Parks for All
Parks for All means working together to realize shared goals through a variety of means, actions and leadership.
Parks for All recognizes we all benefit from healthy parks and natural areas and the quality of life they provide.
In 2009, for the first time ever, the world’s population became more urban than rural. By 2050, around two-thirds of all people will live in cities and urban populations will grow by more than 2 billion people. It is therefore imperative to ensure cities are liveable and that everyone has access to parks, open spaces and recreation opportunities.
World Urban Parks believes that urban parks, open spaces and recreation opportunities should be accessible for all - Parks for All.
The key principles by which World Urban Parks champions Parks for All outcomes for liveable cities are:
- Universal Rights: We are committed to the principles of The UN - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the recognition of the rights of Traditional Owners
- Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: We are committed to the principles of The UN - International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
- Achieving the The Sustainable Development Goals: We are committed to supporting and achieving the UN – Sustainable Development Goals
- Meeting international agreements: We are committed to achieving the following International Agreements and Protocols:
o United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
o International Council on Monuments and sites - Charters and resolution
Our common belief is that parks in all forms—from city green spaces to the private gardens—are essential to a long-term vision of success for everyone in a city.
TIRANA A CITY TOWARDS INCLUSIVITY
Tirana, and Albania as a whole, reflect the changing nature of cities that are emerging throughout the 21st century, as we see a dramatic growth of urban-dwelling populations. The opportunity to create unique cities has been a central theme as Albania and Tirana have evolved. It is a young city with youthful ambitions.
Tirana became the capital of Albania in 1920. This year marks the centennial celebration with a reflection upon the city’s first hundred years, while looking-forward with a bold vision for 2030 that has been defined as a plan for landscape-recovery based on the broad concept of Parks for All. The vision consists of thirteen strategic projects located in the natural landscape, with nature as a central theme in the various initiatives. One such strategy is a continuous ring of woodland around the metropolis, including parks and protected nature reserves that will preserve and boost the existing biodiversity;
- new environmental corridors along the rivers of Lana, Tirana and Erzen;
- a green belt (the new 4th ring-road) around the centre of Greater Tirana.
Great cities focus on the public realm and open spaces and water that attract residents, workers, visitors, enterprise and investment. They recognise and celebrate the local character of the place and its people, which includes the green infrastructure that supports the sustainability of the region and people’s wellbeing.
THE CONGRESS THEMES
The Congress theme of Parks for All will explore the broad range of challenges facing city leaders, planners and community in three key focused areas:
Parks for Children
Research suggests that connecting with nature has the power to make children healthier, happier and smarter. However, over the last few generations, children have started to spend more time indoors, leaving kids disconnected from the natural world. This worldwide trend has profound implications for children’s healthy development and the future of our planet.
Therefore, rebuilding a city from the Eye of a Child is crucial and will be a central theme of the upcoming World Urban Parks Congress. Placing the needs of the city’s youngest citizens at the forefront will enable delegates to become immersed in world leading examples while connecting with fellow attendees who provide examples from around the world.
Parks for Resilience
Urban parks have a positive impact on cities coping with climate change by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere, capturing fine particles, improving air quality, managing storm water, and mitigating the infamous urban heat island effect. They can and should be designed, built, and renovated as flexible and adaptable spaces that increase the resilient green infrastructure of a city and allow mixed users. This includes the capacity to serve as safe spaces and resource distribution centers in response to natural disasters.
Urban parks are also critical sites for nature in cities. They are instrumental at improving ecological resilience and biodiversity. Moreover, they are essential spaces for people, where users can build stronger connections, overall increasing community resilience.
Cities of the future will need to become resilient to a changing climate, all while continuing to support expanding populations and ensuring Parks for All.
The need to rethink concepts and explore different park paradigms is central to this theme and at the Tirana World Urban Parks Congress, delegates will be able to explore cities coping with climate change and natural disasters, cities providing resilience through nature and governance for people.
Parks for Communities
The future of cities as sustainable, liveable and functional entities lies in sustainable communities. This means that society thrives economically without depleting or exploiting the environment. Over centuries parks have proven their ability to bring people together into a more cohesive future. The recent National Park City movement has highlighted that the future is centred around communities and their leadership. This builds upon significant examples from Central Park Conservancy (New York) through to the dynamic park partnership programs in San Francisco.
It is also well recognised in many communities that the Traditional Owners play an important role in shaping our understanding of the landscapes of cities. World Urban Parks acknowledges the Traditional Owners and pay our respects to their elders.
Collaborating and connecting will be key themes regarding parks for communities and the congress will explore new and emerging approaches from around the world.
It is also recognised that Leadership from the community can create significant and beneficial change, be this from an elected official such as the change occurring in Tirana or with the London National Park City through community leadership. World Urban Parks recognises that leadership will supply the staying power to create Parks for All for future generations.
This theme will explore world-leading examples surrounding: Leadership; Collaboration; Traditional Owners; Governance Models; and Community Activation and Engagement.
TIRANA WORLD URBAN PARKS CONGRESS – PARKS FOR ALL
The Parks for All Congress seeks to bring together park professionals, their many partners and affiliates, and engaged citizens under a shared goal. The hope is that we may align our efforts and achieve more together.
The Parks Vision for Tirana is centred around the concept of Parks for All and Tirana is the best park incubator in the world—it is a place where you can experience firsthand on a city-wide scale how to dramatically modernize a city with a focus on people and nature. This year’s theme for the World Urban Park Congress is Parks for All which reflects the vision and drive of Tirana’s people and as a result, is a rare example for those involved in cities and urban parks to explore bold, best practices first-hand within an emerging city.
World Urban Parks Climate Change Charter
With a central theme focusing on the future and creating cities that are sustainable and liveable the Tirana - Parks for All World Urban Parks Congress provides a unique opportunity for member organizations to sign on to the World Urban Parks Climate Change Charter.
The World Urban Parks Climate Change Charter provides an effective means for signatories to demonstrate their commitment to tackling the causes and consequences of climate change. There is no requirement to have completed the associated actions before signing the Charter, or by a predetermined deadline. Signing the Charter indicates a commitment to act, and signatories should aim to demonstrate progress in fulfilling this commitment.