Periurban Parks & EU policies

Periurban Parks play an important role in a number of EU Policies – not only in the most obvious environmental ones. Periurban Parks are also relevant to climate, agriculture, health, urban, sports and culture related policies.

Periurban Parks & their place in EU policies

Periurban Parks are Protected Areas – including Natura 2000 sites – located in the vicinity of cities. They are wilder, substantially larger and with more biodiversity than most common urban parks. This is why they can deliver multiple services like clean air and temperature control, fresh water, food and timber production, and habitats for biodiversity, while at the same time they provide citizens with cultural green spaces for recreation, education and outdoor sports in a healthy natural environment.

Collserola Park, Barbara Pais.

The periurban park concept emerges from this interaction between urban and rural/natural territory. These areas bring together issues connected to biological diversity, landscape, health and leisure activities, environmental education and sustainable management. However, they also bring a unique opportunity to address many of today’s challenges in a holistic way, using nature-based solutions.

Periurban Parks have a particularly strong potential to deliver positive outcomes for many people and mitigate issues linked to urbanisation directly at their source.

That is why the EUROPARC Periurban Commission prepared a ‘Position Paper’ entitled “Periurban Parks, their place in European Policies”, which was presented at the last EUROPARC Conference in Latvia and should be disseminated to the recently elected EU Parliament and among different DGs of the newly appointed EU Commission – DGENVDG CLIMADG AGRIDG SANTEDG EACDG RTDDG REGIO.

The position paper aims to communicate the various “services” Periurban Parks can offer in relation to the current problems of air pollution, unlimited urban expansion, poor health etc., and suggest how EU policies and Agendas can respond.

The aim of this position paper is:

  • To make policy-makers and the general public realise that Periurban parks can help in dealing with many of the different challenges faced today by cities, such as climate change, mental and physical health and social issues.
  • To make local authorities actively involved in the protection of the remaining valuable nature in the city’s vicinity and so derive the many benefits Periurban Parks can bring.
  • To make the EU and national and regional authorities recognise the contribution of Periurban Parks to biodiversity protection, ecosystem services, agriculture, health, urban and cultural agendas with appropriate financial, legal and political engagement.

Download the full position paper:

Periurban Parks – their place in EU Policies EUROPARC position paper

EUROPARC currently gathers several Periurban Parks in the vicinity of some medium and large European cities:

This position paper has been prepared by Teresa Pastor, EUROPARC staff member coordinating the Periurban Commission and Carole Ritchie, the executive director. The Periurban Commission was formed right after the integration of FEDENATUR within EUROPARC Federation. It is currently formed by Marià Martí, managing director of the Collserola Natural Park in Barcelona; Riccardo Gini, managing director of the North Milan Park in Milano; Alberto Girani, managing director of the Parco di Portofino in Santa Margaritha de Ligure; Fernando Louro Alves, counsellor of the Monsanto Forest Park in Lisbon; and Anne Huger, managing director of the Arche de la Nature in Le Mans.