The World Urban Parks Distinguished Individual Award recognises significant contributions to parks, open spaces and recreation by individuals over the course of their career.

We have already received several nominations for the 2016 Distinguished Individual Award, which will be presented at our World Congress in Cape Town. If you know someone who deserves an award, why not let us know? Deadline extended to 22 August.

Nominate a distinguished individual for this year's award>>

Dr Christy Boylan and Stephen WolterSession profile: World Parks Academy Workshop

Hosted by World Parks Academy Chair Dr Christy Boylan and Executive Director of Indiana University's Eppley Institute for Public Lands Steven Wolter, this workshop invites French and international participants to identify and work to resolve key issues impacting parks and park management.

The workshop will also explore the relevance of exposure to international perspectives and collaboration to obtaining and maintaining professional certification, in addition to the role and services of the World Parks Academy.

This is particularly relevant to Hortis members as Hortis will now offer the Certified Parks Professional - France (CPP-France) accreditation in partnership with Indiana University's Eppley Institute and the World Parks Academy.

Read more: Europe Region & Hortis Congress

Plante & CitePlante & Cité, France

Plante & Cité is the French national centre for research into green spaces, urban landscaping and nature. Set up as an non-profit association in 2006, it brings together representatives from urban park planning and maintenance services, as well as researchers and technical experts. Today, it celebrates 10 years of innovation.

HORTIS, the French association of managers of urban natural spaces, is one of Plante & Cité’s founding members. Plante & Cité currently has more than 500 members, who range from local authorities and landscaping firms to research and training establishments. It employs 15 people, mainly agronomy, landscape planning, ecology and horticulture engineers.

Read more: French research centre promotes collaborative approach

Marcomms Working groupOn 15 August World Urban Parks will launch on Facebook, and all members are encouraged to actively contribute. If you have an online journal, relevant events, relevant articles, photos to share from your country, or you have any questions, please get social and contact Jenn Halliday via LinkedIn.

The move to Facebook is an outcome of the development of a marketing and communications plan that aims to promote the values of urban parks, develop our partnerships, increase investment, grow our membership and ultimately join the global conversation around the parks industry.

You will begin to see a consistent voice across World Urban Parks' social media platforms - Twitter (@WUParks) and LinkedIn Group site. We look forward to seeing the global expertise from within our memberships better communicated through the use of technology. One benefit of having global platforms will be being able to share national articles and news from member countries on a global scale.

Read more: World Urban Parks to launch Facebook account

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