Examining Health Promotion in Parks: A Cross-National Inquiry of Healthy Parks Healthy People Programs

Brendan Derrick Taff, William L. Rice, Gary Lacey, Victoria Peel, Bing Pan, Celine Klemm, Zachary D. Miller, Peter J. Newman, Brett Hutchins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


In recent decades, public land agencies around the world have broadened their missions and associated management practices and programming to emphasize the importance of parks and protected areas to the provisioning of human health and well-being. The 2014 World Parks Congress marked a significant step in the emergence of the “Healthy Parks Healthy People” promotional initiative to the global stage. Australia's Parks Victoria and the United States' National Park Service cohosted a conference stream at the Congress dedicated to the initiative and established themselves as forerunners in the global park movement to link and promote human and ecological health. Since the inception of Healthy Parks Healthy People, much has been researched concerning its efficacy and niche within the larger human/ecological health discussion. However, the conceptualization of these two programs' goals has not been empirically explored. In an effort to inform and improve global social and ecological health within the context of parks, this research brief examines how two unique, leading agencies in Australia and the United States define and promote their HPHP programs by analyzing the management documents they produce. Results suggest that the agencies emphasize the various elements of their respective programs differently and have each followed unique evolutionary trajectories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-14
Number of pages10
JournalRecreation, Parks, and Tourism in Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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