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World Urban Parks Organisation to champion urban open space

World Urban Parks Organisation to champion urban open space
August 20, 2014

A new international body, the World Urban Parks Organisation (WUPO), is to be established to provide a strengthened global network to champion urban parks and associated recreation, amenity and conservation activities.

WUPO is set to replace the former International Federation of Park & Recreation Administration (IFPRA), with IFPRA having acknowledged that it was in decline in 2013.

While IFPRA has long been the only global body representing urban parks and gardens, in early 2013 it embarked on a re-positioning initiative to provide a strengthened global network for urban parks .

A Review Report (conducted independently by Parks for Life, US) was presented to the IFPRA World Congress in Canada in October 2013 recommending plans for more inclusive membership, evolved structure, business planning and sustainable budget.

As a result, a Task Force was established to further progress the implementation of the new world body. 

Chaired by IFPRA member, consultant and former Parks Victoria, Manager Strategic Partnerships John Senior; the Task Force has 12 members, largely drawn from the respective local professional associations in Australia, Canada , England, France, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA.

Explaining this development, Senior recently wrote “to ensure adequacy of input without compromising its size and workability, the Task Force is working at a strategic level with two international reference groups, one for major cities/large organizations and the second comprised of respected individuals. 

“Their role is to provide advice to the Task Force to ensure the new-model organization is relevant and viable.

“The concept is that the WUPO would add value to, and not purposefully compete with local/national associations in terms of membership and events."

WUPO is considering a wide range of networking, policy and strategic activities to advance urban parks and programs that it will undertake include:

• A strategic international ‘think-tank’ to advance and advocate for urban parks 
• Liaison with like-minded global bodies (such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature)
• Expert panel – international consultancy
• International awards
• International conferences – triennially
• International (World) Parks Day

Membership of WUPO is anticipated to be at both the organisation and individual level with organisations, park management, professional associations and other bodies having the potential for Board directorship, and a level of WUPO information and services for their staff/members. 
Senior added “WUPO represents an overdue initiative to establish a contemporary and unique global body to advocate for, and enhance the perception of, urban parks and green space, and to unite all the many individuals and organisations involved. 

“The will and opportunity is there to seize the moment - to create a modern, credible, unifying global association.”

Senior will be making a presentation on ‘The Benefits of a Global Parks Association’ at next week's Parks and Leisure Australia (PLA) Conference in Cairns.

During the Conference, being held from 25th to 27th September, Senior will explain the WUPO initiative. In a further presentation, he will present International Best Practice Guidelines for Healthy Parks: Healthy People.

For more information on the 2014 PLA Conference contact 08 8332 0130, E: admin@parksleisure.com.au, www.parksleisure.com.au 

Click here to view the full program and registration details. 

For more information on the development of WUPO contact John Senior on email: jgsenior@bigpond.com or go to www.ifpra.org 

IFPRA Asia Pacific held its most recent conference in conjunction with the Malaysia Urban Green Space Conference from 24th to 28th June 2014 in Penang, Malaysia.

9th July 2014 - PARKS AND LEISURE AUSTRALIA LAUNCH NATIONAL CONFERENCE PROGRAM


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