Dr Digby Whyte, World Urban Parks CEO
Welcome to the first edition of World Park News for 2017. I hope you are all feeling refreshed after some vacation time.
To start the year, I’d like to focus on some of the avenues for you to get involved, including events, committees and other initiatives.
As members, your involvement and support is vital to our organisation. Through working together, we can champion urban park outcomes for city liveability, place-making, conservation and access.
Four new standing committees have been formed, making nine standing and regional committees in total. These committees are a great way to connect with international colleagues and work together towards our common goals, and with upcoming meetings for many of their working parties to get the New Year underway, now is a good time to get involved.
Our four new committees are:
The Children, Play and Nature Committee, co-chaired by Amanda O’Rourke (Board Director and Senior Advisor 880 Cities, Canada) and Helena Bjarnegård (Head of Parks and Landscape, City of Gothenburg, Sweden).
The Healthy Parks, Healthy Cities Committee, chaired by Kristen Jackson (President of Parks and Leisure Australia and Manager of Parks and Open Space at the City of Whittlesea, Australia).
The Green Infrastructure Committee, chaired by Kevin Halpenny (Senior Parks Superintendent, Parks and Green Infrastructure Division at Fingal County Council, Ireland).
The Older Adults and Parks Committee, chaired by Tim Geyer (Manager Parks and Recreation at Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council, Australia).
Events are one way to get involved in person and make valuable professional contacts. In addition to the events featured in World Park News, there are a sequence of other opportunities to get involved in person at events, conferences and workshops coming up, including:
- World Urban Parks Europe Region is partnering with the European Commission of Science and Technology (COST) Conference ‘Green Infrastructures: Nature Based Solutions for Sustainable and Resilient Cities’ in Orvieto, Italy from 4-7 April.
- The Institute of Parks and Recreation Singapore has set the dates for the International Greenery, Parks and Recreation Events and Conference from 6-10 June, with details as follows:
o 6 June (optional masterclass)
o 7 and 8 June (two-day congress)
o 9 June (optional technical tours)
o 10 June (optional bike day)
World Urban Parks Asia-Pacific Region is considering a partnership with IPRS for the conference to be a joint World Urban Parks Asia Pacific Region Congress.
- An “International Forum” day is under development to be held on 2 August at the City Parks Alliance Greater and Greener Conference in the twin cities of Minneapolis - St. Paul. The International Forum will feature the following themes:
o Green Cities
o River Revolution Cities
o National Parks and Cities
o Local Issues, International Solutions
- World Parks Week gets underway in the first week of May. This is an opportunity for agencies and organisations to align programs under world event branding and register their programs with World Urban Parks. More information will be available in the March edition of World Park News
- The World Parks Academy continues its free webinar series of 30-45 minute presentations on topics relevant to urban parks.
A list of previous World Parks Academy webinars, including recordings, is available at http://provalenslearning.com/world-parks-academy?___store=ultimo.
Membership Renewals for 2017/18
During February, members will receive membership renewal notices and we trust you will continue to support and become involved with your unique World Urban Parks organisation. The Executive has confirmed the current organisation fees, based on size of the organisation, as the standard fee for this year.
There is now a single Individual Member category with a standard fee of US$75 and a voluntary ‘Member Supporter’ fee of US$150 for those who wish to make a greater commitment. Members are encouraged to join their national association but World Urban Parks fees no longer double for those who are not national association members.
To ensure accessibility, members from countries with a per capita income of less than US$25,000 per year will receive a 50 per cent discount.