This article reproduces an item from the Summer 2015 issue of Australasian Parks and Leisure. It asks the question, ‘How can the wider recreation, parks and sport industry capitalise on the desire for staff to move or travel overseas?’


The “Overseas Experience” (OE) is commonly referred to as the Kiwi expression for having an extended working holiday or travelling holiday overseas when you are young. 

Read more: Utilising the culture of the overseas experience for the good of the industry

This month's articles include a study on the benefits of contact with nature on different socio-economic groups in Bogota, Columbia; and the different attributes of park paths that determine use by seniors in Beijing, China.

Scopelliti, M.A D., Carrus, G.B., Adinolfi, C.c., Suarez, G.E., Colangelo, G.C., Lafortezza, R.C., Panno, A.B., & Sanesi, G.C. (2016). Staying in touch with nature and well-being in different income groups: The experience of urban parks in Bogotá. Landscape and Urban Planning, 148, pp. 139-148. 

Studies on the positive effects of contact with nature have been mainly conducted in European countries, North America, and Australia, whereas the experience of nature for people living in other countries is still to be adequately investigated. Investigation of the beneficial effects of nature is particularly important in dense urban areas characterized by heavy environmental stress-related problems, like crowding and noise, and for people suffering from income-related well-being inequalities. To contribute to filling this gap, the present study investigated the effects of contact with urban parks on well-being among residents in Bogotá, Colombia.

Read more: WUP Applied Research Working Group recommended articles

Miami, USA | 6-10 June 2016

The American Public Gardens Association is excited to welcome you to the 2016 Annual Conference, ‘Changing Perspectives: Planting for the Future’.

This year’s event will be hosted by no less than 13 APGA member organizations, representing a diverse slice of regional public gardens—from the European-inspired grandeur of Vizcaya, to the exotic edibles of Fruit and Spice Park, and the exceptional palm and cycad collection at Montgomery Botanical Center. Join us for a taste of our host gardens’ horticultural wealth. 

Find out more and register>>

Gil Penalosa, World Urban Parks Chair, Canada

As Chair of World Urban Parks and Co-Chair of the newly formed Standing Committee on Large Urban Parks I have been thrilled with the response and enthusiasm that this new committee has garnered. An important part of the success has been the leadership by Richard Murray, Co-Chair and Amanda O’Rourke, our Executive Officer – thanks to both. 

As park advocates we know the special and vital role large parks play in a city’s identity, the health and happiness of residents, and improving the environment. Large Urban Parks are not only important public assets in their own right, they are also powerful symbols of the importance of broader conservation, protection, and investment in all of our parks and public spaces – no matter their size. 

Read more: Large Urban Parks – one of our greatest assets in urban park advocacy

Dr Digby Whyte, World Urban Parks CEO, Australia

This column welcomes new members across the Americas and Asia Pacific regions to World Urban Parks, provides information on membership renewals, and gives a progress report on committee and working group activity.

Read more: World Urban Parks update

Cape Town, South Africa, 26-28 September 2016

Save the date and consider enhancing your participation by presenting at the World Urban Parks and IERM Congress. Your colleagues want to know about the good practices, developments and solutions to issues that you or your organisation is involved with. 

Abstracts of no than 200 words, particularly based on case studies or research, are sought by the IERM Secretariat by Friday 29 April 2016 using the Proposal Form.  

The theme is People and Green Space – A Celebration of Diversity. There is a wide range of possible sub-themes to suit your interests – see the brochure for a full list.

Read more: Share your ideas at the World Urban Parks Congress

Albi, France, 5-7 October 2016

Hurry – presentation submissions close on 15 April! Share your vision with 300 French and international colleagues. The theme of this bilingual congress is ‘Green Heritage and Green Infrastructure: Evolution or Social Revolution?’ 

For more information on this event and its themes, please read the call for papers (English | French) and submit a congress abstract

Make sure you save the date to be part of this exciting congress in the French city of Albi, a UNESCO World Heritage site. City parks and heritage areas have increasing social, cultural, environmental and economic relevance. How will these spaces evolve to meet the needs of different European populations in the twenty-first century?

Read more: Europe Region Congress: final call for abstracts

The World Parks Academy is currently offering free 1-hour webinars, presented by World Urban Parks members to all parks, open space and recreation professionals. Register to join an online webinar or watch recordings of previous webinars. 

The next webinar, to be presented by Kevin Halpenny (Ireland) on 10 May, is on creating smoke-free playgrounds. Our thanks to Dr Christy Boylan for presenting The History of Parks and Torgeir Soerensen for presenting Developing an Outstanding Urban Green Structure

Professionals interested in volunteering their time to present on a relevant topic should contact Monica Dignam, WPA Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Read more: World Parks Academy webinars and certification

Vereinigung Schweizerischer Stadtgärtnereien und Gartenbauämter / Union Suisse des Services des Parcs et Promenades (VSSG/USSP) is the Swiss association for parks and green services in municipalities. 


VSSG/USSP is a registered society that supports its members through education, information, advice and experience, and actively participates in legislative and normative processes that have an impact on public green spaces. 


Members include 120 cities and municipalities, 11 institutions such as universities, schools and hospitals, and 30 special administration bodies former cadre of park administration. The annual fee depends on the size of the organisation and varies from CHF 300 to 5,000.

Read more: Introducing our national associations: VSSG/USSP

This article reproduces an item from the Hortis publication de Ville en Ville.

It discusses the work of the World Urban Parks Europe committee and the importance of supporting member organizations around the world that advocate for the preservation of and access to parks and green spaces.

This article is available in its original language to ensure it retains its original meaning. If you would like to read a translated version, you may wish to use an online translation tool such as Google Translate.

While we have included a transcription of the text for easy translation, you may wish to view this against the original, on pages 19-20 of de Ville en Ville.

Read more: Article: Hortis et le World Urban Parks

Implementation of riverside parks in the city of São Paulo – progress and constraints

"The environmental degradation of urban rivers and streams in large cities has led to the development of a variety of public policies. In the city of São Paulo, Brazil, a policy for recovering watercourses and valley floors has been developed with the implementation of riverside parks. This represents a new paradigm for the city in terms of its relationship with rivers and streams. This paper presents the results of an exploratory study, which aimed to analyse riverside parks in the city of São Paulo during the last decade. The study analysed the main management difficulties in relation to these types of urban park during their post-implementation stage, assessing their performance in relation to their social and environmental functions. It addressed issues such as the state of the site before and after the implementation of the riverside park, levels of user satisfaction in relation to the state of the watercourse, sports and leisure facilities, green space, security and the way the park is used. The study showed that riverside parks are recognised as elements that improve the quality of public spaces, socially legitimised as public policies."

Read the full article>>

Read more: WUP Applied Research Working Group recommended articles

Whistler, British Columbia, Canada | 27-29 April 2016

The three-day British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association professional development conference will explore the theme of ‘Elevating Recreation’.

Session streams align with the five goals in the Framework for Recreation in Canada, and keynote speakers will present on topics like transformative placemaking, physical literacy, and marketing to millennials.

Find out more and register>>

Canberra, Australia | 24-25 May 2016

The annual Australasian Society of Association Executives Conference and Exhibition (ACE) will bring together association professionals from across Australia, featuring keynote speakers from successful not-for-profits and the consultancies that support them.

As is the pinnacle event on the AuSAE calendar, ACE 2016 will address a wide range of topics relevant to not-for-profits – including membership, governance, leadership, advocacy, revenue streams, event management, culture, innovation, future trends, engagement and content marketing.

Find out more and register>>

Huesca, Spain | 25-28 May 2016

Asociación Española de Parques y Jardines Públicos (the Spanish Association of Parks and Public Gardens) is hosting Congreso Nacional de Parques y Jardines Públicos (the National Congress of Parks and Public Gardens in the city of Huesca on 25-28 May 2016. The theme is 'The Culture and Health of Urban Green Infrastructure'.

Please note that the event website is in Spanish.

Find out more and register>>

Dr Digby WhyteDr Digby Whyte, World Urban Parks CEO, Australia
World Urban Parks will be a year old in April, having publicly launched at the first World Urban Parks Congress at Ponte de Lima in May 2015.

2016 is shaping up to be very active, with members taking the lead in organising the World and Region congresses, making conference presentations, and organising regional and standing committees and developing their services, particularly through working parties.

National associations are developing national versions of the World Parks Academy's CPP certification, members are becoming certified, and others are delivering Academy training webinars. Groups are working on good practices, applied research, benchmarking, advocacy and events, marketing and communications, operations standards, and the development of a think tank for advocacy leadership.

The 2016 World Urban Parks key indicators report is released in this issue, produced in partnership with Yardstick benchmarking. Members are contributing to World Parks News – featuring their parks, policies and reports, national association profiles and activity, as well as selected articles from their professional magazines.

Importantly, members are seeking opportunities to network internationally, participating in congresses, working groups and directly with their colleagues on mutual issues. We have also welcomed a number of new agencies, particularly from the Americas and including Latin America.

A new feature introduced this year will be an annual commission to highlight and facilitate discussion and activity on a selected key issue, such as rethinking parks, climate change, and equity and access. Contributions to the theme can be made at congresses, through working parties, regional activity and think tank discussion.

As Japan is hosting the 42nd G7 Summit in May, our Japanese members are looking to make a proposal to the Japanese Prime Minister for the G7 to champion a United Nations level organisation to promote city parks, green space and recreation.

Read more: World Urban Parks activity flourishes

Large Parks NetworkJoin the new World Urban Parks Large Urban Parks network and be part of an influential group of urban park leaders and professionals from around the world.

Members of the network will have the opportunity to learn from some of the most sophisticated, diverse, and world-renowned parks and parks management practices and join any of three associated Working Groups: Good Practices, Knowledge and Research, and Advocacy and Events.

Read our invitation to join the Large Urban Parks network>>

Read our invitation to join a Large Urban Parks working group>>