World CongressCape Town, South Africa | 26-28 September 2016

Register now for the World Urban Parks Congress, held in conjunction with the Institute of Environment and Recreation Management Annual Convention.

World Urban Parks members are invited to a pre-Congress afternoon on Sunday 25 September. All members are welcome to attend. If possible, please RSVP via e-mail to World Urban Parks CEO Dr Digby Whyte at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to notify your attendance at the pre-Congress meeting.

Themed "People and Green Space - A Celebration of Diversity" the programme offers a huge variety of ideas, with over 65 presenters from hosts South Africa and 15 other countries.

Register now>>

Europe CongressAlbi, France | 5-7 October 2016

Register now for this exciting bilingual congress, held in partnership with French parks professional association Hortis in the French city of Albi, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

World Urban Parks members are invited to a pre-Congress afternoon on Tuesday 4 October. All members are welcome to attend. If possible, please RSVP via e-mail to World Urban Parks CEO Dr Digby Whyte at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to notify your attendance at the pre-Congress meeting.

Congress registrations can be made at the event website which also features the event programme and information on symposia days, tours and site visits, workshops and meetings.

Register now>>

Singapore | November 2016 (Dates to be advised)
Marina Bay Sands
World Urban Parks is a supporting organisation of the Institute of Parks and Recreation Singapore’s (IPRS) Conference. The theme of the event is “Greenery, Parks & Recreation”. The event will be held at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Convention Center, from  [STOP PRESS - EVENT POSTPONED TO 29 NOVEMBER - 3 DECEMBER 2016]

This conference is open to all public and private sector participants who wish to share information and experiences on green spaces, parks and recreation. It is expected to attract over 200 people to the conference venue – the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

Early registration is available here or on the website from mid-August. Details will also be emailed to members. Non-members are welcome to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. A number of international speakers from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond have been secured.

Some speaking places remain. If you wish to present at the conference, please contact us at the earliest opportunity by sending a brief abstract (relating to the conference theme), your CV and a photo to IPRS President This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Read more: Event: IPRS Conference, Singapore

Habitat IIIQuito, Ecuador | 17-20 October 2016

Richard Murray, Chair of the World Urban Parks Large Urban Parks Committee has submitted a proposal to hold a side event at the upcoming Habitat III conference in Ecuador, titled “Large Green Spaces, Key Public Infrastructure for Equitable, Healthy and Sustainable Cities.”

Habitat III is the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, to be held in Quito, Ecuador in 2016. The host city offers a unique backdrop to show innovation and urban solutions that reflect on how to plan and manage cities and territories in order to fulfil their roles as engines of sustainable development.

The Large Urban Parks Committee has proposed the side-event be run in partnership with the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (UN-FAO) and the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA).

The proposed event would consist of a series of short lectures, followed by discussions on the theme of large green spaces in small and big cities, with a set of recommendations for city planners presented and discussed.

Read more: Event: Habitat III

Adelaide, Australia | 23-25 October 2016
Adelaide Oval
The 20th Parks and Leisure Australia National Conference 25-28 October will be hosted at the Adelaide Oval.

The conference theme is ‘A Toolkit for Change’, and the conference will include presentations and workshops exploring the solutions to the daily challenges faced by park and recreation managers in their quest to maintain quality places and spaces and to provide access to services that build healthy communities.

Visit the event website to find out more or register now>>

World Urban Parks CongressesDr Digby Whyte, CEO
September and October are fast approaching, and registrations are now open for the World Urban Parks World and Europe Region Congresses.

Our World Urban Parks Congress is hosted this year by the Institute of Environment and Recreation Management in Cape Town, South Africa from 26-28 September. We will host a World Urban Parks pre-congress afternoon on Sunday 25 September for our board, committees, national associations and members to meet and get to know each other before the start of the Congress. The annual AGM will have been held online earlier in the month, but this can also be a time for members to discuss any aspect.

Our Europe Region Congress follows hot on the heels of the World Congress, and will be hosted by Hortis in Albi, France from 5-7 October. Again, there will be pre-congress meetings on the afternoon of Tuesday 4 October, with delegates and participants invited to get to know each other before the start of the congress.

The World and Region Congresses are highlights of the World Urban Parks calendar and provide a unique and valuable opportunity for members and other interested organisations and professionals to meet and experience a balance of topical international and national presentations and workshops on common issues, together with technical tours and case studies of the host city.

The congresses are hosted by national associations who are members of World Urban Parks and the programme provides professional and social opportunities to develop collegial networks that support professional practice. The congresses will include gala dinners, awards, and trade exhibitions. I invite you to come and enjoy the culture of the host countries and the chance to meet and work with your ‘internet colleagues’ face to face.

World Urban Parks and IERM congress venueCape Town, South Africa | 26-28 September 2016

Registrations are now open for the World Urban Parks Congress, held in conjunction with the Institute of Environment and Recreation Management Annual Convention.

'Early Bird' rates are available up to 1 August 2016. To register and to select accommodation visit the Congress website. The Congress Programme is also now available.

Themed "People and Green Space - A Celebration of Diversity" there will be a huge variety of ideas on offer, with over 65 presenters from hosts South Africa and 15 other countries. All World Urban Parks members are also invited to a pre-congress meeting on the afternoon of Sunday 25 September – a great opportunity to get to know each other before the start of the congress, discuss any aspects of the AGM and meet face to face.

Register now>>

Europe CongressAlbi, France | 5-7 October 2016
Registrations are open for this exciting bilingual congress, which will explore the theme: ‘Green Heritage and Green Infrastructure: Evolution or Social Revolution?’.

The congress is held in partnership with French parks professional association Hortis in the French city of Albi, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Register at the event website and download the updated program, which includes symposium days, tours and site visits, workshops and conferences, pre-congress meetings and ‘master lectures’.

City parks and heritage areas have increasing social, cultural, environmental and economic relevance. Find out how these spaces will evolve to meet the needs of different European populations in the twenty-first century at the Europe Region Congress.

Register now>>

Read more: Register for Europe Region Congress

Sandrine ManussetSpeaker profile: Sandrine Manusset

At the Europe Region and Hortis Congress in Albi on 6 October, Sandrine Manusset will explore the Sociological approach of green areas in urban planning, taking into consideration biodiversity, health and societal expectations. She says the real difficulty is implementing recommendations for incorporating nature in the city, with today's socio-cultural context rather unfavourable to nature.

Read more: Europe Region and Hortis Congress

Distinguished Individual Award NomniationsWorld Urban Parks encourages and recognises significant contributions made by individuals to the urban parks, open space and recreation sector with this prestigious international award.

The Distinguished Individual Award recognises any organisation or individual associated with the parks, open space and recreation industry. Nominations for 2016 are now open until 22 August 2016. The award will be conferred at the Gala Dinner of the World Urban Parks Congress, Cape Town, South Africa, 27 September 2016. The recipient receives a trophy and Honorary Life Membership of World Urban Parks.

Read more: Distinguished individual award nominations open

Magical Park AppAuckland and Wellington City Councils in New Zealand are piloting a new augmented reality game designed to get ‘tech children’ who are glued to their tablets and iPhones out of the house and into parks with their families.

Magical Park is the world's first digital playground app using augmented reality. It is geo-located in a specific park and so the app will only open in a designated park area. Auckland and Wellington's park sites have signs installed, instructing the visitor to download the app and play in the park.

This provides park managers with an innovative way to use technology to bring digital families to a park. Once outside, the magic of outdoor activity takes hold, and kids end up playing together, using their imagination and getting side-tracked from the game to doing other things.

Read more: Augmented reality games hit New Zealand parks

Melbourne roundtable meetingWorld Urban Parks Chair Gil Penalosa and Vice Chair Neil McCarthy hosted a roundtable of 14 leaders from parks, open space and recreation agencies at Library at The Dock in Melbourne on 1 July. Key topics were the current status of cities as healthy, liveable, sustainable and accessible communities, how to identify key issues and opportunities for Australian park, open space and recreation organisations; and actions World Urban Parks could take to make a difference.
 
Some of the larger issues discussed by Mr Penalosa were aging populations as an important resource, health crises related to obesity, climate change, population growth and park investment, funding, mobility, and equity of access for children and lower income groups. Mr Penalosa separately addressed staff of World Urban Parks members, Parks Victoria and the City of Melbourne expanding on these discussions.
 

Read more: World Urban Parks roundtable, Melbourne

Large Urban Parks SurveyWorld Urban Parks is creating a database of large urban parks around the world. This is an opportunity for park managers to register your park online.

The database is the product of the Large Urban Parks Good Practices Working Group, which works to share knowledge about how to handle various tasks and issues among large urban parks stewards, managers, funders, planners, defenders and advocates.

A first step is to create a shared database of Large Urban Parks and to gather basic information about the facilities and financing of these parks. The online questionnaire to register large urban parks in your organisation for inclusion in the database takes about 15 minutes.

It may be helpful to first look at the survey as a PDF before completing it online. The structure is: General Information, Financial Information, Amenities and Facilities in the park. While there is a flexible deadline, it would be good to have contributions for an initial shared database by 31 July 2016.