Urban October

Urban October is an opportunity for everyone to be part of the conversation about the challenges and opportunities created by the fast rate of change in our cities and towns. Each October, everyone interested in sustainable urbanization from national and local governments to universities, NGOs and communities is encouraged to hold or participate in activities, events, and discussions.

The month begins with World Habitat Day on the first Monday of the month, 5 October in 2020, and ends with World Cities Day on 31 October. 

Today 55 per cent of the world’s population live in cities and towns and the number is growing every day. The United Nation’s Agenda for Sustainable Development, and Sustainable Development Goal 11 “to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” puts sustainable urbanization at the centre of the global agendas for development. The adoption of the New Urban Agenda in 2016 has seen national and local governments embark on a transformative path towards making SDG11 a reality.

By engaging all stakeholders, cities can harness transformational change and ensure a better life for all in an urbanizing world.

Discover the program below! This was put together by World Urban Parks and partners to participate in Urban October 2020!

Urban Parks, Urban Futures - Global Webinar Series

The Second global roundtable will commence as a series of webinars around the world that enables the International Park Expert group to extend the conversations into a local context.

The International Park Expert group is comprised of,
World Urban Parks
National Park City Foundation
Salzburg Global Seminar
National Recreation and Parks Association
ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Centre (and CitiesWithNature)
IUCN (#NatureForAll)

This webinar series will culminate at the planned World Urban Parks Virtual Leaders Forum being support by the City of Tirana in November.

The webinar series will be an opportunity for regional representatives to gather and support one another in approaching social constructs within a co-creation environment. This will be an opportunity for all to work towards catalytic innovations to issues and the status quo of our urban landscapes that COVID19 has brought to the forefront.
Together we can make our cities greener, healthier, wilder and fairer places to live” – National Park Cities
The theme of this series will be Urban Parks, Urban Futures. This can be through case studies done during lockdown and/or during re-opening.

The webinar presentations and discussions will work towards answering three questions. Those questions are,

  • Challenges: What are the major challenges that the pandemic has created for urban parks and protected areas (staff and public safety, overcrowding, loss of revenue, resource damage, political pressures, public pressure to reopen or close, visitor behavior, law enforcement, etc.)? How are you responding to the immediate challenge of preventing further spread of COVID-19 and protecting visitors, staff, and communities from infection.
  • Management/Innovations: Have those challenges created new ways of managing parks, innovations, new partnerships, or new levels of public support, awareness, and/or funding?
  • Opportunities: What are the opportunities moving forward to a post-COVID world in terms of new audiences, partnerships, awareness, management and support of urban parks and protected areas?

These questions will be brought together from all regions and webinars from the series and presented at the Tirana, Albania virtual conference this November.

North America: October 14th, 12 pm EDT - CPRA Host - Registration https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3059532251180468238

Oceania: October 20th, 3 pm NZD - Recreation Aotearoa Host - Registration https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN___m7z1LkSf28kT0ShwxI5A

Africa: October 20th, 2 pm UTC +2 - Registration https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hhjgPoRdQO2E06Rt0Uusig

Europe: October 22nd, 4 pm CEST - Registration to come!

Japan: October 31st, 3 pm GMT +9 - Registration and Info https://www.cla.or.jp/news/1031clavision/


Voices from around the world! How to make your cities #GreenerHealthierWilder!

Would you like to hear from people around the world who are making their cities greener, healthier and wilder? Join National Park Cities online for a series of quick-fire talks by inspirational people who are taking action.

Cities are full of millions of people who have ideas and projects to make life better. What if we shared those ideas more and inspired other people to do them too?

As part of Urban October and our campaign for 25 National Park Cities by 2025, National Park Cities are holding a special series of online events on Thursday October 29th 2020. Via Zoom National Park Cities are going to showcase people from around the world who are doing things to make life and where they live greener, healthier and wilder.

National Park Cities will showcase diverse voices speaking on a wide range of topics. Stories might cover parkour, wildlife gardening, nature photography, walking, cycling, trees, climate action, parks and green spaces, green recovery, local volunteering, storytelling, arts and crafts, fungi, fitness, campaigning, skateboarding, community action… and many other things.

Sign up to attend!

Do you want to be one of our voices from around the world?

Please get in touch if you have a story to share that could inspire others. You can be from any city across the globe and you will have 3 minutes to share it with the world.

What if you were one of our voices from around the world? What if your story inspired others?

Your contribution will be live via Zoom and be three minutes long. You’ll need to have a good internet connection and speak English. We hope future events will be in other languages too.

If you’d like to be one of our speakers, please fill in this form. We will confirm your slot by October 19th.


World Parks Academy Webinar: The Green Heart - Emerging Research in Healthy City Design

October 22, 2020 at 10 am EDT

“The Green Heart” is a unique interdisciplinary study to rigorously examine if increasing greenness in an urban community will reduce the levels of air pollution in the neighborhood, decrease the risk of heart disease.  With funding support from the US National Institutes of Health and The Nature Conservancy, Green Heart’s research in Louisville will help cities to discover:

  • How to plant (and sustain) trees in urban communities to maximize the removal of air pollution
  • If increasing green space affects the risk of developing obesity, diabetes, and heart disease
  • If increasing urban green space reduces mental stress, enhances social cohesion, increases physical activity
  • The intersection of tactical greening and research

Attendees will have a chance to engage with the leaders of this program and share their interests and questions related to green city research.  This program is designed to provide an opportunity for your agency to think through application of this university/conservation community partnership model for your community.
Ted Smith, Ph.D., Envirome Institute
Joy Hart, Ph.D., University of Louisville
Ben Spoer, Ph.D., Manager of Metrics and Analytics, NYU School of Medicine

Learning Objectives
Participants will learn strategies underway to study work in urban green infrastructure
How to train and support your local research community to engage your work in urban ecology and ongoing research.
Where to get cutting edge research to strengthen your programs and initiatives

Register Today!

Vital Sites: The Journey to Marseille - People & Parks: the pathways for social and ecological recovery

This event will explore ways in which we can harness the increasing recognition of the value of parks and protected areas for human health and well-being, social cohesion and recovery, economic benefits as well as achieving conservation outcomes. From policy to practice, it will explore ways that parks can reach whole communities by ensuring access for all.

  • Explore the future policy agenda for parks and protected areas and how successful programs and practices are adapting to new realities on the ground.
  • Discuss the social and economic impacts of the pandemic and the nature-based solutions that are possible
  • Make the case for increased funding by presenting how parks and protected areas can assist social and economic recovery and public health

The event will be moderated by Karen Keenleyside , Vice Chair for People and Parks of the IUCN WCPA and Co-Chair of the IUCN #NatureForAll initiative.

Speakers will include:

Clare Shine , Vice President and Chief Program Officer, Salzburg Global Seminar
Guillermo Penalosa, Ambassador, World Urban Parks, Founder of 880 Cities
Shauna Jones , Senior Manager, Health & Community Activation, Parks Victoria
Mark Camley , Executive Director of Park and Venues, London Legacy Development Corporation and Executive Director Chair
Carol Ritchie , Director EUROPARC Federation
Mariana Napolitano Ferreira , Co-Chair on the IUCN WCPA Task Force on COVID-19 and Protected Areas

Register Today!


In My Park! #myWUP

In the midst of COVID 19, we believe that many parks and trails, open spaces and nature can continue to be used in a safe manner that allows people to enjoy the mental and physical health benefits these spaces provide.* World Urban Parks wants to advocate and support the power of parks, open spaces, and nature as essential resources for health and wellness.

In My Park, will be a video series showcasing the challenging obstacles, the innovative ideas, the fun and anything else found in your park. The videos are to be short and sweet (1-3 minutes long) and can be done as home videos on your cell phones (example: https://vimeo.com/436589911).

Share the park where you work, your local city park, or how you are interacting with nature! Remember, #NatureNeverCloses #myWUP

Upload the video or submit the URL! Happy filming!

*In all instances, we strongly recommend people follow Government directives and guidelines regarding the use of these spaces and recognize that these vary from community to community. *


Healthy Parks Healthy Cities Statement Release - World Cities Day 2020

Join the World Urban Parks Healthy Parks Healthy Cities (HPHC) Committee as they launch the HPHC Statement and a Call to Action! This will take place on the UN-Habitats World Cities Day, October 31st. The theme for World Cities Day is Valuing our Communities and Cities.

"The recent global COVID019 pandemic has demonstrated the essential role parks and open spaces play by allowing people in cities to recreate safely, seek nature, and relieve stress during these unusual times."

This webinar will walk through the statement and you can hear what current action is being taken around the globe!

Registration coming soon!


Parks and Housing for All: A Better Urban Future

A World Urban Parks Statement

Two thirds of humans on the planet are expected to be urban dwellers by 2050. This shift will exacerbate already dire housing needs in cities across the world, especially those in emerging countries. World Urban Parks recognizes the need for quality housing as well as equitable and fair access to quality open space. Parks can play a role in this effort.
Housing and park advocates have long worked apart from, at times even at odds with, each other. Accessible parks are critical to quality affordable housing, and housing impacts and opportunities are essential considerations for park projects.

- Accessible parks near affordable housing
- Park development without displacement

World Urban Parks is committed to Parks and Housing for All.



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