The latest news and updates from World Urban Parks - August 2016
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A global voice for urban parks

Gil Penalosa, World Urban Parks Chair

As we approach our first Annual General Meeting, I would like to say how grateful I am to have served as your Chair in this past year. It is a time to celebrate our accomplishments and also look ahead to a new phase of growth and development for World Urban Parks.

Over the past year, we have worked hard to fulfil our mission of providing a global voice for the urban parks, open space and recreation sector. We are committed to defining the areas where we can have the most impact and add value for our members, while supporting the efforts of national, regional, and local organisations.

Our committees have been hard at work defining priorities and also delivering some specific outputs. While we are pleased with the level of engagement of our members, we also recognise that we need a big push to expand our membership in order to strengthen our voice, and deliver on our objectives.

Please encourage your colleagues to join World Urban Parks, and if you are already a member we encourage you to get involved with the committees that interest you. We look forward to another productive year.

World Urban Parks update

Dr Digby Whyte, World Urban Parks CEO

World Urban Parks will hold its first Annual General Meeting via an internet survey, available from Monday 15 through Friday 19 August 2016 to allow all members to participate. In the week beforehand members will receive a survey link, directors report, financial report auditor information, and list of board director nominees.

Read more>>

Parks of the World

Big Break Shoreline, East Bay Regional Park District, USA

Big Break Regional Shoreline is one of the newest and most popular parks of the East Bay Regional Park District. Located in the rural community of Oakley, Big Break lies near the confluence of California’s two greatest rivers, the Sacramento and San Joaquin.

The centrepiece of the 1,648-acre park is the Big Break Visitor Centre at the Delta, an educational facility with exhibits on the Delta history, agriculture, water, ecology and wildlife. A 1,200-square-foot interactive map shows visitors how water flows through the region, giving an overview of the importance of the Delta in California’s history and ecology.

Read more>>

Distinguished Individual Award nominations

The World Urban Parks Distinguished Individual Award recognises significant contributions to parks, open spaces and recreation by individuals over the course of their career.

We have already received several nominations for the 2016 Distinguished Individual Award, to be presented at our World Congress in Cape Town. If you know someone who deserves an award, why not let us know?

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

World Urban Parks and IERM Congress

Speaker profile: Anne Charlton

In Cape Town on 26 September, the city of Calgary's Director of Parks Anne Charlton will discuss "Canadian Parks for All - a work in Progress" in a presentation exploring the results of a Canadian strategy summit including 200 professionals working toward a refreshed Canadian parks policy.

Read more>>

Europe Region and Hortis Congress

Session profile: World Parks Academy Workshop

Hosted by World Parks Academy Chair Dr Christy Boylan and Executive Director of Indiana University's Eppley Institute for Public Lands Steven Wolter, this workshop invites French and international participants to identify and work to resolve key issues impacting parks and park management.

Read more>>

French research centre promotes collaboration

Plante & Cité, France

Plante & Cité is the French national centre for research into green spaces, urban landscaping and nature. Set up as an non-profit association in 2006, it brings together representatives from urban park planning and maintenance services, as well as researchers and technical experts.

Read more>>

World Urban Parks to launch Facebook account

On 15 August World Urban Parks will launch on Facebook, and all members are encouraged to actively contribute. If you have an online journal, relevant events, relevant articles, photos to share from your country, or you have any questions, please get social and contact Jenn Halliday via LinkedIn.

Read more>>

WUP Applied Research Working Group

Recommended articles

This month's recommended research articles from around the world comprises an evaluation of resident perceptions of urban parks in Kalamaria Municipality (population 91,000) in Greece, and the US National Parks Services' recent emphasis on urban parks.

Global news articles

These recent news articles cover major initiatives supporting urban parks and the environment.

Event: IPRS Conference, Singapore

Singapore | 6-9 September 2016

World Urban Parks is proud to support the Institute of Parks and Recreation, Singapore’s (IPRS) Conference. The theme of the event is “Greenery, Parks & Recreation”. The event will be held at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Convention Center from 7 to 9 September, with a cycling option on Saturday 10 September.

Find out more and register>>

Event: World Urban Parks & IERM Congress

Cape Town, South Africa | 26-28 September 2016

Register now for the World Urban Parks Congress, held in conjunction with the Institute of Environment and Recreation Management Annual Convention.
World Urban Parks members are invited to a pre-Congress afternoon on Sunday 25 September. All members are welcome to attend. If possible, please RSVP via e-mail to World Urban Parks CEO Dr Digby Whyte to notify your attendance at the pre-Congress meeting

Register now>>

Event: Europe Region & Hortis Congress

Albi, France | 5-7 October 2016

Register now for this exciting bilingual congress, held in partnership with French parks professional association Hortis in the French city of Albi, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

World Urban Parks members are invited to a pre-Congress afternoon on Tuesday 4 October. All members are welcome to attend. If possible, please RSVP via e-mail to World Urban Parks CEO Dr Digby Whyte to notify your attendance at the pre-Congress meeting.

Register now>>

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.

Find out more and register>>

Large Urban Parks at Habitat III Conference

Quito, Ecuador | 17-20 October 2016

Chair of the World Urban Parks Large Urban Parks Committee Richard Murray has submitted a proposal to hold a side event at the upcoming Habitat III conference in Ecuador, titled “Large Green Spaces, Key Public Infrastructure for Equitable, Healthy and Sustainable Cities.”
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 fulfil their roles as engines of sustainable development.

Find out more and get involved>>

Event: PLA National Conference

Adelaide, Australia | 23-25 October 2016

The 20th Parks and Leisure Australia National Conference will be hosted at the Adelaide Oval. The conference theme is ‘A Toolkit for Change’, and it will explore solutions to the daily challenges faced by park and recreation managers in their quest to maintain quality spaces and build healthy communities.

Visit the event website to find out more or register>>

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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