AlbiPresentations and the programme from the World Urban Parks Europe Region and Hortis Congress are now available online.

Hortis has also issued a special 88-page publication featuring columns from the Congress presenters as part of their magazine series.

The World Urban Parks Europe Region Congress was held from 5-7 October in partnership with French association for urban parks management Hortis and its annual congress. The venue was the Grand Theatre in the UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Albi, France.

John BrandenburgLong-serving member of World Urban Parks and its predecessor the International Federation of Parks and Recreation Administration (Ifpra) John Brandenburg passed away on 27 December 2016 in Sydney, Australia. Our thoughts are with his family, and many of his colleagues have reached out in remembrance.

John was held in very high regard as a World Urban Parks member and Ifpra Commissioner for Australia. He received the Ifpra Gold Medal at the 2013 Ifpra World Congress in Alberta, Canada for significant and dedicated service to furthering the values and ideas of the Ifpra vision. He was a major force in the development and sustainability of the IFPRA Asia-Pacific Region and its members, serving as the region's first Secretary for 16 years from 1992-2008 and editing the Asia-Pacific newsletter.

A more complete profile of John's career was produced following the presentation of the award.

Read more: Farewell to John Brandenburg

Report on pesticide useWorld Urban Parks Europe Region and Hortis collaborated on a report exploring regulatory and voluntary controls on pesticides in cities from 11 countries across Europe.

The report includes a short review of approach, policy and legislation from cities, in addition to data from parks benchmarking organisation Yardstick Global.

Planning is underway for this report to be translated into English and distributed in e-book format as part of a series of collaborative reports.

Read the report (French language)>>

Salzburg, Austria | 18-22 March 2017
Hotel Schloss LeopoldskronHeld at Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, 'The Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play' is the third session of the Parks for the Planet Forum, a platform for leadership and action launched at the 2014 World Parks Congress by Salzburg Global Seminar with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

World Urban Parks is partnering for this important forum, and Co-chair of the World Urban Parks Children, Play and Nature Committee Amanda O'Rourke will present at the event. For more information on The Child in the City seminar, download the event programme or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To register, visit the event website>>

Malmö, Sweden | 30 March 2017
Public Parks and Gardens 2017The popular conference Public Parks and Gardens celebrates its 10th anniversary with the theme 'We love plants!'.

This conference will feature lecturers from the USA, England, Ireland, Germany, France and Sweden, and inspiring ideas for plants and plant design in public outdoor environments.

To register, visit the event website>>

Interesting links from members

•    Patricia O'Donnell shared Trees in the Townscape, a guide for decision makers in urban planning.
•    Professor Willie Nel shared Bring nature back to the City, a book by Ernst Wohlitz.
•    Daniel Boulens shared Comment Lyon a Banni les Pesticides de ses Parcs et Jardins, an article featured in French newspaper Le Monde which focuses on the phasing out of pesticides in the parks and gardens of Lyon.
•    Dr Christy Boylan shared Government Gives Funding to 17 Garden Village and Town Proposals, an article on the funding of the Garden Village programme in the UK.

Gil Penalosa, World Urban Parks ChairGil Penalosa, World Urban Parks Chair
It has been a year of growth for World Urban Parks. After collecting your feedback on some of your most pressing challenges facing urban park management, planning, and advocacy we have refreshed and expanded our portfolios and committees. We have also forged new strategic partnerships, and expanded our membership.

Parks have the power to address some of our most important global challenges. As advocates and park professionals we know this, but parks are still under threat. Our committees should reflect the wide-ranging benefits of parks to everyone, young, and old, rich or poor, in developed countries and developed countries.

We have identified four new focus areas and committees that will help strengthen World Urban Parks as an organisation and meet both our short and long term organisational objectives. Our new committees include Parks and Older Adults; Children, Play, and Nature;  Healthy Parks, Healthy Cities; and Green Infrastructure.

We need your participation and advice! We are looking for strong leaders to chair and co-chair these new committees. We encourage organizational members to open the opportunity for your staff to get involved in committees, based on their relevant experience or interest. Make sure the benefits and services of World Urban Parks go beyond the one contact person. Share our newsletter in social media as well as with staff, encourage colleagues to be members of committees, the new ones as well as the established ones like Large Urban Parks, Membership, Marketing and others.

The executive committee has also been hard at work formalising partnerships such as recently signing Memorandums of Understanding with the International Federation of Landscape Architects and International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI).

Lastly, our membership is increasing due to the commitment of a few very enthusiastic champions, but we need more of you involved in the process. A big thank you to those that have invited organisations to become members and a call to action to all others. We are a member based organisation, and our success in networking, knowledge sharing, influencing the conversation on parks and city building, as well as financial strength, depends on maintaining current members and attracting new ones. Everyone’s help is much appreciated.

I wish everyone and your families a great holiday season and all the best in 2017.

Emanuel Trueb presenting at Europe Region and Hortis CongressThe Hortis and World Urban Parks Europe Region Congress was held from 5-7 October in partnership with French association for urban parks management Hortis, and its annual congress. The venue was the Grand Theatre in the UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Albi, France.

Themed Green Heritage and Green Infrastructure: Evolution or Revolution in Society, the superbly hosted congress featured 46 speakers and workshop presenters (17 international) plus regional Hortis presenters and technical tour leaders for a dozen local destinations.

The congress attracted 374 enthusiastic registrants, and was structured with a World Urban Parks half day on 4 October, with about 30 members presenting on key issues in their countries and holding a Large Urban Parks Committee meeting.

The full report is available here in the World Urban Parks Congresses and Events section of the website.

5th Biodiversity Summit of Cities and Subnational GovernmentsA Memorandum of Understanding for ongoing partnership between the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and World Urban Parks was signed at on 11 December at the 5th Global Biodiversity Summit of Cities and Subnational Governments.

From 9 to 11 December, 700 delegates from over 70 countries gathered in Cancun, Mexico for this event, where they focused on ways to mainstream biodiversity as part of development planning. The Memorandum was signed at the high-profile Launch plenary session by World Urban Parks Chair Gil Penalosa and ICLEI Regional Director for Africa Kobie Brand.

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network of more than 1,500 cities, towns and regions committed to building a sustainable future.

Visit the ICLEI website for more information on biodiversity initiatives at the event>>

Johannesburg parksThe next World Parks Academy webinar will be presented by Emmanuel Maphorogo, Regional Manager at Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo on 11 January. It will focus on the impacts of urbanization on communities’ physical and social health around the world using case studies from South Africa and other international locations.

The World Parks Academy welcomes presenters looking to share their knowledge. If you would like to present a World Parks Academy webinar, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Eppley Institute of Parks and Public Lands with a brief outline of your presentation concept.

Past webinars in the 2016-17 webinar series can be accessed online for continuing education units towards World Parks Academy Certified Parks Professional (CPP) accreditation and revalidation in the 2016-17 year.

Register for the Social and Health Benefits of Parks webinar>>

Good practices from Parque del AquaThe Large Urban Parks Committee's Good Practices Working Group is preparing a database on good practices for the World Urban Parks website. As part of this project, Alberto Ipas, Managing Director for the Municipal Society of Zaragoza, Spain, shared four good practices from the large urban park Parque del Agua.

To expand the database you are invited to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with good practices suitable for large urban parks. Succinct examples should be submitted in MS Word or PowerPoint format, together with the location and contact details of the park.

Good practices from Parque del Agua

Good practice 1: Sheep in the park

Good practice 2: Horses in the park

Good practice 3: Birds in the park

Good practice 4: Running in the park

Communities are invited to take part in the International Challenge, an evaluation of the efforts of communities towards their heritage areas and green spaces.

The International Challenge evaluates winners from national assessments in an annual international awards programme. Participants include Communities in Bloom (Canada), Britain in Bloom, America in Bloom, Tidy Towns of Ireland, Japan in Bloom, Entente Florale and Comuni Fioriti.

To find out how to register for participation, or information on getting your national association involved, please contact Communities in Bloom President Raymond Carrière This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 001-514-912-6535.

For more information, visit the International Challenge webpage>>