Over the last 400 years, parks both in terms of rural and urban settings have evolved and changed to meet the challenges of evolving societies and environment. Great Parks are great forever and can adapt to changing environmental and social needs over generations.
Park managers today are confronted with a plethora of challenges ranging from climate change, increased urbanization and rapidly changing social demographics to name a few. The challenges internationally have been well researched and documented and are well known to park managers. However the real challenge is how we respond to them and responding to them in ways that dynamically benefit society today and tomorrow.
In the 1990’s park management professionals realized with declining relevance to urban communities that they had to change the park paradigm. Leaders such as John Crompton and Brian O’Neill in the USA did this too great affect. We have also seen innovative responses such as the global phenomena “Health Parks Healthy People” as a dramatic shift in how parks are valued and managed.
“Instead of being afraid of the challenge and failure, be afraid of avoiding the challenge and doing nothing.” Soichiro Honda, the founder of Honda Motor Company.