The Parks Alliance (TPA) is the voice of UK parks, representing the people and organisations that create, maintain, invest in and use the public
green spaces that we are proud to have at the heart of British life.
TPA and BALI are very excited to announce a new partnership.
The British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) is the UK’s leading trade association that represents all landscape professionals, from design, build and maintenance through to supply, training and education with landscape professionals based in all four nations of the UK. BALI aims to maintain and improve the standing of the landscape industry by providing its members with a strong collective voice and raise a greater awareness of the landscape industry’s role in the creation of an improved environment.
BALI shares TPA’s mission to promote and protect the public parks we are proud to have at the heart of UK life and culture. As we move into 2020 environmental issues, including the future of our parks and green spaces, remains firmly on the political agenda reflecting their contribution to health and wellbeing, tackling climate change and bringing communities together. But both organisations know further work is needed to ensure investment flows into these important assets at the local level.
TPA Chair Matthew Bradbury said “We are very excited to have BALI on board. They have been a strong advocate for TPA over the last few years and share a commitment to our values and mission. As a trade body they have a very strong commitment to highlighting the industry’s role in protecting and improving the natural environment – a natural environment that is so important to the wellbeing of people and places across the UK.”
BALI Chief Executive Wayne Grills said “We are very happy to support TPA. Our members are hard at work creating, maintaining and improving parks and green spaces every day and realise how important they are to local communities and the wider environment. BALI shares TPA’s mission to promote and protect parks and the importance of continued investment into these vital natural assets. We look forward to working closely with TPA on these issues.”
Why parks are one of the smartest investments for infrastructure spendingThe new government has said it aims to level up the UK economy, boosting regional economic growth in the midlands and north, by investing £100 billion in infrastructure to improve the well-being of people living in poorer areas and narrow the productivity gap between England’s regions.
But infrastructure is not just about the roads, rails and waterways that connect our towns and cities. It’s also about the public realm in towns and cities that enables them to function, that makes them good places to live, work and do business. And importantly it’s about the essential civic infrastructure in these places – the public spaces like parks that make these places attractive to people and provide the social spaces that enable communities to function.
There are already place based programmes running aimed at driving local economic and productivity growth through investment in local assets and infrastructure including skills and cultural infrastructure. The Towns Fund (£3.6 billion), the Future High Streets Fund (£1 billion) and the Cultural Investment Fund (£250 million) have recently been launched, focusing on towns and cities outside London, with many already assembling partnerships and investment plans for their places.
One of the smartest investments for all this place based spending has to be restoring the civic infrastructure and especially public parks. Read more about how natural capital accounting can help local leaders make better decisions by illustrating how parks are a smart investment when compared to investments into other public assets. Click on the link below.
“City Parks: America’s New Infrastructure” is the first video in a five-part series from City Parks Alliance in America documenting the multi-functional benefits of urban parks. It explains clearly why parks are such a smart investment.
Parks – The Smart Investment
The City Parks Alliance in the USA just released the youtube video above explaining why parks are such a smart investment for cities. We thought you should see it!
Is this what leadership for urban nature looks like?
Bristol has declared an Ecological Emergency in response to escalating threats to wildlife and ecosystems. In conjunction with the city’s declaration of a climate emergency, the announcement recognises the essential role nature plays in society and the economy of cities. From clean water and air, food, timber, climate change, flood protection, these clear statements of intent aim to protect wildlife and environment, and deliver the wider benefits of a green, nature rich city into the everyday lives of the people of Bristol.
The declaration was jointly made by Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and Ian Barrett, CEO of Avon and Wildlife Trust supported by six city partners. The Mayor has asked that the One City Environment and Sustainability Board work with the council and other city partners on a plan setting out the actions that the council and partners will take to support and add to the existing initiatives which are already taking place.
We think this is the kind of leadership necessary to promote, protect and enhance urban nature (including parks) so critical to successful cities. This is a theme we intend to return to.
Help to Make Your Parks Count
We are aware that there are now huge amounts of data and expert research setting out why parks matter. The excellent report ‘Space to Thrive’ (find it in the Why Parks Matter Evidence base) from the National Heritage Lottery Fund, Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Sheffield and the National Lottery Community Fund is the latest addition to this. But what the things we need to do to use this evidence and make sure these benefits are realised and parks get the investment they need? How do we use the evidence to make parks count? We’ve updated our web resources to try and help you.Our new ‘Making Parks Count’ resource pulls together resources and support that local places can tap into. To begin with it covers three of the essential elements needed to make parks count :-Strong local leadership and partnership working – containing links to resources and tools aimed at helping assess and improve leadership for parks and innovation. In depth understanding of the benefits and value of local parks – containing links to resources aimed at helping measure and map parks in local places, tools to understand natural capital and its uses and how parks play a role in green infrastructure. Good quality management of parks – containing links to up to date knowledge bases on the latest parks management issues and community resources.
We will be developing this resource as we go forward.
Before Christmas RSPB the UK’s largest nature conservation charity joined forces with the UK’s leading green service provider, idverde, to hold a thought-provoking conference at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to discuss building biodiversity and climate resilience into urban greenspaces.
The event saw professionals from a range of industries come together to share practical and affordable solutions to communicate what is already possible and discuss what new innovations the landscaping industry can develop to address biodiversity loss and climate change. The conference heard a number of presentations covering a range of issues including:-
integrating biodiversity and climate resilience into housing developments
creating and retrofitting Sustainable Urban Drainage systems
wildflowers and nature recovery
how to use imaginative maintenance approaches to foster biodiversity on estates
biodiversity and climate change at the large scale Thamesmead development
The presentations are available via the link below.
TPA Parks Blog
The Parks Alliance web site has started a monthly blog to explore current parks policy issues. You can find it here https://www.theparksalliance.org/blog/. We kicked off the blog with a piece on community engagement and will be covering health and funding in the coming months. If you want to contribute please contact at firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea.