For the first time in history, most people on Planet Earth live in cities. We have great power to shape the prospects for life on earth.

Inspired by London becoming a National Park City in 2019, people worldwide are asking if their city can also be a National Park City, and if so, what it would mean.

To help answer these and other questions, the National Park City Foundation, World Urban Parks and Salzburg Global Seminar have begun an international conversation to develop a Universal Charter of National Park Cities.

The Universal Charter will inspire people as individuals, as part of the community groups and involved with larger organisations, to take actions that improve life in cities. It will be designed so that anyone, may they be 8 or 80, can see how they can act and be involved.

Inspired by the London National Park City Charter the document will set out a shared vision and definition and a set of values, principles and characteristics of National Park Cities. These will make clear what is needed to begin the journey to become and be a National Park City.

Some elements will be set in stone; other will be flexible and adaptable so that people can adapt it to their own lives, places and cities.

We are keen to know your thoughts, ideas and opinions on the Universal Charter to help make this important work a success.

Could you help shape the first Universal Charter of National Park Cities?

Following initial meetings in London and Adelaide, we will shortly be consulting on the contents of the first draft Universal Charter of National Park Cities. This will be a unique opportunity to shape the future of National Park Cities worldwide to improve life for residents and for visitors and to boost the role of cities in restoring our natural environment.

We are keen to hear from all with an interest in the National Park Cities. Everyone can contribute regardless of age and location.

We are also looking for champions to organise forums and to feedback collective responses. City leaders, teachers, ministers, community organisers, business leaders and all wanting to show leadership are invited to be involved.

The consultation will run from December 2018 to April 2019. We aim to publish the first draft of the Universal Charter in July 2019.

To be notified when the consultation starts and to stay updated, please sign-up here:

 

Sign Up for Updates >

 

The New Economics Foundation has reviewed evidence and found that building the following five actions into our day-to-day lives is important for well-being:

  1. Connect
  2. Be active
  3. Take notice
  4. Keep learning
  5. Give

We think this is a powerful approach to improving our wellbeing and life in London. That’s why we are tagging all of our relevant articles with each of these actions. What if everyone did these things every week?

 

Connect

With the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.

View the list of things you can do under the theme of Connect.

Be active

Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

View the list of things you can do under the theme of Be Active.

Take notice

Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

View the list of things you can do under the theme of Take Notice.

Keep learning

Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.

View the list of things you can do under the theme of Keep Learning.

Give

Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.

View the list of things you can do under the theme of Giving.

We've created some T-shirts to help you show your support as you explore the #NationalParkCity. The t-shirts are available from our Teemill store.

Visit our Clothing Store

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 All products are made from organic cotton and printed in the UK in a renewable energy powered factory. Learn more here.

The London National Park City Charter is an important document. It sets out our aims, values and ways of working and explains how individuals, groups and organisations can take action together on our shared aims.

The original London National Park City Charter can be seen on pages 28-29 of our 2015 proposal (see our papers for other formats of this document). This proposal was supported by the majority of London’s elected councillors, the London Assembly and the Mayor of London.

The National Park City Foundation is currently reviewing the London National Park City Charter and working with World Urban Parks on an international piece of work to build consensus around a Universal Charter of National Park Cities.

These documents will include a revised National Park City definition, a framework for the processes to assess and establish National Park Cities, consideration of partnership models, details of universal principles, an approach for action planning, a monitoring framework and an innovative approach for engagement at all levels.

Anyone should be able to read the Charter and understand how they can benefit from it and contribute to it.

If you would like to be kept up to date with this work please sign up to our newsletter.

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