State government files for National Park City status

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The state government has officially applied for Adelaide to become a globally recognized national park city, despite ongoing criticism of measures to rezone and commercialize the city’s park land.

Adelaide is one of five cities vying to become the second national park city recognized by the UK-based National Park City Foundation after London received the honor in 2019.

The state government maintains that the “historic” push, first reported in early 2019, will improve Adelaide’s global reputation and attract tourism and investment to South Australia.

The long-standing offer was officially submitted by Green Adelaide on Saturday, with the National Park City Foundation scheduled to begin a three-week evaluation of the proposal on Monday.

The foundation is expected to make a final decision next month, with Galway, Ireland, Newcastle, England, Glasgow, Scotland and Wales also in contention.

Professor Chris Daniels, board member of Green Adelaide, said being recognized as a national park town “would help inspire a change in urban design and decision-making in greater Adelaide” .

“The status would bring global recognition to Adelaide’s environment, attract visitors and allow more investment and interest in nature-based tourism, as well as attract more funding for innovative environmental projects,” Daniels said.

“Most importantly, it will help bring people and nature closer together and will result in great environmental health benefits for our city. “

But the bid drew fierce criticism from the Adelaide Park Lands Association, which earlier this year accused the state government of hypocrisy over ongoing “attacks” on the city’s green belt. .

The community group argued that pressure from the state government to rezone 71 hectares of park land for the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital and the 15,000-seat Riverbank Arena means Adelaide’s candidacy “cannot be taken seriously ”.

The National Park City Foundation has previously indicated that it will give individuals and organizations the opportunity to independently submit their thoughts on the nomination once Adelaide’s nomination is received.

The President of the Foundation, Paul de Zylva, said Daily in August that judges would “take into account” the views of the Park Lands Association.

“Community opposition could potentially hamper an application for national park status,” de Zylva said at the time.

“The evaluation of the nomination would not depend on 100% of those agreeing to Adelaide to become a national park city, but we will assess whether a majority supports the plans and listen carefully to the details of any dissent.”

Environment Minister David Speirs and Green Adelaide have previously called the Park Lands Association’s opposition to the candidacy “very disappointing”.

Adelaide’s candidacy will be assessed against 23 criteria, including whether the push has sufficient public support and whether the city has “meaningful policies” in place to “protect, enhance and improve nature, culture, heritage, environment and public space “.

The Minister of the Environment, David Speirs, reaffirmed this weekend his conviction that Adelaide deserved this recognition.

“Adelaide’s journey to become a national park city has been to build awareness, curiosity and capacity about our environment, as well as securing support from government agencies, non-government organizations, businesses and communities, ”he said.

“I believe Adelaide deserves to be recognized as a national park town. I have no doubt that such a title will be adopted by our community. It will be a catalyst for further changes for the benefit of the well-being of all. “

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