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Conference paper
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As pressures of urban development and renewal impact the fabric of contemporary cities, parks and open space are increasingly under threat, which is compounded by the general lack of strategic open space planning at the state level. Simultaneously, as cities compete to attract global companies, start - ups, new residents and visitors and to build future resilience, the creation of new parks, or upgrading existing open space, is essential to underpin a city’s long - term liveability and sustainability. This discussion paper deliberates on four current concepts that are influencing the discourse on urban resiliency, and argues why urban parks and open space should be included in the conversation. These concepts are: urban ecology, smart cities, healthy built environments, and compact cities.. Urban ecology,, as a contemporary framework, conceptualises the city as interdependent systems of living things — humans, plants, animals — and their environments. The notion of smart cities, as outlined in Australia’s Smart Cities Plan, can encompass urban parks and connected greenspace as they align to opportunities for smart investment, partnerships, and technology. Parks and open space are critical to informing healthy planning and achieving successful compact cities (“density done well”), and we need to give them higher priority in strategic planning, and agree on standards for provision that acknowledge their capacity to enhance the social and economic performance of cities, as well as the environmental. In this paper, each concept is discussed individually and collectively in the context of theorising how urban parks help build a city’s resilience.

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