As a global voice supporting the value and benefits of parks and open space, World UIrban Parks Association recognizes the important role urban parks play in children's quality of life worldwide. Access to active self-directed play in nature is fundamental to healthy childhood development. 

Last month World Urban Parks committee, Children, Play, and Nature, released a statement. This statement provided a call to action and provided benefits of play and nature and the global deficit of free play in nature. 

Read the full statement here! 
Watch the release through the World Parks Academy webinar!

The Board of World Urban Parks is proud to announce that Jayne Miller (President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy) has been elected as the new Chair of the World Urban Parks Board.  Jayne has been a very active Board member since the inception of World Urban Parks and has played a leading role in setting the standard for urban parks in America.

The Board of World Urban Parks is also proud to announce our first Ambassador, Gil Penalosa.  Gil was the inaugural Chair of World Urban Parks and has guided the organisation over the last three years.  In that time, we have been able to transition successfully and establish many key programs.  The Board extends its thanks to Gil for his leadership and that he is so committed to World Urban Parks to take on this role.
The Ambassador(s) (up to a maximum of four) will play a key role in:

  •  advocating and representing the organisation in conjunction with the Chair and CEO
  • achieving WUP’s vision and mission

The first National Park City Forum was held in London on the 20th July, to commence the development of the Universal Charter that will guide the adoption of the National Park City concept internationally.  London in 2019, will become the first city in the world to be a National Park City.

Eighteen individuals participated in the Forum, at the famous GuildHall, London.

An appropriate venue given the significance of this concept as he building has been used as a town hall for several hundred years and is still the ceremonial and administrative centre of the City of London. The term "Guildhall" refers both to the whole building and to its main room, which is a medieval great hall.  

Some of the major world leading urban and park organisations participated in the forum and included: Salzburg Global Seminar, Greater London Authority, IUCN, Parks Canada, Natural England, City of London, Rawlings, Institute for Global Prosperity, Gewildgroe,  Hortis, John Muir Trust, Mosaic Insights and New Weather Institute.

“It was great to see the lead that London has taken in developing the National Park City concept developed, challenged and broadened by others to create a framework that could be flexed and adopted by other green cities.”   Mark Camley – Chair Advocacy Portfolio World Urban Parks

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) for World Urban Parks was held electronically from 24th August to 31st August. The AGM is always held via electronic survey so that all members will have six days to participate at their convenience. 

The AGM provides an opportunity for members to see, comment on and approve:

  • Board appointments
  • the annual report of World Urban Parks for the 2017/18 year
  • the audited financial reports for the 2017/18 year
  • the appointment of the auditor and terms of that appointment

34 World Urban Parks members participated in the AGM and thus a quorum was achieved as required.

Of the 34 responses, there was a balanced reflection of our membership types and regions. Read the full report to see what members had to say about key services, key areas of participation and key areas of leadership.

Download the Full AGM Report!

Featured World Urban Parks Member

Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy

Let us welcome one of our newest members the Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. 

The Conservancy works in partnership with the City of Raleigh, the Conservancy ensures the creation and long-term success of Dorothea Dix Park as a place for everyone – a transformative public space for community, health, and celebration that will enrich our quality of life in North Carolina.

Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy in partnership with the City of Raleigh has embarked on a generational effort to create America's next great public park. It truly is a special place that has the potential to capture the imagination of the world with compelling, courageous and innovative ideas.

Discover more about the Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy today!  


Featured World Parks Academy Individual

Elisabeth Fournier, Secretary General Hortis, France

"WPA certificate programs establish a standard for professional development that is recognized worldwide. The partnership between Hortis and WPA creates opportunities for young and senior professionals alike to exchange knowledge and experience, advance their personal professional development, and serve as leaders in a larger national and international community."

Elisabeth Fournier - CPP Certified

WPA Webinar: Urban Green Space Challenges:

Contributions of the French Technical Center Plante & Cité

Presenter: Ludovic Provost, Manager of Communications, Plante & Cité
Date: September 20, 2018
Time: 8:00am EST, 14.00 (GMT+2)
Join URL:

About the Webinar
This webinar will provide an introduction to Plante & Cité, France’s research-based center for landscape and urban horticulture. Ludovic Provost will present case studies on a variety of research topics relating to urban green space challenges and solutions in France. Findings from Plante & Cité’s research will illustrate how technical benchmarking can help professionals’ to reach best practices and inspire park agencies worldwide.

Learning Objectives
After attending this webinar participants should be able to:

  • Understand the mission, goals, and objectives of the French center Plante & Cité
  • Identify urban green space issues in France as defined through research
  • Describe urban green space best practices and recognize examples worldwide
  • Recognize ways to network with the broader international community through research on urban green space issues



The Annual General Meeting (AGM) for World Urban Parks will be held electronically from 24th August to 31st August. The AGM will be held via electronic survey so that all members will have six days to participate at their convenience. 

You can participate in this year's Annual General Meeting if you are a current member of World Urban Parks. 

Click here to participate.

The AGM will provide an opportunity for members to see and comment on:

View World Urban Parks 2017 Achievements


International Day of Older Persons

International Day of Older Persons the 1st October 2018: help us mark the day!

World Urban Parks' Older Adults & Parks Advocacy Committee is inviting you to promote your Parks organisation's work during this years' International Day for Older People on 1st October. What programmes do you run that older people assist with? Do you design parks with older people's requirements in mind? Let us know. We will then promote in the October edition of World Urban Parks Newsletter. May we also encourage you to promote the links to the International Day of Older People in your work too! Thank you! 

Dr. Mary Worral
World Urban Parks, Older Adults & Parks Advocacy Committee

Calgary Parks: Innovation 100 Years in the Making

When one imagines innovation they conjure new, contemporary, cutting-edge ideas. It’s rare that they think of 100-year-old parks and gardens. But Calgary Parks has changed that. In 2013 Calgary City Council passed the Cultural Landscape Policy, partially in response to the successful restorations of two of Calgary’s most beloved historic parks – Reader Rock Garden and Central Memorial Park.
The Cultural Landscape Policy recognizes the value of the history of the landscape and establishes strategies and best practices to conserve and celebrate that history. Both Reader Rock Garden and Central Memorial Park date from the early 1910s. One is considered an exemplary example of an Edwardian era Arts and Craft Rockery and the other an example of an intricate carpet bed design, inspired by the Victorian era. When Calgary Parks redeveloped these sites, they strictly followed the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada to ensure the historic significance of the sites would be conserved for future generations to experience. This was considered an innovative approach, as often historic resource conservation prioritizes buildings.
In late 2017 and early 2018, this approach lead to both sites being designated National Historic Sites by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Calgary Parks considers this quite an honour and is excited to start sharing the history of these parks with Canadians and visitors to Canada.

On behalf of the World Urban Parks Board and management, I would like to thank the following retiring Board members:

  • Patricia O'Donnell
  • David Cochrane
  • Keith Anderson

for their excellent service and passion they brought to the Board and the organisation during this significant establishment phase.

I would like to thank,

  • Patricia O'Donnell for her expertise that she has brought to the Board regarding urban heritage landscapes and connections with UNESCO and ICOMOS
  • David Cochrane for his excellent leadership of the Governance Portfolio and guiding the organisation through this challenging period and the support he has provided me on the WUP Executive
  • Keith Anderson for his invaluable contribution as the Chair of the North America Region

Gil Penalosa
Chair - World Urban Parks

World Urban Parks is delighted to be conducting the second full year of the International Large Urban Parks Awards - recognizing the quality of the Parks, the skills of the people who manage them and the value they bring to the cities they serve.

The application page for the 2019 International Large Urban Parks Award has moved! Please find the application on our new website at! If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to the Secretariat Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

World Urban Parks's is delighted to announce the first winners of its Large Urban Parks Awards - recognizing the quality of the Parks, the skills of the people who manage them and the value they bring to the cities they serve.  Richard Murray, Chair of the judging panel, announced the awards and commended the quality of applications, "These inaugural awards reflect the global importance of Urban Parks - spaces that help with health,  the environment and community cohesion.  I congratulate each of the winners for all they do to make their cities more livable

As the world urban population will double from 3.5 billion to over 7.0 billion in the next 40 years it is this important to support the development of parks and open spaces as critical elements in creating vibrant cities and healthy communities. The International Large Urban Parks Award program is an important element in the promotion of the benefits of urban parks around the world and to highlight best practice within our industry.

The International Large Urban Parks Award enables Cities around the world to benchmark their performance and understand where improvements could be made.  The Awards are based on 4 main criteria which are:

  • Park Design and Layout
  • Features and Facilities
  •  Protection and Community Engagement and Involvement
  • Park Management and Maintenance

The Awards are given in three Categories:

  • Gold Award ≥ 800 Points
  • Silver Award 650 – 799 Points
  • Bronze Award 500 – 649 Points

Case Study of Parque Del Agua, Zaragoza-Spain

This professional development series is brought to you by the World Parks Academy and World Urban Parks.

Presenter: Alberto Ipas (CEO Parque del Agua, Zaragoza-Spain)

Date: July 25, 2018

Time: 8:00 EST, 14:00 (GMT+2)

About the Webinar

Parque del Agual was established in Zaragoza, Spain as part of the 2008 Water and Sustainable Development International Expo. Built on 140 hectares of unused, abandoned cropland and bordered by canals, Parque del Agua is one of the largest parks in Spain and attracts visitors from all over the world. The park boasts a number of recreational opportunities, incorporates green infrastructure design, and has received international awards for sustainable park system management. During this webinar, Alberto Ipas, CEO of Parque del Agua, will share green infrastructure design principles for large urban parks as well as the management best practices that not only brought Parque del Agua to life but will also help to maintain it for many generations. 

Video Parque del Agua:

It is an understatement to say that it is an exciting time to be working on urban parks at a global scale. We have done a lot, but much more remains to be done. The world’s urban population will double from 3.5 billion to over 7.0 billion in the next 40 years. This represents a magnificent opportunity as well as enormous responsibility to support the development of parks and open spaces as critical elements in creating vibrant cities and healthy communities where all citizens will live happier.

“In 2009, for the first time ever, the world’s population became more urban than rural. By 2050, around two-thirds of all people will live in cities and urban populations will grow by more than 2 billion people.  It is therefore imperative to ensure Cities are liveable and that everyone has access to parks, open space and recreation. “ – World Urban Parks – Parks for All Statement (2017)   

So being involved and Making a Difference is what World Urban Parks is about. 

World Urban Parks, is where World Parks Leaders Grow Here – World Urban Parks provides the numerous opportunities for all of us to lead.

We are pleased to offer the following opportunities from now until December 2019:

  • Park Industry Sponsorship – Principle (One available), Major (Two available) and Supporter (Five available)
  • Large Urban Parks Award 2019 (One available)
  • Parks Week 2019 (One available)

Details are provided in the attachment.

We are also willing to adapt the possible offers to match your business needs. All proposals to be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


On behalf of World Urban Parks, we invite you to be the difference and partner with us to change the world.

New tools to quantify ecosystem services, improve efficiency in urban green area maintenance and help cities to adapt to climate change.

The 1st of July 2018 the LIFE URBANGREEN Project officially started and on the 11th and 12th of July the Kick-off Meeting will take place in the City of Bolzano (Italy). The 2.5 M€ project (1.3 M€ contribution from the European LIFE Program), with a duration of three years, will develop new tools to manage efficiently urban green spaces and test them in three cities: Rimini (Italy), Krakow (Poland) and Taipei (Taiwan). The main objective of LIFE URBANGREEN is to optimize and demonstrate in real-life an innovative technological platform to improve management of green areas in 2 European and one Asian city. The platform is based on a green area management system and GIS technologies developed by R3 GIS, a small enterprise from Northern Italy, and integrates an assessment of the ecosystem services provided by green areas in cities,  smart management of water, optimization of routes for maintenance, an environmental monitoring system with IOT technology, meteorological and remote sensing data and public participation tools. The World Urban Parks Association is represented in the project Steering Committee by Jean-Marie Rogel, Director of Green Area Management of the City of Lyon.

Nearly 4 out of 5 European citizens live in cities, where the quality of life depends largely on the quality of the urban environment, yet urban areas in Europe have to deal with a large number of environmental issues. Although the scale and intensity of the problems varies from city to city, a common set of emergencies can be identified, including poor air quality, high levels of ambient noise, climate change and the related need for adaptation, lack of sports and play areas, low quality of green areas. All these issues constitute real environmental challenges and result in significant impacts on the quality of life and the economic performance of cities. Among them that of urban green areas, which cannot be considered as aesthetic and ecological elements anymore, but as a real service to the citizen and lively allied for urban climate regulation and climate change mitigation.

Parks Victoria is a statutory authority in the state of Victoria, Australia, responsible for managing an expanding and diverse estate covering over four million hectares, or 17 per cent, of Victoria. Its primary responsibility is to ensure parks are healthy and resilient for current and future generations.

Parks Victoria manages parks in the context of their surrounding landscape and in partnership with Traditional Owners. Its staff work in partnership with other government and non-government organisations and community groups such as the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, catchment management authorities, private land owners, friends groups, volunteers, licensed tour operators, lessees, research institutes and the broader community.

Parks Victoria was created by the Parks Victoria Act 1998 and reporting to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change; Minister for Suburban Development, The Hon Liliana (Lily) D'Ambrosio MLA, and Minister for Ports; Minister for Roads and Road Safety, The Hon Luke Donellan MLA. It is also the Local Port Manager for Port Phillip Bay, Western Port and Port Campbell and the Waterway Manager for the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers.

As an organisation, it protects and over four million hectares of parks including:

  • 45 national parks
  • 26 state parks
  • 13 marine national parks
  • 11 marine sanctuaries
  • 3 wilderness parks
  • 30 metropolitan parks
  • 60 other parks including regional and reservoir parks
  • more than 2,700 natural features and conservation reserves
  • more than 11,000 formally registered Aboriginal cultural heritage places
  • more than 2,500 non-Indigenous historic places

To learn more about Parks Victoria, visit their website