Sherine Shafik Aly
Urban parks are green open spaces. They are valuable resources and play a critical role in creating livable communities. The most highly valued open spaces are those which enhance the positive qualities of urban life: variety of opportunities and physical settings sociability and cultural diversity. Urban Parks are precious natural environment within our urban setting. They should be designed to accommodate both life and development demands of the present and should also look forward to the needs of our future generations. Designing urban parks appropriately requires a comprehensive look at creating healthy ecosystems and prosperous mega cities and how the two can co-exist in the 21st century. The ecological park is a new model of urban parks, it reflects a holistic, integrated vision of the earth providing society with a sustainable, ecologically viable, self-replicating vehicle to improve the links between the built environment and the landscape. It can also create a deep and powerful connection among people and between people and the land itself. The objectives of this paper is to highlight the importance & role of urban ecological parks in sustainability aspects and improving the quality of life, in addition to their role as an environmental awareness catalyst to solve the environmental problems. Relevant analytical examples will be studied according to sustainability indicators, evaluating the performance of parks and concluding their role in creating more ecologically balanced sustainable cities. Al-Azhar Park in Egypt will be studied as a case study, using the achieved sustainable indicators to evaluate its performance, and a set of recommendations will be discussed to achieve sustainability. Key words: urban parks sustainability community development urban design ecological park.