At a presentation ceremony in October, the OPW was presented with the Gold International Large Parks Award for the Phoenix Park. The Phoenix Park in Dublin is one of only two parks in the world to receive a prestigious Gold Award in the Inaugural International Large Urban Parks Awards organised by World Urban Parks based in Canada. The awards recognise the quality of Parks across the globe, the skills of the people who manage them and the value they bring to the cities they serve. The only other winner of a gold award by World Urban Parks is Centennial Park, in Sydney, Australia.
As the world’s urban population will double from 3.5 billion to over 7 billion in the next 40 years the awards are dedicated to supporting the development of parks and open spaces as critical elements in creating vibrant cities and healthy communities. The Phoenix Park is the largest enclosed public park in any capital city in Europe and receives up to 10 million visitors every year. The Park is home to an abundance of flora and fauna including over 500 wild fallow deer, historic landscapes and monuments. In addition, The OPW Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, Dublin Zoo, The Victorian Walled Garden and Áras an Uachtaráin are all located within the Park.
The International Large Urban Parks Award enables cities around the world to benchmark their performance and understand where improvements could be made. Winners are categorised as gold, silver or bronze across on 4 main criteria which are
- Park Design and Layout
- Features and Facilities
- Protection and Community Engagement and Involvement
- Park Management and Maintenance
Accepting the award on behalf of the OPW, Commissioner John McMahon said:
“I am both delighted and enormously proud to accept this award on behalf of the people of Ireland and in particular all the staff of the OPW who work to ensure the Phoenix Park in Dublin is maintained to the highest standards allowing it to be enjoyed and shared by the public. We look forward to continuing this tradition so that the Phoenix Park can be enjoyed by generations to come.”
“This award puts the Phoenix Park on the world stage and showcases Dublin as a green city with the Park providing invaluable health, recreational and environmental benefits for so many communities,” commented Minister ‘Boxer’ Moran, on OPW winning the award.
The Phoenix Park was noted for its preservation of a well–protected and managed heritage park, with a broad range of activities and events serving the city of Dublin. The awards are dedicated to supporting the development of parks & open spaces as critical elements in creating vibrant cities and healthy communities.