The value of green space has been recognised in Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation, a new United Kingdom Government sport strategy focusing on the benefits of sport to the public.

Horticulture Week recently interviewed Parks Alliance Chair Mark Camley to discuss the changes and the key role parks have in promoting physical activity across the United Kingdom.

Read the article>> 

Read the strategy>> 

Makoto Aruji, President, World Urban Parks Japan

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Ms. Masako Muraoka, Director of Life Landscape Planning, a professional member of World Urban Parks and CIPP holder, passed away on November 21, 2015. She was 65. 

She was an excellent landscape architect and a warm person, and has played important roles in landscape industry in Japan.

Fondly admired and loved by her peers, Masako will be sorely missed. Our heartfelt sympathies go to the rest of her family. 

Sayonara Masako.

Over the next few months we will introduce many of the national association members of World Urban Parks. National associations advance the industry through knowledge exchange and professional development, and it is a key role of World Urban Parks to act as an umbrella association that unites and supports them. 

City Parks Alliance is the only independent, nationwide membership organization in the United States of America solely dedicated to urban parks. City Parks Alliance unites and serves a growing network of hundreds of civic and community leaders, city officials, funders, park and recreation authorities and others concerned with urban parks from nearly every state and the District of Columbia.

Read more: Introducing our national associations: City Parks Alliance

Titled A Guide to the Healthy Parks Healthy People Approach and Current Practices, this free guide covers park management approaches, current international practices and projects, as well as the latest research in this area.

Resulting from the ‘Improving Health and Well-Being: Healthy Parks Healthy People’ stream at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s 2014 World Parks Congress in Sydney, this guide can be used to explore the diverse health benefits of parks and encourage people and organisations to use parks as a place where people can connect with nature and enjoy the benefits.

Read the guide>>


A special edition of the Hortis magazine de Ville en Ville has been produced, focusing on the presentations and discussions at the recent Hortis congress in Marseille.

Please note, this is a French language publication.

Read the magazine>>

The National Recreation and Park Association has produced research on the economic impact of local parks, and illustrating the economic value of parks and green spaces as "engines of economic activity in their communities".

Read the report>>


The City of Boulder’s Parks and Recreation department and Youth Opportunities advisory board asked teens what features they would want to see in city parks, resulting in a top 10 list of the features consistently asked for. 

This list included features such as Wi-Fi, nature and music, and examples such as a park designed for and used by teens in Malmö, Sweden, where music was an integral feature. 

Read the article here>>

This study from the June 2015 issue of Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability presents “an analysis of benefits of ecosystem services in urban areas”, including estimates of monetary benefits from urban ecosystem services based on data from 25 urban areas in the USA, Canada, and China.

The results of this study show that investing in ecological infrastructure is desirable not only ecologically and socially, but also economically, even based on the most traditional economic approaches.

Read the study online>> 


Gartenjahr 2016 – space for encounters is a Switzerland-wide campaign for the summer of 2016, committed to the preservation and development of open spaces and gardens. 

This advocacy campaign draws attention to the central importance of parks and gardens to the quality of life in urban spaces including a calendar of events across Switzerland, taking place from April to October 2016.

Examples of initiatives include Offene Gärten days in which five national horticultural associations open the gates of their gardens to share knowledge with the public and other professionals, and Rapperswiler Tag on 11 March, which looks to enhance meaningful contact in public spaces. 

Visit the Gartenjahr 2016 website>> 

The ninth Public Parks and Gardens conference will be held in Helsingborg, Sweden on 13 April 2016. 

This year’s conference has the theme “Interactive parks and spaces” – to engage citizens in the implementation of park and arts experiences in public environment.

One of the feature presentations will focus on the spectacular Gardens by the Bay project in Singapore. All lectures for this event will be presented in English.

For more information, read the event flyer>> 

To register, visit the event website>> 

This article reproduces an item from the Asociación Española de Parques y Jardines Públicos publication PARJAP that was published in December. The article discusses the concept of ‘Naturation Urbana’ (Urban Naturation) – how including ideas such as green corridors, green building façades, and urban microclimates in urban planning can help improve the sustainability of urban areas.

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.

Read more: Article: Naturación urbana y jardinería vertical: de las fachadas verdes a los muros vegetales

Gil PenalosaGil Penalosa, Canada, Chair of the Board of Directors

It is hard to believe that it has already been eight months since the launch of World Urban Parks.

As Chair I would like to extend a big thank you to all of our members for your high level of engagement during this exciting building phase of World Urban Parks. It has been a pleasure to be part of such an enthusiastic and knowledgeable team of city park leaders and professionals.

In only a short amount of time we have been able to accomplish a lot.  Here is a re-cap of some of our accomplishments in 2015:

•    World Urban Parks “goes live” in April 2015 transferring members from IFPRA, and International Urban Park and Green Space Alliance.
•    First World Urban Parks Congress held in Ponte de Lima Portugal in May 2015 with approximately 200 attendees.
•    World Urban Parks governance structure approved and international Board appointed
•    Key communication and branding complete with logo, website, monthly news and social media presence.

Read more: Looking back so we can look ahead

Cape TownThe second World Urban Parks Congress will be held from 26-28 September 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa in partnership with the Institute for Environment and Recreation Management (IERM). The Institute represents about 60 of the largest parks departments in South Africa.

The three-day congress will include technical tours, presentations and workshops, a trade show and time for World Urban Parks Board and committee meetings.

Read more: World Urban Parks Congress 2016 announced

Dr Digby Whyte, World Urban Parks CEO, Australia
Martha Fajardo

The full World Urban Parks Board met on 3 December and welcomed new Board Director Martha Fajardo of Colombia, a former President of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), bringing a formal connection between IFLA and World Urban Parks. Martha was appointed a Co-Chair of the World Urban Parks Americas Region with an extra focus on engaging South America.

Gil Penalosa (Chair of World Urban Parks) and Richard Murray (President of Ekoparken) were appointed Co-Chairs of the Large Urban Parks Executive Committee. The Board reviewed the business plan and noted the 2015/16 priority was building World Urban Parks membership, particularly via Region and Committee activity and via the website

Read more: World Urban Parks Board and committee update