How to plan and manage a Park for nature and people: the experience of Periurban Parks

Periurban Parks have the double mission of preserving biodiversity and delivering key ecosystem services to the city, while also meeting the need for outdoor recreation and nature contact from an increasingly numerous and demanding urban population. Planning and managing to meet these, sometimes, conflicting needs is highly challenging.

During this webinar, we introduced different approaches and specific actions to better plan and manage Periurban Parks. Planning is key. Planning the border will safeguard the rest of the park. Thus, we heard from Collserola Natural Park’s director, Marià Martí, about some current restauration projects carried out in the borders with Barcelona city.

Planning for mobility is another key aspect. Corinna Wennström shared a pilot experience put in place this summer in the Nuuksio National Park, at half on hour drive from busy Helsinki.

Then, Fernando Alves, from Parque Florestal Monsanto in Lisbon, showed us the importance of planning the landscape, even beauty should be planned for!

Thereafter, the Milanese team gave us a little taste of their creativity embodied in nice communication events and activities they do in the Parco Nord Milano. Definitely, it is worthy to pay a visit to their Biodiversity Festival, which takes place every year, during two weeks in September.

Finally, Nikos Pangas, wrapped up the session and presented main conclusions.

The speakers

Teresa Pastor, is EUROPARC’s Project and Policy Development Manager and the coordinator of the Periurban Commission. She opened the webinar by first explaining who EUROPARC is and what we do. She then delved into the topic, explaining the challenges of managing a Periurban park with regards to visitor management and the wide array of uses these parks close to urban centers have. The growing demand endangers nature conservation, biodiversity and the regulating, provisioning and supporting services these parks provide.

Marià Martí, is the director of Collserola Natural Park in Barcelona, member of the EUROPARC council and chair of the Periurban Commission. He explored more the most external part of the park, which is the border between the city and acts as a buffer, the so-called “Periphery”. This area experiences the most pressure from the urban area and its activities. Here natural areas are in contact with roads, residential areas and industrial areas.

Carin Wennström, who is a Coastal and Metropolitan Area Specialist, Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland then presented a case study called “Park Hawk”, which is a mobile information service, completed with the technical research center of Finland. Through a smart system, cameras take pictures of parking lots. This information then gets send to the “Park Hawk” server and this data is then visible on different webpages. This system helps to manage parking flows.

Fernando Alves, is a forester from Parque Florestal Monsanto in Lisbon. He explained what goes into planning a park in favor of biodiversity and regulating ecosystem services. He underlined that all use will leave a mark, but it is important to minimize this as much as possible. He emphasized that planning is the cheapest way to regulate correct usage of a park.

Riccardo Gini, Tomaso Colombo and Silvia Argentiero, Parco Nord Milano in Milan. They spoke about hosting involving and communicating with users and stakeholders.

Nikos Pangas, the technical director at Hymettus Aesthetic Forest in Athens and secretary of the Periurban Commission, concluded the webinar.

Download the presentations

Click here to download Teresa Pastor’s presentation

Click here to download Marià Martí’s presentation

Click here to download Carina Wennström’s presenation

Click here to download Fernando Louro Alves’ presentation

Click here to download the Milano Team’s presenation

Click here to download Nikos Pangas’s presentation