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

EmanuelIt’s that time of year, friends and colleagues, when you will all soon be receiving your membership renewal notifications by email or post.

We have made many changes aimed at delivering greater value and there is much to look forward to in the coming year as we continue to strive to offer our members more.

The World Urban Parks Organisation (new Ifpra) Task Force got underway this month and is keen to hear from members on current initiatives and issues through the LinkedIn World Urban Parks Initiative group site. We will be adding a page under the Programs section on the Ifpra website to keep you appraised of Task Force progress.

Much has been done to support and encourage networking and collaboration between Ifpra members. The upcoming Ifpra Asia Pacific Congress in Malaysia, Ifpra activities associated with the Nordic Park Congress in Sweden in August, as well as committees, working groups and the soon to be expanded members contact list, all provide members with opportunities to connect and share knowledge with colleagues around the world.

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What have urban parks to do with conservation?

By Peter Bridgewater, UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee

Mention conservation and parks and the names that spring to most people’s mind are the world’s great National Parks, not “pocket handkerchiefs” in cities. “Urban parks?” “Oh you mean those areas with grass and swings?” “Yeah, I like to go there but they’ve nothing to do with conservation….” 

This is how a typical conversation on urban parks would go. Of course some urban parks do have their major focus on recreation, and children’s (and adults!) play. Yet equally, urban parks can have some wilder edges, and almost all have vertical structure from trees. Some urban parks, of course, still harbour near-natural spaces.

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Call for a Greater London National Park

Ifpra has thrown its support behind the call for a Greater London National Park. The idea to “turn London into the world’s first urban National Park encompassing an entire major world city” is the brainwave of Geographer Daniel Raven-Ellison and is attracting growing interest on the conceptual Greater London National Park website.

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Ifpra medallist profile - Yoritaka Tashiro

Professor Yoritaka Tashiro’s contribution to Ifpra over more than 20 years was recognised with an Ifpra Silver Medal during the 2013 World Congress held at Lake Louise, Canada, at the end of last year.

In this article we celebrate Yoritaka's significant contribution to Ifpra and the international parks profession.

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World Urban Parks Organisation Task Force gets underway

The international task force considering the creation of a new World Urban Parks Organisation held their first meeting via Skype earlier this month.

The 12-member group, comprising Ifpra representatives and stakeholders from professional associations, agencies, universities and NGOs from around the world, discussed the terms of reference, timeline, and some of the key decisions they expect to make.

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Ifpra Academy offers fast-tracked certification for senior professionals

The Ifpra Academy has announced a limited-time option for senior parks professionals to fast-track their certification as a Certified International Parks Professional (CIPP).

The offer is available to senior parks professionals with over 10 years in the industry to take advantage of a “Senior Professional Clause”, allowing them to gain international recognition, quickly, for their extensive experience and contribution.

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Yardstick benchmark of the month

This regular section shares a little of the value of the Yardstick benchmarking tool each month. The data graphed below is from the 2013 Parkcheck survey of Yardstick members in Europe, North America, Africa and Australasia.

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

Best Practice and Benchmarking Committee seeks new members

Dr Anna Steidle from Germany has been appointed Chair of Ifpra’s Best Practice and Benchmarking Standing Committee. She replaces Dr Azlin Yahya, who now chairs the Science Committee.

Anna is keen to get this relatively new committee active and, given its wide-ranging and interesting role, would like to add two or three more members. If you have an interest in best practices, benchmarking between organisations, developing and promoting standards or developing Ifpra's international awards; or if you want to get together with other members to work on a project formalised under the Committee's oversight, please contact or

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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.
Time is running out for those interested in presenting papers or posters at the Malaysia Urban Green Space and Ifpra Asia Pacific Conference 2014, to be held in Penang from 24 – 28 June. Abstract submissions close on 15 May, with full papers due on 1 June.

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Event: Nordic Parks Congress

Ifpra Program 17-19 August, Conference 20-22 August. Register here.
The Nordic Parks Congress, to be held from 20-22 August 2014 in Malmö, Sweden, will consider the impacts of increasing urbanisation on sustainable cities, particularly in relation to urban parks and outdoor spaces.

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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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