Introduction

The Knowledge and Standards Standing Committee is responsible for World Urban Parks services in the area of:

  • Knowledge and Research (World Congress, conferences, seminars, research and publications)
  • Standards and Benchmarking (international standards, good practice, benchmarking, and awards)

Associated sub-menus under Programs are:

  • Yardstick
  • Awards 

Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference

The role of the committee is to:

  1. Review, promote and facilitate international/national standards
  2. Promote and facilitate benchmarking and best practices activities among World Urban Parks members.
  3. Promote knowledge exchange by facilitating congresses, conferences, and seminars
  4. Promote and coordinate international awards
  5. Provide a platform for scientists and practitioners to work together to identify research and implement findings
  6. Provide a sound scientific foundation and argument for urban parks, open space and recreation, including managing better parks for better cities, and park and recreation benefits to urban societies
  7. Report on related agreements such as congresses and Yardstick benchmarking.

 These may be facilitated by working parties. The Committee has formed four working parties:

  1. Ponte de Lima Charter - To create guidelines for minimum park operations standards
  2. Think Tank - To develop a group of thought leaders to credibly comment on key issues and advance and advocate for the cause of urban parks
  3. Benchmarking and Best Practice
  4. Applied Research

 

Standing Committee Members

The members of the Committee are in Table 1. 

 

Table 1 Committee and Working Party Members

Role/Interest

   

Contact

Country

 Chair

 

Jon Pape

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Denmark

Deputy Chair and Chair Benchmarking Working Group

 

Todd Reichardt

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Canada

Deputy Chair and Chair Applied Research Working Group

 

Dr Giovanni Sanesi

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Italy

Chair Ponte de Lima Working Group

 

Manuel Sousa

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Portugal

 

 

Dr Anna Steidle

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Germany

   

Daniel Boulens

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

France

   

Brian Milne

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New Zealand

   

Noriah Mat

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Malaysia

   

Liam Casey

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ireland

   

Gary Taylor

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

South Africa

   

Jan Burger

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

South Africa

   

Dr Noor Azlin Yahya

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Malaysia

   

Prof Cecil Konijnendijk

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sweden

   

Dr Gary Manross

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

USA

   

Dr Maggie Roe

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

UK

   

Dr Mardie Townsend

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Australia

   

Prof Willie Nel

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

South Africa

   

Prof Yoritaka Tashiro

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Japan


Standards and Benchmarking Services

 

International Standards and Service Endorsement

The Committee intends to set international standards or guidelines in some areas that may advance the quality of parks, open space, and recreation provision and services. A number of areas under consideration are:

  • Discussion with the UK licence holder for the UK Government's Green Flag Award with a view to globalising a standard that recognises individual park excellence.
  • Potential development or endorsement of a world competition or index for city liveability with a strong green space and recreation component.
  • A further program will be to consider member services and products for quality endorsement and in some cases promotion for international uptake.

 

Ponte de Lima Charter Working Group (Park management standards for developing countries)

At the first World Urban Parks Congress in Ponte de Lima 2015 the board approved a proposal to develop guidelines that set a standard for park management and operations standards in developing countries. This would assist cities develop green space policies.

Current Projects:

  • Development of the draft Charter for park management standards for developing countries
  • Development of a park operations manual for developing countries

 

The Hamamatsu Resolution, Good Practice Guide, and Resource Database

The Hamamatsu Resolution resulted from the 2004 Ifpra Congress in Hamamatsu Japan where it was proposed to create a Good Practice Guideline for the creation of a harmonious environment to contribute to liveable and sustainable communities in the 21st Century. 43 examples of good practices were collected, primarily from Japan, Australia, and the UK,and edited by Ifpra Japan into the Good Practices on Hamamatsu Resolution publication.

The Good Practices on Hamamatsu Resolution guide envisaged that members would continue to submit good or leading practices contributing to liveable and sustainable communities.
A resource database will be developed in the Member’s area to collect examples of leading parks, open space and recreation practices.

 

Benchmarking Working Group

The committee intends to scope different benchmarking products and options with a view to encouraging good practice, consistency and use.

A key benchmarking initiative endorsed and promoted by World Urban Parks in partnership with the New Zealand Recreation Association and benchmarking and consultancy company Xyst, is Yardstick Parkcheck (See Yardstick section), a long-running international benchmarking program suitable for park agencies; and Leisurecheck, an international benchmarking program suitable for organisations managing recreation and/or pools.

Current Projects:

  • Uptake and use of benchmarking, including benchmarking workshops at the WUP Europe Region/Hortis Congress in Albi, France in October 2016
  • Growth of the World Urban Parks Key Indicators online benchmarking service (24 benchmarks and associated report)

 

International Awards

The Committee is developing an awards program concept where WUP will invite and profile first-placed national award-winning individuals, projects and programs awarded by national or state parks and recreation related peak associations, for International Awards recognition.

In seeking to recognise the best-of-the-best the Awards will recognise, share and encourage leading practice from around the world in creating liveable and sustainable communities, as well as strengthen the awards programs of national associations.

Current Projects:

  • Oversight of the Distinguished Individual Award at the World Urban Parks/IERM Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, September 2016

 

Knowledge and Research Services

 

Introduction

Most people would agree that parks contribute to better, healthier and more competitive cities. But in order to make sure that parks are part of political agendas at different levels, sound evidence of park benefits as well as of park management planning and management needs has to be provided. These may be facilitated through input into World Congress and conference presentations, supporting networking between scientists and coordinating or brokering joint research between member organisations to cost-effectively meet common needs, and compiling and disseminating key research on this website or through World Parks News. 

 

Strategic International Think Tank Working Group

The Committee will consider forming a group of respected thought leaders to credibly advance and advocate for the cause of urban parks

 

Applied Research Working Group

Make World Urban Parks membership attractive to scientists engaged with urban green space and recreation with opportunities to:

  • Connect with each other, interested practitioners, and scientific organisations and networks within urban green space management
  • Have input into the programs of World Urban Parks partnered conferences and seminars, including opportunities to present
  • Develop a science portal on the website
  • Collation and assessment of scientific knowledge regarding specific aspects of urban park management.
  • Organise ‘science update sessions’ at various World Urban Parks events.
  • Support the World Parks Academy online education and workshops
  • Organise seminars on urban park research issues for young researchers and students.
  • Disseminating applied science-based communications on why parks are important to cities and towns, including regular contributions via World Parks News

 Current Projects:

  • WUP Member survey on applied research needs - complete online by 8 July 2016
  • Presentation of survey results at the WUP Europe Region/Hortis Congress at Albi, France, October 2016
  • Development of an Applied Research Database with monthly recommended articles in World Parks News

 

Research Publications

Compiling and dissemination of sound, science-based arguments for developing and managing better parks for better cities, with focus on the benefits that parks provide to urban societies: A key product will be to prepare a multi-use brochure on the Benefits of Parks.

A significant report of the Science Committee of antecedent organisation Ifpra was the Benefits of Urban Parks, A Systematic Review 2013. The report was conducted by Prof Cecil C. Konijnendijk, University of Copenhagen and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Chair); Dr Matilda Annerstedt MD, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences; Dr Anders Busse Nielsen, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences;  and Sreetheran Maruthaveeran MSc, University of Copenhagen and Forest Research Institute Malaysia; and published by Copenhagen and Alnarp, January 2013.

The report was based on a meta study of 225 studies on parks benefits

The focus of the report was to document current scientific evidence for urban park benefits and determine the level of evidence from weak, moderate or strong. The report comprised a meta-study of 225 studies on parks benefits.

 Urban Park Benefit

No. Studies

Level of Supporting Scientific Evidence

 Biodiversity

62

 Strong

 Health and Wellbeing

86

 Moderate to Strong

 House prices

23

 Moderate to Strong

 Cooling

24

 Moderate to Strong

 Air quality and carbon sequestration

11

 Weak to Moderate

 Water management

6

 Weak

 Tourism

8

 Weak

 Social Cohesion

5

 Weak

There has been a positive response on the report - including media releases in several countries. The report's findings have been presented at a large number of events, including Ifpra's European congress, the European Forum on Urban Forestry in both Leipzig and Milan, and national green space conferences in Sweden and Norway. Key findings have also been included in a number of other presentations, e.g. at the annual congress of the International Society of Arboriculture in Toronto and in lectures to landscape architecture and other students in various countries. The work has also resulted in a number of magazine articles, as well as two peer-reviewed scientific articles. One of these, on the biodiversity component of the work, has been published in the journal Urban Ecosystems, while the 2nd (on health impacts) is currently under review with the journal Health and Place.

 

Related websites and hubs

Related Reports

Scientific journals