Who we are

World Urban Parks is the organisation to go to for international advice, support and getting connected with urban park, open space and recreation issues, people and activity. We combine the experience of our members and partners with opportunities to help build urban parks leadership and bring about significant improvements in cities where rapid urbanisation is occurring.

We provide a forum for the exchange of ideas on common environmental, social and economic challenges where urban parks are part of the solution. And we speak at an international and local level in direct support of our members - whether setting global standards, advocating the benefits of urban parks, or supporting a funding bid, a campaign, or professional development. 

World Urban Parks aspires to complement and attain the same level of recognition as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which represents protected areas on the world stage. To achieve this, we will build membership to levels where we are truly representative of the diverse international urban parks, open space and recreation community. We will act as a umbrella to national associations and connect park agencies, non-governmental organisations, universities, research institutes, business, community groups, individuals and allied sectors such as health, tourism, and resource management.


A world where people value and have easy access to quality urban parks, open space and recreation.


To promote and support the provision, effective management and use of urban parks, open space and recreation world-wide as an integral contribution to healthy communities connected to the natural world.

What We Do

World Urban Parks influence at an international and local level in direct support of its members - whether setting global standards, advocating the benefits of urban parks, open space and recreation, or supporting a funding big, a campaign, or professional development.


International Federation of Parks and Recreation Administration

IFPRA was a unique international organisation representing and providing a forum for people, organisations and cities managing parks, recreation, conservation, ecology and allied fields and fostering international and national cooperation. It emerged at the first international Congress of the Institute of Parks Administration in London in 1957. During an open meeting at this Congress, at which there were 742 delegates, 609 from the UK and 133 from other countries, the International Federation of Park Administration was created. At the General Assembly meeting of this new Organisation in Bern in 1969, the 'R' for Recreation was added to the title and the International Federation of Park and Recreation Administration was created.

IFPRA held triennial world congresses with European and Asia-pacific Region congresses in intervening years; seminar and technical tours, produced a quarterly magazine IFPRA World, and had developed science research and partnerships with Yardstick bench-marking and international certification with Indiana University's Eppley Institute.

Parks For Life - Green Spaces Alliance

Parks for Life was an international alliance of professional peak park and recreation associations and similar organisations spanning the USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. It had an interest in advocacy and aligning global activities, such as World Parks Day.


The Strategic review highlighted a need for a new-model inclusive organisation that would complement the IUCN by focusing on urban parks, open space and recreation where the world's population mainly lived. It is a focus on people, place making, health, urban livability, and connection to sustainable natural environment. And it is a focus on joining up all government, businesses and the community engaged in this and allied sectors. 

WUP Foundation

IFPRA committed reserves to fund the planning of the new organisation and Task Force of IFPRA, Parks for Life, and other stakeholders developed implementation to the point that the IFPRA General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to launch the organisation on behalf of the parks, open space and recreation sector in April 2015. The new organisation has inherited the best of its founding organisation's visions, services and members from 35 countries that have enabled World Urban Parks to hit the ground while drawing in exciting new contributions and country representation from partnering organisations, new organisations and individuals.