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. 
A link to go online and fill out the AGM survey will be provided.

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

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

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'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

The Governance Committee has been very active over the last twelve months with it driving the appointment processes for the Secretariat and the CEO along with improving financial reporting and continuing development the WUP policy framework. We have also developed a number of key supporting strategies such as the Financial and Revenue Strategy and a Membership Strategy. 

One of the key Strategic Directions identified is the need for us to improve our membership management, which requires the implementation of a comprehensive management system.  After carefully considering the various packages available, we have resolved to adopt the iMIS20 membership database system.  This system will significantly improve the service provided to members in such areas as events management, social media integration, communications, establishment of private communities, private discussion boards, employment boards etc.  The system will facilitate overall improved member self-service including renewals process and member communications.  Using this software, WUP will also be able to establish a new and much improved website.  This initiative represents a major upgrade that will benefit us all.

Message from the Vice Chair Governance

Over the last six months, the Board and the Executive have been developing a clear Strategic Directions for World Urban Parks, and it is my pleasure to release the World Urban Parks Strategic Statement 2018.

'Strategic Directions 2018' has been developed by the CEO with input and endorsement from the Board, with it clearly outlining the purpose of WUP, our aspirations, our strategic priorities and focus along with the expected outcomes. Strategic Directions 2018 is an important document for our organisation.

This year's World Parks Week had over 30 participating events from 6 different countries. Europe had 3 participating events, Emerging Cities Region had 5 participating events, and Asia-Pacific had 23 participating events! All participating events were very busy on social media using #WPW2018. 

We look forward to increasing the number of participants next year! You can still check out who participated this year! 

Thank you to all who participated in this year's World Parks Week! We look forward to next year and showcasing parks and their events all over the globe!

The 1st International Congress of Urban Parks trained and gathered professionals, public officials, technicians, decision makers, academics, students, civil society and suppliers related to the public space in the same place, to boost the urban parks and recreation industry in Mexico, creating a space of three days of training, conferences, workshops and a commercial exhibition.

With 22 countries and 180+ cities represented, the conference had over 1,800 people in attendance!

Continue reading the event report>>

#NatureForAll is a global movement to inspire love of nature that is led by an inclusive and growing coalition of partners who represent a variety of sectors.  Recognising that the more people experience and connect with nature the more they appreciate, love, and care for it, #NatureForAll aims to increase support and action for nature conservation globally by:

  • Raising awareness of nature and its values,
  • Facilitating opportunities for people from all walks of life to experience and connect with nature, and
  • Creating a culture of conservation.

#NatureForAll is an opportunity for partners to:

  • Showcase how we and our own organisations are caring for nature and connecting, inspiring, and empowering others,
  • Learn about the good work being done by other organisations, and
  • Have a greater reach and impact than any one of us can have alone.

Additional details about becoming a partner, including a partnership guide, are available here. You may also wish to consult the list of frequently asked questions here.  If you would like to learn more, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Last year alone, I had the opportunity to work in 42 different cities, in five continents. Through all of my keynotes, workshops, and meetings I included World Urban Parks (WUP) information. An almost unanimous response was their interest in networking, learning from international park practices, on both what to do as well as to avoid.


This past month I have seen how WUP is providing this possibility and continues to search for ways to do it even better.


International congresses provide countless opportunities to share and to learn from others, in the programmed sessions as well as informally, in coffee breaks or walks. In October we are having our World Event in conjunction with Parks and Leisure Australia’s great International Congress in amazing Melbourne. Registration is open, and it’d be great to have as many WUP members attending as possible. In addition to the world event, the regional events also play a very important role. A few weeks ago, we were part of the Congreso Internacional de Parques in Mérida, México. Felicitaciones Asociacion Nacional de Parques de México, ANPA. This was the first Congress held by ANPA, and there were over 1700 participants from 22 countries in attendance. There was great representation of WUP members, both through delivering keynotes and specialized sessions. We also had a special session for current members and people interested in becoming members, where we had a lively conversation on what we are doing, and what they want us to do in the future.


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. 
A link to go online and fill out the AGM survey will be provided as well as when nominations will open. Please find the nomination form here.

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

  • the directors’ annual report for the 2017/18 year
  • the audited financial reports for the 2017/18 year
  • the statements of service performance for the 2017/18 year

View World Urban Parks 2017 Achievements>>