Growing population and park use, budget pressures, the future of parks management in France and the London National Park City concept were topics of discussion at two London park manager roundtables organised by World Urban Parks director Mark Camley on 2 October.

The Roundtables took advantage of World Urban Parks leader presence in London speaking in support of the launch of the London National Park City Foundation.

A roundtable of the heads of parks for the City of London, Royal Parks, and London Legacy Corporation were hosted by Royal Parks CEO Andrew Scattergood at Hyde Park in the morning, while a broader group of park, contractor and association managers, including WUP member organisations Lee Valley Regional Parks and London Legacy Corporation were hosted by Mark Camley, Executive Director of Park Operations and Venues, at Queen Elisabeth Olympic Park.

Discussion was facilitated by presentations on global issues by World Urban Parks CEO Dr Digby Whyte and on park management trends in France by World Urban Parks director and Hortis Secretary General Elisabeth Fournier.  Operational items of topical interest included national legislation in France banning use of pesticides, increasingly natural green space and biodiversity in French cities, and improved cross-city coordination through a new metropolitan layer of government.

Participants shared different responses to park use pressures in London including green space advocacy and alternate forms of service delivery and income. It was recognised that the case to create a London National Park City was likely won and that the next step was to determine how this would operate in support of citizen and government green space.

 

Pictured are participants and discussion at the senior managers roundtable at Hyde Park and the broader park managers roundtable by Queen Elisabeth Olympic Park.