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12 of the World’s Most Beautiful City Parks

Imagine a nature retreat in the midst of an urban jungle – a place where you can enjoy natural scenery and experience a sense of serenity. Green spaces and parks provide such refuge where people can catch some respite from the fast pace and noise of city life. While many city parks largely remain under people’s radar, there are some that draw locals and travelers alike for their beauty and breathtaking attractions. Here are ten of the most stunning city parks in the world that should be on your list of places to visit.

Boboli Gardens, Florence, Italy

Boboli Gardens
Why visit: Open-air museum, home to oak trees that are several centuries old, a collection of beautiful sculptures that date back to the 16th century, beautiful fountains and gardens, lush foliage

Bukit Timah Nature Preserve, Singapore
Bukit Timah Nature Preserve
Why visit: Urban park where nature lovers can enjoy soaking in the sights and sounds, lush and verdant forest, easy-to-follow trails, wildlife sightings

Central Park, New York, USA
Central Park
Why visit: A massive park in the heart of the city, green meadows, beautiful woodland where visitors can go for a walk, a lake, plenty of attractions and activities,

Djurgården, Stockholm, Sweden
Why visit: An oasis close to the heart of Stockholm, a view of the waterfront, home to museums and enchanting attractions

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, USA
Golden Gate Park
Why visit: Attractions that include the popular Golden Gate Park Japanese Tea Garden, the stunning California Academy of Sciences, a museum, a conservatory of flowers, and more

Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California, USA
Griffith Park
Why visit: Vast parkland that covers over 4,000 acres, scenic landscapes, hiking trails, breathtaking views

Hyde Park, London, England, UK
Why visit: One of the country’s Royal Parks, a tourist attraction in its own right, several attractions that include the Speakers’ Corner, The Rose Garden, Diana Memorial Fountain; home to numerous fountains, monuments, and statues; sports and leisure amenities that include The Boat House, Serpentine Lake

Keukenhof, Lisse, Netherlands
Why visit: Home to 800 varieties of tulips, millions of tulip bulbs that bloom in a stunning and spectacular array of colors in spring, flower shows, beautiful gardens

Luxembourg Garden, Paris, France
Luxembourg Garden
Why visit: Beautiful flower beds, well-maintained lawns, tranquil space for urban dwellers who want to escape the city’s constant buzz of activity

Parc Guell, Barcelona
Why visit: A unique urban park designed by legendary architect Antoni Gaudi, juxtaposition of whimsical buildings and natural scenery and attractions

Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Stanley Park
Why visit: More like a natural forest than a landscaped park, cycling and hiking trails, woodland trees that date back to several centuries, interesting attractions, breathtaking natural scenery

Ueno Park, Tokyo, Japan
Ueno Park
Why visit: One of the city’s top destinations for Hanami where people enjoy the sight of the park’s thousands of sakura trees in bloom during spring, home to several museums and temples, stunning natural scenery, Shinobazu Pond, close to the University of Tokyo

7 of the Most Sustainable Buildings in the World

Green buildings and sustainable design innovations are increasingly making its mark in the world. There are a growing number of structures built with sustainability in mind. This shift towards eco-friendly design resulted to some of the most awe-inspiring green buildings across the globe that combines aesthetics and function.

1. Bahrain World Trade Center
Bahrain WTC
Location: Manama, Bahrain
Highlights: Modern design equipped with three huge wind turbines on its façade. The turbines provide roughly 15% of energy used to power the building. Bahrain WTC also has a solar-powered and other sustainable design features.

2. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Location: Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
Highlights: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is touted to be the world’s largest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum project at the time it was certified. The massive complex fully utilizes its wastewater.

3. Pixel
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Highlights: First carbon neutral building in Australia, energy efficient (façade made of pixilated shade design, use of natural daylight and ventilation); a green roof with solar panels, wind turbines, and rain harvesting features; high LEED rating

4. Shanghai Tower
Shanghai Tower
Location: Shanghai, China
Highlights: Wind turbines installed on top, use of natural lighting; automated system that keep tracks of heating, lighting, and ventilation; other green features and technology

5. TELUS Garden
Telus Garden
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Highlights: LEED Platinum mixed-use building; sustainability features include rainwater harvesting, community food garden, an energy system that maximizes heat from the facility’s data centre to regulate temperature in the office and residential buildings; solar panels, green space outdoors, electric vehicles’ charging area

6. The Crystal
the crystal
Location: London, England, UK
Highlights: LEED Platinum building, Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment (BREEAM) “Outstanding” certification, a roof with a rainwater harvesting feature, recycling and reusing of wastewater, no fossil resources used

7. The Edge
The Edge
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Highlights: Touted as the world’s most sustainable building, carbon neutral building, boasts of innovative and sustainable features, state of the art technology that promotes sustainability, 98.36% BREEAM sustainability score; highly efficient LED panels with light, motion, and temperature sensors among others; optimal use of natural lighting and ventilation, use of smart and sustainable technologies