What is a National Park City?
A National Park City is inspired by the family of National Parks but is not the same as a National Park.
The working definition is a “A large urban area that is managed and semi-protected through both formal and informal means to enhance the natural capital of its living landscape. A defining feature is the widespread and significant commitment of residents, visitors and decision-makers to allow natural processes to provide a foundation for a better quality of life” (2015).
The first one is the London National Park City. It is a community-grassroots movement celebrating and supporting action by the millions of people in their community, in their business and profession.
The National Park City Foundation is currently leading a piece of work to agree an international definition and typology for a National Park City.
The UK’s National Parks are mostly in rural areas, often with spectacular natural beauty, where people work together to protect natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage.
A National Park City recognises the value of urban life, habitats, landscapes, people and culture, and seeks to apply similar purposes to a whole city.
Just like in a rural National Park, a National Park City consists of a landscape as well as a vision, partnership and a community of people working together to look after and improve it. Unlike a rural National Park, the London National Park City does not have a traditional single top-down authority. Instead, it has a partnership and a large number of contributors. In London’s case this could become millions of people.