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Parks professionals head for Christchurch

Parks professionals head for Christchurch
September 3, 2008

This year's 2008 New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) conference is linking with 2008 International Federation of Park and Recreation Administration Asia Pacific Congress (IFPRA).

The joint congress/conference is being held from 16th to 18th September in Christchurch, with the theme Making Connections - Make a Difference.

Promising "a truly international experience", the event is attracting professionals from across the Asia Pacific region - Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia â and others from Ireland, Finland, Slovakia, Monaco, Switzerland, South Africa, Canada, France and the Czech Republic.

Key international speakers at the event include:

• Gil Penalosa, while working in Bogota, Colombia (population 7 million), Gil helped build more than 200 parks and opened 91 kilometres of car-free city roads on Sundays, so 1.5 million people could walk, run, skate and bike.
• Daniel Boulens helped France's second biggest city, Lyon, win a United Nations' LivCom Gold Award for sustainability.
• Dr. Carol Stensrud will demonstrate how inclusive recreation impacts health, cultural well-being, community inclusion, ecological survival and world peace.
• Steve Coleman was honoured by the US President for transforming Malcolm X Park from Washington's single most violent national park into one of its safest.
• Zhao Shiwei of Beijing Botantical Garden will talk about Beijing's Olympic experience and how it kept the games 'green'.
• Jeanette Fich Jespersen from Kompan Play Institute is an expert in play-sustained child development, and will reveal research findings about the facilities and places that best work for youth.
• Melissa Clark Reynolds is one of a select group of people personally trained by former US Vice-President Al Gore to present his views on the revealing documentary 'An inconvenient truth'.

Christchurch, New Zealand's 'Garden City', has more than 700 parks that are used for conservation, recreation and sporting activities.

The organising committee has arranged a wide variety of social and leisure activities, allowing delegates the opportunity to explore and experience the city. There is also a post conference tour available for delegates and their partners.

For more information go to

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