World Urban Parks offers three levels of congress:

  • Annual World Urban Parks Congress in partnership with a national association, major city or organisation (level 3)
  • World Urban Parks Region Congress (usually annual) in partnership with a national/state association, city or organisation (level 2)
  • International Conferences partnered with any relevant organisation (level 1)

The Congresses provide an opportunity for members to become inspired, share knowledge and form and maintain key contacts with people involved in parks, open space, recreation, culture and related disciplines and interests from across the globe as well as see initiatives in the host city. They usually include a World Urban Parks day for board, committee and working party meetings and workshops where members can meet face to face.

World Urban Parks may in addition partner with organisations to bring world status, international speakers and value to other conferences and exhibitions. These may not include broad member attendance.

To assist in congress planning World Urban Parks sought in July 2015 expressions of interest (EOI) to host congresses from 2016 through 2018. The intent is to form a rolling three-year schedule of annual congresses. These are currently under consideration with World Congresses approved by the board and Region Congresses approved by Region Committees. Associations and organisations interested in discussing future opportunities are welcome to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


2016 Congresses

Second World Urban Parks Congress, Cape Town, South Africa                   

World Urban Parks Congress 2016The second World Urban Parks congress was held at the President Hotel, Cape Town from 26-28 September, in partnership with the Institute of Environment and Recreation Management of South Africa and their annual convention.

Including technical tour presenters, the Congress featured over 70 presenters from around the world (See Program).

The Congress was structured with presentations on 26 and 27 September with a Gala Dinner on the night of 27 September, and technical tours, hosted by the City of Cape Town on 28 September. The dinner featured the presentation of the second World Urban Parks Distinguished Individual Award to Neil McCarthy and the presentation of the first Certified Parks Professional (CPP) certificate to an African candidate, Emmanuel Maphorogo. 

Six conference presenters flew on to Johannesburg on 29 September to deliver their presentations again at an International Colloquium at the University of South Africa for professionals unable to travel to the Congress, with a further 85 delegates in attendance.

The full PowerPoint presentations are available here as PDFs, with World Urban Parks member presentations outlined briefly in the conference report below:

Read the Congress Report>>


Judy Ling-Wong presenting on urban national parks
Judy Ling-Wong presenting on urban national parks
Natalia Fishman presenting onthe parks of Tatarstan
Natalia Fishman presenting on the parks of Tatarstan
Emmanuel Maphorogo awarded first certified Parks Professional award to an African candidate
Emmanuel Maphorogo awarded first certified Parks Professional award to an African candidate


World Urban Parks Europe Region and Hortis Congress, Albi, France

The 1st World Urban Parks Europe Region Congress was held in partnership with Hortis, the French association for urban parks management, and their annual congress from 5-7 October. The venue was the Grand Theatre in the UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Albi, France.


Titled Green Heritage and Green Infrastructure: Evolution or Revolution in Society the congress featured 46 speakers and workshop presenters (17 international) plus Hortis region presenters and technical tour leaders for a dozen local destinations.  Overall the congress attracted an enthusiastic 374 registrants - for the congress, a large trade show and accompanying person tours. The conference was structured with a WUP half day on the 4th with about 30 members presenting on key issues in their countries and holding a Large Urban Parks Committee meeting, and the main congress from the 5th to 7th with morning presentations alternating with workshops or technical tours in the afternoon. Nine Hortis members received the World Parks Academy and Hortis partnered Certified Parks Professional - France certificates at the Gala Dinner on the 6th. International WUP members numbered 35 plus 7 accompanying persons.


Read the Congress Report>>

View the bilingual French-English conference program here.


 Presentation on Hortis and French key issues by Elisabeth Fournier, Hortis Secretary General, at the WUP Workshop

 Opening Address by Jean-Pierre Gueneau, President of Hortis, with WUP Chair Dr Anna Steidle waiting to respond; Grand Theatre, Albi

 Congress participants at the Garden of Martels in Giroussens

Past Congresses

The first World Urban Parks Congress was held in association with the 9th Iberoamerican Congress of Parks and Public Gardens and Ponte de Lima Municipality, Ponte de Lima, Portugal, 26-30 May 2015

The congress attracted 200 participants of which 45 were speakers and over 50 World Urban Parks members. Activity included a pre-congress member day on the 25th, Pre-congress tour on the 26th, Congress from 27th – 29th, and Post-congress tour 30th May. To view the full program and papers go to the World Urban Parks Congress 2015 website.

The languages were English, Portuguese and Spanish with all sessions translated. Congress tours included the International Garden Festival, an annual event with 100,000 visitors annually, as well as touring Portugal's only national park.

See here for:

The Congress Report

The pre-congress World Urban Parks Day report

The Congress Program

The World Urban Parks Media Release

Pictures: Top Left, ExpoLima venue; middle, presentation hall; right, pre-congress workshop at the Palacete Villa Morais.

Bottom Left Associations meeting in the dining marquee; middle Peneda Geres National Park; Right Traditional dancing

Congresses by antecedent organisation Ifpra were held every three years with regional congresses in intervening years. 

The last Regional Congress was the Ifpra Asia-Pacific Congress held in Penang, Malaysia, 23-27 June 2014.


The 2013 World Congress was held in October at Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada in association with the thriving Alberta Recreation and Park Association.  As a joint conference Ifpra members provided 25 percent of presentations, adding a distinctly international flavour.



For the 2013 World Congress Report, by Gilbert Briscoe, click here . For the 2013 pre-Congress Tour Report, by Cliff Lacey and Barry Manchak, click here.

Papers presented at the 2013 World Congress can be downloaded from the Leisure Information Network here.


Reports from the 2010 World Congress held in Hong Kong, including proceedings and photos, are available here.


Other Conferences 

World Urban Parks may be involved to varying levels with other Conferences.



The last two conferences with Ifpra participation were:


IUCN World Parks Congress, Sydney 12-19 November 2014

Ifpra contributed to Stream 3 Healthy Parks Healthy People, Session 8 Great Parks and Green Spaces: Creating Healthy and Liveable Cities with a presentation by CEO Digby Whyte on World Urban Parks the proposed new-model world urban parks organisation.

Nordic Parks Congress, Malmö Sweden 20-22 August 2014

The four-yearly Nordic Parks Conference (conducted in English) included presentations from head gardeners from Gothenburg, Sweden and Chicago, USA, the former Commissioner of Parks, Sport and Recreation for Bogota, Columbia and Ifpra’s James McCulloch from the UK as well as local study tours.   In conjunction Ifpra hosted a pre-conference program comprising a full day bus tour of Copenhagen on 18 August and on 19 August a day with the Yardstick Scandinavian User Group Meeting, Ifpra Academy Workshop,  and Ifpra Europe, World Commissioners and World Executive meetings. Ifpra coordination was by Dr Christy Boylan, Ifpra Europe Secretary, with the conference program by Sten Goranssen, Chairman of the Swedish Association of Park Administrators.

Papers from the Nordic Parks Congress can be downloaded from the Movium website here




World Parks Week 2017


World Urban Parks has previously held World Parks Days in September.

This will now change to World Parks Week commencing 1-7 May 2017.

The move to a week-long celebration allows a greater number of events to be aligned.

The move to May allows the higher populated northern hemisphere to get outdoors in Spring while allowing the southern hemisphere to enjoy Autumn outdoors.

Country parks days and weeks are often in Summer so there will be two opportunities to celebrate our parks in different seasons!

Watch this space!


Information on the previous World Parks Day is below:




The eighth World Parks Day will take place on Saturday 19 September 2015.

World Parks Day is an opportunity to celebrate our parks and green spaces!

The day is organised by World Urban Parks, the open space and recreation organisation, to:
- Communicate the critical importance of parks in a global context
- Promote best practice by learning from other parks services
- Encourage people to enjoy their local park and appreciate the importance of green space

Any organization or individual can host a park event on World Parks Day. Just email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the following details

  1. Name of organisation
  2. Event name
  3. Event location
  4. Event time
  5. Event contact details
  6. Your contact details (if different from 5.)

Please feel free to send us a photo to help illustrate your event.

Your event will appear in our events list by country. You can have a concert, pick up trash with some friends, offer a free yoga class, hand out some plant seeds, have a picnic with family, organize a soccer game, offer a tour of the trees in the is up to you!

Find an event in your area. Our goal is to reach around the globe so don't forget to tell your worldly friends. If you don't see an event in your area, step up to the plate and create an event!

Click on the following for World Parks Day 2015 Logos:

World Parks Day 2015 Print

World Parks Day 2015 Web

World Parks Day 2015 Print (Card)

World Parks Day 2015 Web/Newsletter (Card)

World Parks Day 2015 Web (no background)

Please note, other print-resolution versions including cmyk, .AI, .SVG and .eps  are available on request. If you need another version, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Events Register 2015




Organisation: City of Gold Coast

Event: Wheelie Big Day - kids activities including, peddle cars, mini-jeeps, train rides, slot car racing, skate board

Where: Broadwater Parklands, Marine Parade, Southport, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

When: 19 September from 10am – 2pm

Contact details: Broadwater Parklands  Ph. 1300 GOLDCOAST 

Event webpage:


Organisation: Country Paradise Parklands

Event: Gold Coast Folk Music Festival

Where: Paradise Parklands, 231 Beaudesert Nerang Road, Nerang, Gold Coast

When: 19-20 September

Event webpage:


Organisation: Queensland Canoeing Incorporated

Event: Northern Marathon Series, Race 8 Currumbin Capers (canoe ocean racing)

Where: Preston Park, Michel Drive Currumbin Waters, Gold Coast

When: 19 September, 2015 from 9:00am- 11:00am

Contact details: Grant Epple, 0407 130 897 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Organisation: Phoenix Park /Office of Public Works and BirdWatch Ireland

Event: Birds of Phoenix Park guided walks (other talks and a honey show are also occurring)

Where: Phoenix Park, Dublin

When: 13 September, 2015 at 12:00pm

Contact details: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Organisation: Dublin City Council in partnership with the Office of Public Works

Event: Join historian author and artist Pat Liddy to explore the unique and interesting history of Fairview Park, the dedication of Stoker Park and the Paradise Lost of the Marino Demesne, completing your journey in the Casino Marino.

Where: Fairview Park, Dublin

When: 13 September, 2015 at 2:00pm at the bandstand

Contact details: Dublin City Council Parks and Landscape Services +353 1 2223302 




Organisation: Uminonakamichi Park Center

Event:  OUTDOOR PARK 2015 in Uminaka

Where:  Uminonakamichi Seaside Park in Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture

When:   September 19 from 10 to 5pm & September 20th from 10am to 4pm

Event webpage:


Organisation:  Mannou Park Center

Event:  Quiz Rally on Flower and Greenery

Where:  Sanuki Mannou Park in Kagawa Prefecture

When:   September 19 & 23 from 10am to 12pm & from 1:30pm to 3pm

Event webpage:


Organisation:   Mannou Park Center

Event:   Dyeing with Yellow Cosmos

Where:   Sanuki Mannou Park in Kagawa Prefecture

When:   September 21 & 22 from 10am to 12pm and from 1:30pm to 3pm

Event webpage:


Organisation:  Mannou Park Center

Event:   Let's Enjoy Sanuki Forests!

Where:    Sanuki Mannou Park in Kagawa Prefecture

When:    September 21 to 23 from 10am to 12pm and from 1:30pm to 3pm

Event webpage:


Organisation:  Musashi Park Center  

Events:   Let's try grass skiing! 

      Outdoor Yoga Class 

      Nature-based Crafts

Where:   Musashi Kyuryo National Government Park in Saitama Prefecture

When:   September 19 

Event webpage:


Organisation:   Azumino Park Center  

Event:   Cosmos Festival

Where:   Alps Azumino National Government Park in Nagano Prefecture

When:   September 19 to October 18

Event webpage:


Organisation:   Echigo Park Center  

Event:   Cosmos Festival  

Where:   Echigo Hillside Park in Niigata Prefecture

When:   September 19 to October 25

Event webpage:


 Kochia Late September

Kochia starting to change colour (late September) - Hitachi Seaside Park


Organisation:   Hitachi Park Center  

Event:   Enjoy Kochia Carnival

Where:   Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture

When:   September 19 to October 18

Event webpage:


Organisation:   Showa Administration Center  

Event:   Cosmos Festival

Where:   Showa Kinen Park in Tokyo     

When:   September 12 to November 3

Event webpage:


Organisation:   Takino Park Center  


Event:   Sapporo Minami Autumn Festival


Where:   Takino Suzuran Hillside Park in Sapporo city, Hokkaido


When:   September 20 to 21


Event webpage:



Organisation:    Yodogawa Park Center 

Event:  Mizbering Yodogawa and Yodogawa Urban Camp 2015

Where:    Yodogawa Riverside Park in Osaka

When:   September 19th from 10am to 8pm    

Contact details:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Organisation:  Belmont Park Center

Event:   Stamp Rally

Where:  Belmont Park in Tokyo

When:  Saturdays, Sundays & public holidays in September   

Contact details:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





Organisation: National Martyrs and Peace Park

Event: Talk program on importance of parks for healthy citizens and management issues of parks used as temporary shelters in disasters (April 25 Earthquake in Nepal)

Where: National Martyrs and Peace Park, Gokarna, Kathmandu, Nepal

When: Morning of 19 September

Contact details: Shudersan Sigdel, Chairperson, via Dr Ramji Bogati, Advisor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Organisation: Park Śląski 

Event:  Events, concerts, and outdoor games on the big meadow

Where: Park Śląski, Chorzów

When:  19 September, 3pm

Event webpage: