Hybrid Parks

Project Details

Title: Hybrid Parks: Combining abilities, creating synergies and enhancing the performance of parks for sustainable local and regional development policies
Priority: 2: Environment and risk prevention
Theme: Cultural heritage and landscape

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2012 - 31st Dec 2014
Website: http://www.hybridparks.eu


Total budget: €2,411,182.00
ERDF contribution: €1,858,523.40

Lead partner

Schloss Dyck Foundation. Centre for Garden Art and Landscape Design
Schloss Dyck
41363, Jüchen

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Jens Spanjer
      Phone: 0049-2182824103
      Fax: 0049-2182824110

Project summary

Parks, both historic and modern, are intensively managed, high quality environments. They add to the attractiveness and success of cities and regions and to the quality of life for citizens and visitors.


The partnership includes many of those cities and regions energetically enhancing and using parks in a wider policy context such as economic development, rural diversification, protection of cultural heritage, landscapes and environment or urban renewal. Partnership also includes some “newcomers” which started similar policies recently.


They all acknowledge the unique resources of parks, the advantages of cooperation and the need to achieve additional economic, social and environmental benefits to diminish the risks of decline or loss caused by conflicting demands, budget reductions etc. Climate change is a growing threat whose effects are not fully clarified. It will affect park features and plants directly. It will attract more visitors using parks as comfort places. Finally parks

will be part of risk prevention strategies such as green corridors to mitigate climate change.


It is the project’s key objective that parks can fully be used for sustainable local and regional development and for policies to mitigate climate change by enhancing their abilities to better serve economic, social and environmental purposes; by combining the improved capacities to create synergies and to enhance performance and benefits; and by promoting guidance on how to relate the above with local and regional mitigation policies.


Such policies ensure that in each park different functions work "hand in hand". This can be compared with a hybrid car, where two sources of energy and engines are linked to use their individual advantages, to support each other and to enhance performance and sustainability. Analogously, the idea of “Hybrid Parks” came into being.


Activities cover the 3 pillars of sustainability by individual and interrelated activities, based on experiences and resources

of the partnership and the objectives of “Hybrid Parks”. Best practice studies include “Economy: Tourism and urban (re)development", “Social: Widening the audience" and “Environment: Public awareness”. Policies using parks for economic, environmental or social development are investigated in two workshops each. Another six, cross-cutting or "hybrid" workshops investigate how to combine these approaches to increase the contribution and synergies of parks to sustainable development policies and mitigation of climate change. Study tours to the UK (focus: economy), Sweden (social) and Lower Austria (environment) and four open conferences further support exchange and transfer. This feeds into improved skills, policies and regional development plans, championed by regional support teams.


The final conference presents the project report, with best practice case studies and the “Hybrid Parks Model” for integrated management of parks within sustainable development and climate change policies.

Project achievements

The idea of Hybrid Parks to combine social, environmental and economic functions in a sustainable and synergetic way – set the focus for the workshops, conferences and study tours within the project: two workshops on economic (North Rhine-Westphalia in 10/2012; Pori 06/13), two on social (Lund 06/12; Ferrara 11/13) and two on environmental aspects (Malta 04/13; Mikolów 07/14), four conferences in Assisi (11/12), Cheshire (05/13), Rhodes (06/14) and Cologne (09/14) and three study tours (Cheshire 05/13, Lower Austria 09/13, Linköping 05/14) as well as five internal Hybrid Workshops for comprehensive cross evaluation.


The workshop “Environment 2” in Mikolów (Poland) was one of the two events in this reporting period. From 23.-25.07.2014 partners explored new functions of botanical and geological gardens, such as courses for pupils, biotope management, information about local plants and wildlife. Also on the agenda was the restoration and modernisation of historic and urban parks

as well as private investments in parks.


The Final Conference was held in Cologne (15.-16.09.14). Speakers presented the resources of parks, the advantages of cooperation and the benefits of hybrid parks. Economic, environmental and social issues were covered by a partner and by an external expert each. Two presentations on “culture” were added to emphasize the European heritage. Options for a Hybrid Parks Model for parks in Europe were presented.


Activities and outputs of the project can be tracked on www.hybridparks.eu. This includes summaries of events and most of the presentations, six best practice case studies, six studies, surveys and toolkits on environmental, social and economic topics commissioned by the partnership. The total of downloads exceeds 10.000.


The Final Report gives a concise summary of all activities and outputs too, and adds a joint evaluation, shows development trends and includes facts about the Hybrid Parks Model.


Together these documents show the broad range of best practice experiences that local and regional development policies, including future hybrid parks, can use and benefit from as well as major common challenges.


While the project has come to its end, activities in the partner regions continue. Inspired by the interregional exchange, best practice experiences and professional debates and new cooperation there is a wide range of activities in the partner regions. Some partners, based on the knowledge and ideas gained, started reinforcing their parks and gardens and their contribution to sustainable development policies, such as urban regeneration, economic diversification, climatic enhancements or social inclusion. Even when not all activities have been started yet, 15 regional implementation plans, which are often agreed by key stakeholders, state future objectives, policies and actions.


Professional exchange was further intensified during the entire project by presentations given

on 25 events hosted by third parties, by creation of 10 project newsletters and some regional newsletters, by media activities with 125 appearances in the media. Another important communication tool to address professionals and the public is the exhibition: 7 language versions inform about overall facts and local activities of the project. The exhibition is documented in a brochure that is, as the Final Report, distributed by all partners.


On the last steering group meeting all partners confirmed the project’s huge benefits for local activities, in particular the modernisation and hybridisation of public parks. European cooperation has shown a surprisingly broad range of new ideas and successful approaches to strengthen to contribution of parks and gardens for sustainable development policies. The partners are determined to continue local implementation and to work on a new joint project to solve pending challenges and to explore future options and improvements.



Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Schloss Dyck Foundation. Centre for Garden Art and Landscape Design, Jüchen GERMANY Düsseldorf 0049-2182824103
State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westfalia, Düsseldorf GERMANY Düsseldorf 0049-2118371803
Rhineland Regional Council, Köln GERMANY Köln 0049-2218093586
The Regional Association of Westphalia-Lippe (LWL), Münster GERMANY Münster 0049-2515913574
Municipality of Linköping, Linköping SWEDEN Östra Mellansverige 0046-13206807
Municipality of Lund, Lund SWEDEN Sydsverige 0046-4635
Paola Local Council, Paola MALTA Malta 00356-21664066
Silesian Botanical Garden, Mikolow POLAND Slaskie 0048-327797602
University of Turku, Turku FINLAND Etelä-Suomi 00358-23336436
REGION OF SOUTH AEGEAN, Rhodes GREECE Notio Aigaio 0030-2241360506
UMBRIA REGIONAL AUTHORITY - Regional Directorate of Resource Umbria. Federalism, financial, human and instrumental Resources - Division for protected areas and valorization of natural heritage and landscape, Perugia ITALY Umbria 0039-755045015
Emilia-Romagna Region - General Directorate for Programs and Agreements, European Relations and International Cooperation, Bologna ITALY Emilia-Romagna 0039-515276068
Garden Platform Lower Austria, St.Pölten AUSTRIA Niederösterreich 0043-274222633513
susanne.heil@diegaerten.at ; office@diegaerten.at litschauer@diegaerten.at
Cheshire West and Chester Council, Chester UNITED KINGDOM Cheshire 0044-1244 977786
Association of Parks and Gardens in Brittany, Rennes FRANCE Bretagne 0033-296310014
Environmental Protection Association Citizen and Environment, Department Nature in the Garden, St. Pölten AUSTRIA Niederösterreich 0043 227268188 58


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