continuing education unit credits at registration.

Find out more or register for a webinar>>

Call for papers – Europe Region Congress

The Europe Region Congress takes place from 5-7 October 2016 in the French city of Albi, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Proposal submissions for this Congress close on 15 April.

Share your vision with 300 French and international colleagues. The theme of this bi-lingual congress is Green heritage and green infrastructure.

For more information on this event and its themes, please read the call for papers (English | French).

Submit a congress abstract>> 

Australia and NZ get creative to promote parks

Australia and New Zealand are finding creative ways to promote parks in the leadup to Parks Week, which runs from 5-13 March 2016. Wellington City Council has produced a catchy two-minute parody video, inspired by Blur's hit song Parklife and showcasing the city's parks.

Organised by the New Zealand Recreation Association and Parks and Leisure Australia, Parks Week promotes the value of parks and open spaces, and aims to get people out of their living rooms and into the outdoors.

Read more>>

Nesta re-thinks park funding

Parks and open spaces in all areas of the world face funding challenges. Learning to Rethink Parks is a recent report from the UK's National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (Nesta), which re-thinks funding models for public parks across the world.

Read the report's findings>>

Valuing Victoria's Parks

One of World Urban Parks' Australian members, Parks Victoria, recently released two reports on the value and benefits of parks. These reports are based on best practice environmental accounting practices, and attempt to quantify the benefits that parks and their ecosystems provide.

Valuing Victoria's Parks>>

Accounting for Ecosystems and Valuing their Benefits>>

Event: Public Parks and Gardens

Helsingborg, Sweden | 13 April 2016
The ninth Public Parks and Gardens conference will be held in Helsingborg, Sweden on 13 April 2016.

This year’s conference has the theme “Interactive parks and spaces” – to engage citizens in the implementation of park and arts experiences in public environment.

One of the feature presentations will focus on the spectacular Gardens by the Bay project in Singapore. All lectures for this event will be presented in English.

To register, visit the event website>>

Event: Salute to the Parks

Washington, D.C., USA | 13 April 2016
Every year, the National Parks Conservation Association hosts Salute to the Parks to celebrate America’s national parks and the people around the country who speak up on their behalf.

The 35th annual Salute to the Parks will be held on 13 April at the historic National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

To register, visit the event website>>

Event: Coastal Parks and Climate Change

Auckland, New Zealand | 5-6 May 2016
Beaches and coastlines are intrinsic to recreation in New Zealand. If you're involved with the planning, provision or management of parks and coastal spaces, this seminar is bound to be an interesting event.

To register, visit the event website>>

Event: IUCN World Conservation Congress

Hawaii, USA | 1-10 Sep 2016
The IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016 theme is ‘Planet at the Crossroads’.

We live in a time of tremendous change, the nature and extent of which is the subject of intense debate around the world. At the heart of this debate is the clash of immediate human needs with their long-term impacts on the planet’s capacity to support life.

For more information, visit the event website>>

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 at 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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