An urban National Park for Wales

Stylised picture of a 'green' city

Building on the best

Sometimes Wales is a pioneer. Sometimes we can learn from others who’ve gone first.

When it comes to the nascent global movement for National Park Cities, London has blazed a trail, having founded the first National Park City (NPC), and created the National Park City Foundation to help inspire others.

The aims of the National Park City Foundation are manifold, but include:

  • Enriching cities with nature
  • Empowering local people and communities to make a positive difference to their environment
  • Improving well-being, biodiversity, air quality and water quality in cities

Afallen has been following the development of the NPC concept with interest. We chose the day of the launch of the London NPC – 22 July – to create a NPC website and Twitter account for Wales. We aim to work in partnership with people and organisations from all sectors, and of all types. We aim to help create a movement which is informed by expertise and local knowledge, and energised by the desire to make the world a better place.

What and where?

It’s early days yet in the development of a National Park City in Wales, so we haven’t yet solicited opinion about how it should look, nor where it should be located. We’re big into co-design, co-production and co-delivery, so we definitely don’t want to own this concept. We believe that it will be for the people, by the people.

Wales is a predominantly rural country, with cities much smaller than many of the countries currently pursuing the NPC concept, so it remains to be seen whether we will focus on one or more cities – such as Swansea or Cardiff – or whether larger urbanised areas such as National Landscape Character zones, or the Valleys, are deemed to be more suitable.

We’re currently getting informal support from the founders of the London National Park City, and starting to build up a list of supporter individuals and organisations who may be interested in shaping how a Wales National Park City or urban area might look.

We would welcome your interest and support; you can demonstrate your support by registering your interest and signing up to receive updates, as well as by following our @WalesNP Twitter account.

We look forward to working with you to catapult Wales to the top of the list of countries that are making a positive difference to their urban well-being and ecology.

Image credit: Freepik