World Urban Parks is an international organisation providing advice, support and a forum for the exchange of ideas on common environmental, social and economic challenges where urban parks are part of the solution. The aim is for more people to have easy access to quality urban parks, open space and recreation.
World Urban Parks recognised that the world was facing an enormous challenge prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is because the world urban population will likely double from 3.5 billion to over 7 billion in the next 40 years. The National Park City is one of the key concepts for re-imagining our cities.
This means that half of the communities that will exist within the lifetime of our children have not been built yet. This, coupled with rising global concerns regarding health crises of physical inactivity, obesity, and mental illness that have been exacerbated due to Covid-19, means that we need to have a new vision. Now, the challenge to improve our communities needs to become a major global imperative.
World Urban Parks has always recognised that innovation, insights and new approaches will be needed to make future great cities. Great cities have come about due to insightful visions that incorporate green infrastructure, be it the Emerald Necklace of Boston of the 1800s. Or the modern Gardens by the Bay in Singapore over a 100 years later.
The journey to change the world starts with one step and a vision. In the late 1800s, mountaineer John Muir had a vision regarding the landscapes of the Yosemite Valley that culminated in creating the concept of National Parks.
The National Park City is a vision that started with a simple insight regarding the global protected area conservation network. The places we live in weren’t considered to be a part of nature. The vision also recognised the most important tenet regarding human beings – that they need to be connected to nature.
Today, the National Park City is the vision of our time, for where we live and how we live. It is an idea whose time has come and that we all have to lead to leave a legacy.
Visit World Urban Parks at wup.imiscloud.com
Salzburg Global Seminar is an independent non-profit organisation which supports current and future leaders to solve issues of global concern, from social justice to healthcare.
Dominic Register, Programme Director at the Salzburg Global Seminar, says the National Park City movement is helping to equip our cities for the future.
The 19th and 20th century ideas of the purpose, function and design of cities need to evolve. Then cities can better meet the 21st century needs of people and planet.
The National Park City movement is at the vanguard of a new wave of radical rethinking about how cities can change. Salzburg Global Seminar is very proud to have worked with the National Park Cities movement since 2015 through a partnership developed during our annual Parks for the Planet Forum.
Our core mission is to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world. National Park City, as a movement and idea, resonates very strongly with this. We support movements for change through action-oriented strategic convening, network support and incubation. We have used these approaches in our work with the National Park City Foundation.
All of our work is interdisciplinary, international and intergenerational, so there is a very close alignment with the idea of a National Park City.
The Universal Charter for National Park Cities defines a National Park City as a place, vision and city-wide community that is acting together to make life better for people, wildlife and nature. It explains that a defining feature is the widespread commitment to act, so people, culture and nature work together to provide a better foundation for life.
All cities have the potential to become National Park Cities. We are excited to work with those joining the movement.
Visit Salzburg Global Seminar at salzburgglobal.org
Some of the organisations we're working with...