The latest news and updates from World Urban Parks - July 2016
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Major congresses on the horizon

Dr Digby Whyte, World Urban Parks CEO

September and October are fast approaching, and registrations are now open for both the World Urban Parks World and Europe Region Congresses.

Our World Urban Parks Congress is hosted this year by the Institute of Environment and Recreation Management in Cape Town, South Africa from 26-28 September.

We will host a World Urban Parks pre-congress afternoon on Sunday 25 September for our board, committees, national associations and members to meet and get to know each other before the start of the Congress. The annual AGM will have been held online earlier in the month, but this can also be a time for members to discuss any aspect of our work together.

Our Europe Region Congress follows hot on the heels of the World Congress, and will be hosted by Hortis in Albi, France from 5-7 October. Again, there will be pre-congress meetings on the afternoon of Tuesday 4 October, with delegates and participants invited to get to know each other before the start of the congress.

Read more>>

Registrations open for World Congress

Cape Town, South Africa | 26-28 September 2016

Registrations are now open for the World Urban Parks Congress, held in conjunction with the Institute of Environment and Recreation Management Annual Convention.

'Early Bird' rates are available up to 1 August 2016. To register and to select accommodation visit the Congress website. The Congress Programme is also now available.

Themed "People and Green Space - A Celebration of Diversity" there will be a huge variety of ideas on offer, with over 65 presenters from hosts South Africa and 15 other countries.

Register now>>

Register for Europe Region & Hortis Congress

Albi, France | 5-7 October 2016

Registrations are open for this exciting bilingual congress, which will explore the theme: ‘Green Heritage and Green Infrastructure: Evolution or Social Revolution?’. The congress is held in partnership with Hortis in the French city of Albi, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Register now>>

World Urban Parks and IERM Congress

Speaker profile: Judy Ling Wong

In Cape Town on 27 September, Congress keynote speaker Judy Ling Wong will discuss the "Campaign for the Greater London National Park City", an initiative to create an urban national park from all the city of London’s green spaces.

Read more>>

Europe Region & Hortis Congress

Speaker profile: Sandrine Manusset

At the Europe Region and Hortis Congress in Albi on 6 October, Sandrine Manusset will explore a sociological approach to green areas in urban planning, taking into consideration biodiversity, health and societal expectations.

Read more>>

Distinguished Individual Award nominations

Nominations for the 2016 Distinguished Individual Award are now open. The award will be conferred at the Gala Dinner of the World Urban Parks Congress in Cape Town on 27 September. The recipient receives a trophy and Honorary Life Membership of World Urban Parks.

Nominate a distinguished individual for this year's award>>

Parks of the World

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Pittsburgh, USA

While Pittsburgh’s re-invention as a thriving tech, medical, artistic and green city has received major attention in recent years, its industrial past funded some of the nation’s most beautiful parks.

The region’s economic hardships in the 80’s and 90’s resulted in limited resources for park upkeep, leading to the formation of the Parks Conservancy. In its 20-year history, the Parks Conservancy has raised over $90 million for Pittsburgh’s parks, making an indelible mark on the city’s landscape.

Read more>>

Augmented reality games hit NZ parks

Auckland and Wellington City Councils in New Zealand are piloting a new augmented reality game designed to get ‘tech children’ who are glued to their tablets and iphones out of the house and into parks with their families.

Magical Park is the world's first digital playground app using augmented reality. It is geo-located for specific parks and so the app will only open in a designated park area. Auckland and Wellington's park sites have signs installed, instructing the visitor to download the app and play in the park.

Read more>>

World Urban Parks roundtable, Melbourne

World Urban Parks Chair Gil Penalosa and Vice Chair Neil McCarthy hosted a roundtable of 14 leaders from Australaia's parks, open space and recreation agencies at Library at The Dock in Melbourne on 1 July.

Read more>>

WUP Applied Research Working Group

Recommended articles

This month's recommended research articles focus on understanding the value of nature and ecosystem services in cities, including natural features in urban environments, a ‘meta-study’ reviewing 200 studies on urban biodoiversity, and a valuation of New York's Central Park based on the ecosystem services it provides.

Large Urban Parks Database survey 

World Urban Parks is creating a database of large urban parks around the world. This is an opportunity for park managers to register their parks online.

The database is an initiative of the Large Urban Parks Good Practices Working Group, which works to share knowledge about how to handle various tasks and issues among large urban parks stewards, managers, funders, planners, defenders and advocates.

Read more>>

Event: 2016 NRPA Annual Conference

St. Louis, USA | 5-8 October 2016

The National Recreation and Park Association’s annual conference is the premier event of the US park and recreation community. Join 7,000 other park and recreation professionals for energetic networking activities, inspirational education sessions, and an inside look at the latest products for the field. Save up to $240 by registering before the early bird deadline.

Find out more and register>>

Event: United Nations Habitat III Conference

Quito, Ecuador | 17-20 October 2016

Habitat III is the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, to be held in Quito, Ecuador in 2016. The host city offers a unique backdrop to show innovation and urban solutions that reflect on how to plan and manage cities and territories in order to fulfill their roles as engines of sustainable development.

Find out more and get involved>>

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.

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