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18 - 20 October 2019 - National Park City Foundation spreads the word at international parks conference

David Cope, Trustee of the National Park City Foundation appeared as an invited guest at the World Urban Parks 2019 Congress in the Russian city of Kazan earlier this month. This annual conference brings together parks professionals, planners, urbanists and city authorities from around the world to learn from each other on how to create the best parks and green spaces for urban residents everywhere. The theme of the conference was ‘development for sustainability and health’.

David appeared on a panel of experts from Canada, Belgium and Russia, who were invited to discuss how parks can help shape the identity of a city and become part of the city’s brand. His talk focused on London, as the world’s first National Park City, explaining how the National Park City status brings a common identity to London’s 3,000 parks, 850km of streams and rivers, 1,000km of signed footpaths and nearly 150 designated nature reserves.

David said "When you realise that there are almost as many trees in London as there are people and that we share our city with 14,000 other species, you start to realise that the city we call home is actually full of nature. By valuing that natural resource on our doorsteps, by noticing it, naming it and appreciating it, we hope that all London’s citizens and visitors will start to see London as a green city as well as an economic and cultural city.

“We believe that this works best at a landscape scale, so green spaces and our interaction with them doesn’t just happen in parks and spaces zoned for greenery and nature, but everywhere in our cities, accessible to everyone. We believe that we will achieve our goals with thousands of small actions, actions delivered by city and borough government, as well as actions delivered by individuals citizens and businesses, community groups and institutions.”

The National Park City Foundation has joined forces with World Urban Parks and the Salzberg Global Seminar with a shared aim of seeing 25 National Park CIties around the world by 2025 (25*2025). At the conference in Kazan, this aim was promoted extensively to the international delegates, with many expressing interest in how their cities could start on the journey to becoming a National Park City. The National Park City Foundation, alongside our partners, launched our Universal Charter for National Park Cities in July 2019, and is currently exploring more ways to support cities as they go on this journey.

Kanzan Kanzan

21 September 2019 - National Park City Foundation response to Glover Report

In May 2018, the then Environment Secretary Michael Gove committed to conserve and enhance England’s most cherished landscapes and launched a review into the nation’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).

That long awaited report by writer and Government Advisor Julian Glover has now been published. It praises the work of England’s 44 “national landscapes”, including the Lake District and Dartmoor, but calls for a new focus to stop declines in nature and welcome working-class and black and minority ethnic visitors. Reacting to the headlines of the report, Chair of the National Park City Foundation, Paul de Zylva says:

"More than ever, Britain needs its National Parks and the Glover Review offers them a new lease of life as accessible treasures for people to boost their health, recreation and contact with nature.

The renewal of National Parks fits with our work to make cities healthier, wilder and greener and to cross the false divide between town and country by better connecting people from urban areas to National Parks.”

A full statement will be made available after the full details of the report have been fully considered and its implications fully explored.

ENDS

Contact: hello@nationalparkcity.org

Notes to editors

  1. London National Park City’s aims include working with Londoners to:
  • Connect more people to nature and the outdoors, improving their health, wellbeing and social cohesion;
  • Create more high quality green and blue space and better places in London, delivering improvements for wildlife, people’s enjoyment and an attractive and sustainable environment for living and working in;
  • Promote the identity of London as the world’s first National Park City, helping residents and visitors to appreciate the potential for a rich cultural life anchored in its outdoor heritage;
  • Link people to the national and international family of national parks and other protected areas.
  1. London National Park City does not have any planning powers. It adds value by creating an unprecedented opportunity to make London not just a political, financial and cultural centre, but an ecological centre too.

  2. The National Park City Foundation is the charity created to help make the London National Park City a success. It is doing this by amplifying, catalysing and spreading best practice, joining-up initiatives, increasing investment into National Park City related activities and galvanising Londoners to take actions improving city life.

  3. Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, made London National Park City a centre-piece of his plans for London; for example, citing National Park City aims in his draft Environment Strategy and his draft London Plan - the Capital’s planning masterplan. This includes a shared aim to make half of London green by 2050.

20 July 2019 - Charter for National Park Cities gathers international support

A Universal Charter for National Park Cities, the first of its kind to address the growing role of cities as habitats shaping life on earth, is launched on Sunday 21 July 2019, by the National Park City Foundation, World Urban Parks and Salzburg Global Seminar.

Organisations and individuals are invited to sign and support the first Universal Charter for National Park Cities which is already supported by experts and change-makers from over 20 countries, including the UK, Australia, India, Uganda, Honduras, Canada, South Africa, Albania and the USA.

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Selected publications

Here are some selected publications and broadcasts on National Park Cities.

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Some of the organisations we're working with...