The world’s first National City Park
It is unique to find such an extensive area of outstanding natural, cultural and recreational beauty and value still remaining within a capital city. In order to guarantee its high quality for the future, the Ulriksdal–Haga–Djurgården–Brunnsviken area was designated the world’s first National City Park in 1995. The park’s protection is stipulated in Chapter 4, Section 7 of the Swedish Environmental Code:
‘The Ulriksdal–Haga–Brunnsviken–Djurgården area is a national urban park. New development, new buildings and other measures shall only be permissible in national urban parks if they can be undertaken without encroaching on park landscapes or the natural environment and without detriment to any other natural and cultural assets of the historical landscape.’
The idea of collective and long-term protection of the area was conceived in the years around 1990, at a time when several major exploitation projects were in progress within and close to the future Royal National City Park. The need for sustainable long-term and shared care to preserve the area’s great value for the future was noted from many sources. Official bodies such as the National Heritage Board and the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning responded with directives to the government, and the Office of the Governor of the Royal Palaces also became involved. Several motions were submitted to parliament. The voluntary involvement of associations and societies and of private persons also played a vital role in the creation of the world’s first national city park.
The World Wildlife Fund, WWF, initiated its own project concerning the park and several new specialized associations were formed. Many of these were to join forces within the umbrella organisation of the union of Ecoparks. In 1994 the proposition ‘National City Park: Ulriksdal–Haga–Djurgården–Brunnsviken’ was accepted with broad support within the government.