Adelaide is using its global status as a National Park City to inspire other cities to follow suit – namely the city of Chattanooga, in Tennessee in the United States.
A year-and-a-half after achieving its status, Adelaide was strongly represented in a panel addressing Chattanooga’s National Park City campaign launch in mid-May.
A panel of representatives from the Adelaide and London National Park City projects, along with the London-based National Park City Foundation, spoke at the launch to discuss meaning, motivations and benefits of the National Park City movement. The Adelaide representatives, all from Green Adelaide, included Brenton Grear, Dr Sheryn Pitman and Professor Chris Daniels.
The panel reflected on benefits since their cities gained the status, including London’s engagement with the community through volunteer rangers, which gave volunteers more confidence in environmental leadership, and a shift in perspectives within the community about their surroundings.
Among those noted in Adelaide were an increase in the awareness of the importance of trees, both for wildlife and for cooling urban areas, along with increased appreciation of urban nature without having to go outside of the city to enjoy it.
While the panel attended by videoconference, their discussion reached a crowd of about 200 people who attended the launch at Chattanooga’s Waterhouse Pavilion.
Green Adelaide Presiding Member Chris Daniels shared the importance of being part of the global movement to connect people with nature and each other, and discussed the ways native animals are part of our identity.
‘Biodiversity is really important for creating a sense of place,’ Chris said.
‘We are who we are in large part because of the nature around us.’
Along with Chattanooga’s campaign for National Park City status, Canberra, Berlin, Tokyo, Sacramento, Galway, Madrid, Breda and Glasgow are also vying for the status.
With Adelaide becoming just the second city in the world to gain this status – late in 2021 – a successful campaign by Chattanooga could see it join the family and become the first National Park City in the US.
Watch some of the Chattanooga campaign launch on YouTube.