The Leading Edge of Urban Livability

AP&L 22.2 - The Leading Edge


Words Scott Martin, River Heritage Conservancy, USA

Having spent twenty years working on public parks and conservation efforts on the suburban frontier across the United States, it was a treat for me to visit Australia last October and participate as a guest at the 2018 International Parks & Leisure Congress in Melbourne. I was fortunate to then spend three weeks in South Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales visiting many parks and public gardens.

I left Australia blown away by the energy, passion, and enthusiasm exemplified by the Australian parks and recreation community. The future of livable urban communities is in Australia and New Zealand because your teams are making it happen. You are flat out killing it.

The global-park performance bar is being set in your hometowns and your energy is palpable. I wish it could be exported! On the flight back to the States, I found myself reflecting on the challenges and opportunities we face in the States (particularly in our western and Sun Belt communities) and what you're up against. Like Australia, we are dealing with urban population growth/expansion, the impact of climate change, an ever-sprawling suburban frontier churning up pastoral and agricultural acreage, changing sports/ outdoor recreation interest patterns, more diverse demands from visitors, invasive plant and animal pressure, and the challenge of maintaining aging infrastructure in our urban the full article in the AP&L Journal Winter edition out 17th June!

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