Summit Recap Day 2: Connect and Conserve

Day Two of the parks conference saw delegates roll up their sleeves as they tackled the broader topics of connection and conservation, breaking into a series of smaller working groups to discuss these concepts from various parks perspectives. Rapporteurs audited these conversations, and the information from all sessions will be distilled and shared as an outcome of the Parks Summit.

Connection

The 8:80 Principle: Think of an 8-year-old and an 80-year-old. Is your city set up to give them safe engaging access to parks?


Source: 880Cities.org

Discussions on the topic of the role of parks in forming deeper connections between citizens, people and land/water, and people and other species were enlightened by speakers Gil Penalosa, Director and Chair of the Board at 8-80 Cities and Trevor Hancock, Professor and Senior Scholar, School of Public Health and Social Policy, University of Victoria.

While Penalosa spoke of the need, and possibilities, for transformation change in our urban areas, Hancock shared research about the benefits of a strong connection with our environement, arguing that beauty, such as we find in nature, is really a fundamental determinant of health. He also urged attendees to acknowledge and address the inequalities to access facing parts of our populations noting that to ensure connectedness for all we must "preferentially build beautiful spaces in low-income areas".

Conservation

Nature Needs Half

The rallying cry heard loud and clear on the topic of conservation is that, as our First Nations people have always known and our science also proves true, for a healthy, sustainable planet, we at least need half of our lands and waters protected. The work now, is how to move to that level of conserved land and marine space from the current commitments of 17% conservation committment for wild lands and 10% for water currently being used by policy makers as a first step towards solid conservation efforts. 

As speaker Harvey Locke told the group, the number is possible and it's necessary - but it will not be easy, and parks have a crucial role to play in supporting the Nature Needs Half movement. 

Art at the Summit - Movie Night

Art continued to have a place in fuelling discussion at the summit with the presentation of two thought-provoking films related to the conference themes. 

Elder in the Making

Elder in the Making (Official Trailer) from Chris Hsiung on Vimeo.

On the prairie grasslands of Southern Alberta, a Blackfoot Aboriginal and a Chinese-Canadian rediscover their shared connection to the land and future generations.

Project Wild Thing

PROJECT WILD THING - official trailer from Green Lions on Vimeo.

David Bond is concerned. His kids' waking hours are dominated by a cacophony of marketing, and a screen dependence threatening to turn them into glassy-eyed zombies. Like city kids everywhere, they spend way too much time indoors - not like it was back in his day. He decides it's time to get back to nature - literally. In an attempt to compete with the brands, which take up a third of his daughter's life, Bond appoints himself Marketing Director for Nature. Like any self-respecting salesman, he sets about developing a campaign and a logo. With the help of a number of bemused professionals, he is soon selling Nature to British families. His humorous journey unearths some painful truths about modern family life. His product is free, plentiful and has proven benefits - but is Nature past its sell-by date?