Minneapolis and St. Paul, USA | 29 July - 2 August 2017

Greater & GreenerGreater & Greener is the two-yearly conference of the City Parks Alliance. Join more than 1,000 global park leaders exploring the power of parks in supporting healthy, resilient and sustainable cities. Attendees will learn best practices of urban park design, management and programming and network with experts in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

World Urban Parks is partnering with CPA to present a day-long International Forum at the event on August 2nd, which is limited to 200 participants. Sessions include 'Healthy Parks Healthy Cities', 'River Revolution Cities', 'Large Parks in Cities' and 'Getting it Right'. There is a great line up of speakers from around the world, including many World Urban Parks members.

The International Forum also provides an important networking opportunity for World Urban Parks members as well as leaders from large cities, national parks services, non-government organisations, and academics. In addition, a post-event technical tour to Chicago is planned for World Urban Parks members.

Special rates apply for World Urban Parks members for full Conference Registration. Full and day registrations also include free attendance at the International Forum for World Urban Parks members.

The topics and broader Greater and Greener Conference are ideal for World Urban Parks members and our commitment to partner for this event is in lieu of a 2017 World and Americas Region Congress.

Visit www.greatergreener.org for the full conference schedule and additional information. To facilitate meeting each other WUP members are encouraged to book the hotel associated with the venue the Intercontinental Saint Paul Riverfront

City parks play a vital role in the social, economic, and physical well-being of cities and their residents. Parks are now recognized as powerful and necessary part of 21st century urban systems. As urban populations continue to grow, planners, elected officials, community advocates, and other stakeholders are taking a fresh look at parks and their potential to help address many critical urban issues. 

Gil Penalosa, World Urban Parks Chair

Gil PenalosaIn the March edition of World Park News, we gave a short introduction to our five newly created committees (Green Infrastructure, Healthy Parks, Healthy Cities, Older Adults and Parks and Children, Play and Nature). These committees reflect the feedback we collected from members on key topics of interest. This month I’d like to take the opportunity to profile one of them: Children, Play, and Nature.

Children need to play. They need to play outside, and they benefit tremendously when they have experiences in nature. We as humans are hard-wired for being outside in the natural environment, but the cities we are building today are making it more difficult for children (and people of all ages) to experience the tremendous benefits of play and nature. In the U.S, research suggests that 35 per cent of households do not have a park within walking distance of their home, and that is in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. We must do much better, not only for the quality of life for children today, but also for future generations.

The Children, Play and Nature Committee is co-chaired by one of my colleagues, Amanda O’Rourke (8 80 Cities), along with Helena Bjarnegård from the City of Gothenburg in Sweden. Recognising all children have a right to play and connect with nature, this committee aims to strengthen the World Urban Parks advocacy portfolio by supporting the value and benefits of urban parks and green spaces to children’s health and well-being.

As Co-chair of the Committee (and World Urban Parks member), Amanda recently participated in the Salzburg Global Seminar entitled 'The Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play' in March. The Seminar was part of a series in the Parks for the Planet Forum – a collaborative platform convened by Salzburg Global Seminar in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) which aims to position nature at the heart of human health, wellbeing, security, and prosperity.

The Children, Play and Nature Committee has also been working to build a collaborative relationship with U.S-based Children and Nature Network, which I am pleased to announce has accepted an invitation to sit on the Committee.

Their 2017 International Children and Nature Network Conference will take place in Vancouver BC from 18-21 April. World Urban Parks members can receive $25 off full conference registration by using the code 2017WUP when registering at http://www.childrenandnature.org/cnc2017.

We are currently looking for interested members to join the committee and/or the broader network. The Committee will be limited to 15 people; however the network will be unlimited. Ideally every World Urban Parks city member as well as most organisations should have a person participating, sharing and learning. This approach will lead to a win-win situation. Joining the network means you will not need to dedicate much time, but will receive meeting minutes and updates and be able to join specific working parties. If you or your colleagues are interested, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

World Parks Week 2017The inaugural World Parks Week takes place from 29 April to 7 May. We have already received events ranging from Showa Kinen Flower Festival in Tokyo and Festival Flores y Jardines in Mexico City to boat tours of the National City Park in Stockholm, a celebration of spring in Helsinki and a range of events from Nene Park in the UK.

We have set up a linking world map to feature World Parks Week events from around the world, and created downloadable logos for your events as well as sample tweets. This is a great opportunity to communicate the importance of the world's parks and encourage people to enjoy their local park and appreciate the importance of green space. If you have an existing event between 29 April and 7 May, please consider flying the World Parks Week banner and letting us know the details.

Visit the World Parks Week webpage for more details and to submit your events>>

EOI for secreteriat servicesThe current agreement for the provision of World Urban Parks CEO and secretariat services will shortly expire. Members and external organisations or individuals are invited to lodge expressions of interest to provide of World Urban Parks CEO services, secretariat services, or both. 

Details on information required in the Expression of Interest can be found in our Notice of Interest and Terms of Reference document, along with details of the World Urban Parks organisational structure. 

Expressions of Interest and any questions should be submitted to the World Urban Parks Vice Chair - Governance, David Cochrane, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 13 April 2017.

Those expressing interest will be sent a Request for Proposals document. The appointment is expected to be made in June 2017 with commencement in July 2017.

Europe Region CongressSave the date! Our 2017 Europe Region Congress will be held at Birkenhead Park in October 2017 in partnership with Wirral Council in the United Kingdom. Pre-congress tours and workshops start on 14 October, with the congress officially held from 17-19 October. Post-congress tours will also feature.

If you would like to make a presentation, please submit a short abstract (300 words) of your proposal to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before 17 April. Conference themes include community, heritage, sustainability, and large urban parks.

Palmares 2017The French National Union of Landscape Companies in association with the French national association for park managers Hortis have released their second Observatory of Green Cities, 'Palmares 2017', rating 50 large French cities on their green space and urban greening.

A panel of 20 specialists used five groups of indicators:

  • Green heritage, with indicators including green space per inhabitant (average of 1,147 hectares of green areas);
  • Investment in the development and improvement of green heritage (average green areas budget of €46.5 per inhabitant);
  • Biodiversity conservation, including biodiversity plans and inventories criteria (on average half the cities had biodiversity plans);
  • Promotion of parks and gardens, with indicators including promotion to schools;
  • Maintenance of green space and treatment of waste, including indicators for having a weed plan and policy for green waste management (66 percent had a weed control plan, anticipating zero herbicide legislation, and 22 percent used eco-pastoralism). 

The Top 5 rated cities were Angers, Nantes, Strasbourg, Lyon and Caen. The ratings are summarised in the following document (French language): http://www.observatoirevillesvertes.fr/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/PALMARES-DES-VILLES-VERTES-VDEF.pdf 

 

 

Selected by the World Urban Parks Applied Research Working Group

London heat mapThis month's recommended research articles feature two studies employing world-wide meta-analyses of scientific articles - a study on the conditions that green and blue space reduce urban temperature, and a study of the effects of gardening on health.

Mobility parksIn partnership with the Hopp-La Foundation, the City of Basel in Switzerland has designed a health promotion project for strength, balance and fall prevention that brings older adults and children together. Trialed in Basel's Schützenmattpark, the project focuses on shared outdoor activity using features similar to playspaces, but catered for all ages. 

The Hopp-La Foundation advocates for public mobility and encourages common activity and spaces for young and old. They have presented a flyer (German language) which outlines the project. Further information can be found at the Hopp-La Foundation website.

Vancouver, Canada | 18-21 April 2017

Children and Nature Network International ConferenceOver 700 people from 21 countries are confirmed to attend the Children & Nature Network International Conference in April 2017.

Thanks to a special relationship between the Children & Nature Network and the World Urban Parks Children, Play and Nature Committee, World Urban Parks members can receive $25 off full conference registration by using the code 2017WUP when registering at http://www.childrenandnature.org/cnc2017.

For more information or to register, visit the event website>>

Singapore | 7-9 June 2017

Asia-Pacific and IPRS CongressMark the date in your calendar and consider presenting at The International Greenery, Recreation, Infrastructure and Parks Conference – the Institute of Parks and Recreation Singapore and World Urban Parks Asia Pacific Congress.

Held at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre with its striking rooftop park, the conference is adjacent to the equally striking 101 hectare Gardens by the Bay. Further information can be found in the 'first announcement', which will be updated as the program is finalised and the event website becomes available.

Pre-event activities will begin on 6 June, featuring a seminar, master-class and World Urban Parks region meeting, while the conference itself takes place on 7-8 June, with a technical tour on 9 June, an optional cycling tour will feature on 10 June.

If you are interested in presenting at the conference or would like further information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Minneapolis and St. Paul, USA | 29 July - 2 August 2017

Greater & GreenerGreater & Greener is the two-yearly conference of the City Parks Alliance, expected to attract over 1,000 participants. Special rates apply for World Urban Parks members, and early bird registrations have been extended until 7 April, so register now.

World Urban Parks is partnering with City Parks Alliance to present a day-long International Forum at the event on 2 August. Sessions include 'Healthy Parks Healthy Cities', 'River Revolution Cities', 'Large Parks in Cities' and 'Getting it Right'. The International Forum also provides an important networking opportunity for World Urban Parks members, and a post-event technical tour to Chicago is planned. 

The International Forum is expected to attract more than 1,000 global parks leaders. The topics and broader Greater and Greener Conference are ideal for World Urban Parks members and our commitment to partner for this event is in lieu of a 2017 World and Americas Region Congress.

Find out more about Greater and Greener>>

Johannesburg, South Africa | 11-13 September 2017

IERM Convention 2017The Institute of Environment and Recreation Management is hosting its annual Convention in partnership with the University of South Africa (UNISA) from 11-13 September. The 2017 Convention is themed People and Green Space – Cradle to Grave. 

 

Those who are interested in presenting papers or case studies at the convention are invited to submit an abstract to the IERM Secretariat by Friday, 26 May 2017.

Dr Digby Whyte, World Urban Parks CEO
World Urban Parks has four goals. These are to improve the quality of life for citizens by establishing strong parks networks, to improve the skills and knowledge of parks professionals through providing strong professional networks that connect colleagues around the world, to ensure the benefits of parks, open space and recreation are well understood by governments, and to act as a global voice for the sector, and the world's national associations.

Our initiatives to achieve these goals are driven by members who work together in standing committees, regional committees and working parties. These groups are accessible at all levels of an organisation, thanks to internet meetings where you can see international colleagues, make presentations and share material.

Standing committees and their working parties will now be complemented by roundtables of 4-10 colleagues who meet by internet over a common issue. One of the first roundtable meetings this year will include several World Urban Parks national association members who will meet to discuss avenues to strengthen income and increase funding diversity.

Please feel free to suggest key issues you'd like discussed, or raise them on the World Urban Parks professional group on LinkedIn. Members can also use the LinkedIn group’s member database to contact colleagues directly on topics of interest.

For those with an interest in events, our Region Committees are developing a range of activities, including region congresses where members are in demand to present, or participate, as well as technical tours, and even helping professionals develop national associations in countries where they don't exist.

Do consider participating in a standing committee. If you or anyone you know would like to contribute, simply contact the committee chairs (details available on our Committees webpage), or contact me directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and I will be happy to assist.

World Parks Week 2017World Parks Week takes place from 29 April to 7 May. It's a great opportunity to communicate the importance the world's parks, encouraging people to enjoy their local park and appreciate the importance of green space.

We will help you to showcase your amazing events, and are hosting a World Parks Week webpage. We have also created downloadable logos for your events, so if you have an exisiting event between 29 April and 7 May, please feel free to fly the World Parks Week banner and let us know the details.

Visit the World Parks Week webpage to submit your events and for more details>>

Our 2017 Europe Region Congress will be held at Birkenhead Park in October 2017 in partnership with Wirral Council in the United Kingdom. The call for abstracts has been extended until 17 April, so if you would like to make a presentation, please submit a short abstract (300 words) of your proposal to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before this date.

Pre-congress tours and workshops are planned to start on 14 October, with the congress officially held from 17-19 October. Post-congress tours will also feature.

The International Greenery, Recreation, Infrastructure and Parks Conference in Singapore has been upgraded to be a World Urban Parks Asia Pacific Region Congress, and is scheduled for 6-10 June 2017.

Held at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre with its striking roof park, this conference was postponed from November 2016 to allow greater planning and promotion time.

Pre-event activities will begin on 6 June, feature a seminar, masterclass and World Urban Parks region meeting, while the conference itself takes place on 7-8 June. Optional technical and cycling tours will feature on 9 and 10 June.

If you would like information on this event click here. To register your interest in attending, or are interested in presenting at the conference, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..