Upcoming Program


Most people now live in cities and this trend is set to continue and accelerate. Most cities are neither good for their populations nor for the planet. Most cities have a fundamentally parasitic relationship with their surrounding ecosystems and nine out of the ten top causes of death are either indirectly or directly caused by poor urban design or planning.

The 2020 program of the Parks for the Planet Forum will bring together an international, intergenerational and interdisciplinary group of experts, activists and changemakers. They will develop new solutions and thinking about the critical role nature can play in shaping better outcomes for urban populations and the different role that cities need to play in order to protect and preserve nature and the environment within and around them.

The places and ways in which we live are increasingly curtailing opportunities for living healthy lives on a healthy planet. This is impacting individuals as much as the whole planet and is unsustainable. In many cases a key part of the problem stems from the ways in which cities and the people who live within them have become detached from nature. This has all manner of physical and mental health challenges for urban populations and environmental challenges for nature in cities and the natural world that surrounds cities.

One Health is the idea that the health of people is fundamentally connected to the health of animals and the environment. It is becoming increasingly important to think about the health of the entire ecosystems in which we live. This can be applied to the neighborhood, the city or the whole planet, the health of one part impacting on the health of the whole.

Most people already live in cities and changes in urban ecosystems will be essential to improve the quality and length of urban lives, as much as for the health of the planet. We are living in a time with the potential for amazing change, and there are great opportunities to adjust how we live in order to prevent human and planetary catastrophe. The focus provided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals as well as new intergenerational leadership around climate activism creates an unprecedented opportunity to create new ways of urban living.

Human health is unquestionably affected by the environment in which we live, whether through air pollution, access to outdoor space, the chemicals in consumer products or mental health issues, caused or accentuated, for many people by the nature of modern urban life. This timely program will focus on how we can nurture nature compatible, nature aligned cities and all of the benefits that will accrue from these changes.


  • Improve the "one health" of both urban environment and the people who live in them by seeding new and innovative new approaches through international and crossborder exchange and the transmission of best practice.
  • Contribute to the development of a new set of urban-nature metrics that will be presented at the IUCN’s World Conservation Congress and other major convenings throughout 2020 and beyond.
  • Generate a multiplier effect by workshopping new ideas that will be further discussed in other fora or refining ideas already discussed in other for a that are brought to Salzburg.
  • Create the basis for ongoing networking and collaborations among participants and the institutions they represent.
  • Develop innovative advocacy and action plans for designed and agreed by participants for them to take forward as appropriate at local and regional levels.


  • How can urban and building design promote better health?
  • Which cities are innovating and leading conservation efforts?
  • How can health or education systems benefit from a greater alignment with nature?
  • What are the key drivers for health-promoting equitable development? What role do data, culture, policies, enlightened leaders, organized civic actors each play?
  • What would a set of urban-nature metrics consist of?
  • Where is the financial and investment leadership in healthier building design and better city planning coming from?
  • How can we make the case that investing in nature-based solutions is a sound investment and that nature is a critical component of economic competitiveness
Program Info
Related News
Participant Profile

The Parks for the Planet Forum seeks to bring together cross-sector and cross generational change-makers from around the world to tackle complex challenges.

This program will bring together a group of 50 participants, drawn from the public, private and civil society sectors and include policymakers, conservationists, real estate developers, green building experts, investors, entrepreneurs, architects, engineers, designers, artists, media and academics. Some of the participants will themselves be conveners of similarly themed events and the Parks for the Planet Forum is proud to be part of an emerging ecosystem of linked events that are working together to develop new ideas.

Program Format

This highly interactive five-day program will be structured around a mix of thought-provoking presentations, curated conversations, informal interactions, knowledge exchange, and practical group work. The process seeks to combine theory, policy and practice across sectoral silos, opening up new perspectives and intensive learning opportunities. Participants will also work intensively in focus groups, allowing for in-depth group work on key issues.

The program will take place in a retreat-like setting of Schloss Leopoldskron, which facilitates trust, networking and in-depth conversations. Small group discussions allow intense explorations of specific aspects of the general themes before returning to the plenary to refine conclusions.

What If (April 27, 2020)

London National Park City*: Life in lockdown London

This webinar consited of an interactive conversation with SGS Fellows Daniel Raven-Ellison, Alison Barnes, Dima Boulad and Leticia Lozano and it explored the power of asking ‘What If’, inspired by a recent National Park City blog from London


What if there were 1,000 rope swings put up in every major city? What if streets were for people instead of cars? What if parks were used by everyone? What if cities became National Park Cities? What if parks were funded as part of country's health services?

Could the COVID19 Pandemic provide an opportunity to rethink the green and blue of Cities - What if we could do it better? With this webinar we wanted to explore the power of "What if?" as we launch a campaign to share and explore our own #WhatIfs.

In this session we heard about some big "What if?" questions asked by leaders, influencers, and thinkers on National Park Cities from the National Park City Foundation and Salzburg Global Seminar.
The conversation has then been opened out for participants to share their own "What if?" questions that have been explored by the panellists. What's your "What if?".

View recording at




Designs on the Future: Parks beyond COVID (April 30, 2020)

World Parks Week Webinar: Designs on the Future: Parks beyond COVID

Date & Time: April 30th, 2020 @ 04:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)   

Register for Webinar:


The final dialogue in World Parks Week focused on systems transformation for nature, health and cities. Speakers on the frontline of urban regeneration, human-centered design and nature-based solutions shared new perspectives and helped shape a call to action for World Urban Parks.


  • Jayne Miller, President & CEO, Pittsburgh Parks; Chair, World Urban Parks
  • Tolu Oni, Professor of Urban Epidemiology, University of Cape Town and Cambridge University
  • Itai Palti, Founder, Conscious Cities; Director, HUME
  • Gil Penalosa, Founder and Chair, 8 80 Cities
  • Clare Shine, VP and Chief Program Officer, Salzburg Global Seminar

Salzburg Global Seminar is an international not-for profit institutions with offices and activities in multiple countries. A US 501(c)(3) institution, Salzburg Global Seminar's annual budget is set US Dollars and program fees are calculated on $5,150 per person basis for 4-5 day programs and $3,600 per person for 2-3 day programs. Annual exchange rate calculations for program fees in EUR are calculated using an average of previous years.

The individual fee rates for Salzburg Global Seminar sessions in 2020 are:

  • 4-5 days session - US $5,150 or €4,550
  • 2-3 days session - US $3,600 or €3,200

This fee covers the cost of the program, program materials, accommodation and meals. The fee does not cover travel costs to Salzburg.

Scholarships and Discounts: In order to gather individuals from a wide variety of sectors and countries, where funding allows, Salzburg Global may be able to offer a limited number of scholarships and discounts to participants and Fellows from universities, research institutes, think-tanks, non-governmental organizations, and public officials from developing (non-OECD) countries. If you would like to apply for a scholarship or discount, please send your CV or brief bio and personal statement to

After your registration for a session is accepted, payment is due within five (5) business days after receipt of the confirmation. Payment can be made via credit card (Mastercard or Visa) or by bank transfer.

Cancellation Fees: In case of cancellation, a participant may transfer registration to another member of the participant's organization (city, department, firm, etc.) upon mutual agreement. Alternatively:

  • Cancellation more than 60 days before the program: 100% refund
  • Cancellation less than 60 days and more than 30 days before the event: 50% refund
  • Cancellation less than 30 days, but more than 14 days: 25% refund
  • Cancellation less than 14 days: no refund