Announcing the 2018 International Large Urban Parks Award Winners
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
We are pleased to announce the following recipients for the 2018 International Large Urban Parks Award:
|Gold||Centennial Park, Sydney (Australia)||for its well managed and protected mix of rich nature, well preserved heritage and provision of a good range of activities, in cooperation with the community in the heart of the densely populated inner Sydney.
|Phoenix Park, Dublin (Ireland)||for its preservation of a well-protected and managed large heritage park, with a broad range of activities and events, serving the city of Dublin, in cooperation with its citizens.
|Silver||Rivierenhof Park, Antwerp (Belgium)||for its mix of rich nature, preservation of heritage and provision of activities, with ongoing improvements after consultations with the citizens of Antwerp.
|Bronze||Auckland Domain/Pukekawa (New Zealand)||for its well protected and managed parklands, its supply of recreation opportunities and preservation and interpretation of indigenous culture in cooperation with community.
|Eco Park, Kalkota (India)||for its variety of attractions, large open space and gardens serving the outer suburban areas of Kalkota.
|Parque del Agua, Zaragoza (Spain)||for its inventive re-use of Ebro and a former exhibition area, supplying water attractions and recreational opportunities for citizens of Zaragoza.
International Large Urban Parks Award
Centennial Park, Sydney (Australia) - Gold
|"for its well managed and protected mix of rich nature, well-preserved heritage and provision of a good range of activities, in cooperation with the community in the heart of the densely populated inner Sydney."|
Phoenix Park, Dublin (Ireland) - Gold
|"for its preservation of a well-protected and managed large heritage park, with a broad range of activities and events, serving the city of Dublin, in cooperation with its citizens."|
Provincial Park Rivierenhof, Antwerp (Belgium) - Silver
|"for its mix of rich nature, preservation of heritage and provision of activities, with ongoing improvements after consultations with the citizens of Antwerp."|
Auckland Domain/Pukekawa (New Zealand) - Bronze
|"for its well protected and managed parklands, its supply of recreation opportunities and preservation and interpretation of indigenous culture in cooperation with community."|
Eco Park, Kalkata (India) - Bronze
|"for its variety of attractions, large open space and gardens serving the outer suburban areas of Kalkota."|
The strategic management plan at Eco Park comprises day-to-day plans that include maintaining the gardens, infrastructure management and disaster management. The short-terms plans include periodic tests for ambient air quality, preservation of greens, further expansion of green and blue zones. It also does management of the water body for cleanliness, fish cultivation and boating. The long-term plans include developing more green zones, conducting ecological awareness programmes and exchange programmes.
Eco Park has employed around 200 people from the surrounding area who were involved in farming activities. They have been trained and provided with an alternative source of income. The Biswa Bangla Haat is a wonderful showcase of Bengal’s handicrafts starting from the famous kantha stitch garments to beautiful patachitra.
The park has a financial management plan in place, taking into account possible long-term adversities. Around 8,000 is the average footfall per day and on special occasions like Christmas holidays, the daily footfall could even cross 100,000. The footfall shows that there is a sustained curiosity about the park which is fuelled by the marketing plan that includes information through news media and social media.
Paraque del Agua, Zaragoza (Spain) - Bronze
|"for its inventive re-use of Ebro and a former exhibition area, supplying water attractions and recreational opportunities for citizens of Zaragoza."|
- Public-private management (Different companies offer leisure activities and help with the budget).
- Ecological management (e.g. Flock of sheep inside the park, no chemicals, protecting threatened species...)
- Park is in a flooding area, everything is designed to get flooded. Work with the nature, not towards nature.
- Involving the community with plenty of activities.
Interesting Applications - International Large Urban Parks Awards
Parque Ecologico Metropolitano de Leon (Mexico)
In the city of León in the Guanajuato state in central Mexico an ecological park has been created by using a dam that has been put in place to save the city from flooding. The dam takes up most of the area but the area around it is reserved as a park. The park is an important recreational area for the 180,000 inhabitants of the city. A much acclaimed balloon contest is taking place on the shore once a year. Some water sports, though not swimming, can be performed on the dam. But on the shores it is possible to entertain beach life. Around the dam there is a stretch of parklands that provides walking, jogging and horse-riding. Lots of trees have been planted and lots will follow. As of now, there are connecting corridors of green areas that reach the surrounding countryside, which conditions the relatively rich wildlife – mostly birds – in the park. The dam and the surrounding park helps lowering summer temperatures in neighboring urban areas.
Park Metropolitano is an ingenious way to take advantage of a man-made green (blue in this case) piece of infrastructure.
100th Ataturk Culture Park (Turkey)
This is an unusual park in the city of Gaziantep in the southeast of Turkey. The city houses 1,5 million inhabitants and is situated on a plain not far from the Syrian border. It has a long history, sometimes considered one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. There are traces of settlements as far back as the 4th millennium BC. In the midst of the city – and in fact in the park – stands a castle and a citadel as they were restored in the 6th century.
The park runs right through the city, a stretch of 15 km. It is made up of 18 different parks. A new one is now under construction plus several smaller additions. The parks make up a green necklace running on both sides along the stream Alleben. In total it makes up 4.3 square km and thus is on the average 300 m wide. This means it is lined by and cut through by traffic in many places. In 1989 two young architects proposed a design to form a whole of the many parks along the stream. It now provides the citizens with sports fields, tennis courts, amphitheater, a botanical garden and much more – and, of course, a lot of restaurants. A large mosque is located in one of the parks.
It is an interesting concept to make use of existing green patches to create a large urban park.
World Urban Parks is launching an Award for Large Urban Parks. Each year there will be a possibility for anyone in charge of a large urban park to apply for the award. The park will be judged by a jury panel according to a set of criteria. There will be three grades of the Award: Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
Awards will be given at ceremonies in connection with World Urban Parks Congress or regional conferences, whatever most practical for the recipients. In order to receive the Award representatives of the park must be present at the award ceremony and also present the park.
One such conference is the 2018 World Urban Parks Congress held in Melbourne, Australia from 14-17 October, together with Parks and Leisure Australia. Please check out the 2018 International Large Urban Parks Award website for all information including criteria to apply and how to submit your application.
If you are having difficulties viewing the Large Urban Parks Award site please find attached necessary documents for download.