World Urban Parks Congress

In October 2017 Wirral will be hosting the World Urban Parks European Congress as part of celebrating the 170th Anniversary of the opening of Birkenhead Park in 1847 (the World’s first publicly funded park). The congress will explore key issues and act as a multi-disciplinary forum to exchange ideas and inspire best practice covering:

  • The crucial role of parks for towns and cities: past, present and future – where they are very much ‘part of the solution’

  • The challenges facing urban parks and issues around their sustainability

  • A celebration of their rich heritage and how they help build healthy, livable and sustainable communities.

Given the variety of uses and benefits of urban parks, it will be of value to a range of professions and individuals, including those with an interest in: park management and development; regeneration, planning and place making; the built, historic and natural environment; recreation, health and well-being; community engagement and action; tourism, the visitor economy and place marketing; as well as environmental issues and sustainability.

The keynote presentation will be by Doug Blonsky (the CEO and President of Central Park, New York) on ‘Sustainable Cities, Vibrant Parks’. The design of Central Park in the 19th century was influenced by that of Wirral’s Birkenhead Park and today Central Park is a truly vital and iconic green space that has helped to create New York as the dynamic world city it is.


The main congress (conference) will take place in the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton on Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th October and in Birkenhead Town Hall on Thursday 19th October. Around the presentations there will be several site visits to show-case initiatives around the host area together with an exhibition. There will also be optional pre- and post- conference tours available. Congress also includes a World Urban Parks day (Monday 16th October) for board, committee and working party meetings and workshops where members can meet face-to-face.

Pre-Tour World Urban Parks Itinerary
World Urban Parks Congress: Outline Programme 

Use these links to see the draft programmes for this year’s World Urban Parks Europe Region Congress. 

If you would like to book a place for the event all Bookings for the Congress are done through the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton – click below for more information and how to contact the Floral Pavilion