History of Parks: Conceptual Justification for Developing and Maintaining Parks

This recorded webcast is designed for park and public agency employees who are interested in the history of parks. The session will include historical details, drawings and photographs of the people and places who make up the story, their objectives, successes and failures.





The history of parks within Europe from ancient times, through the medieval period followed by the Renaissance of the 15th and 16th centuries which spread from Italy to the rest of Europe and then in the 17th century, the Baroque period which reached its pinnacle of expression in France in the famous Versailles palace and gardens outside Paris, France. This very formal style then spread throughout Europe until the emergence of the English landscape style in the 18th century. This informal style became very popular throughout Europe in the 19th century and as a result, many formal gardens were redeveloped. The industrial revolution brought about the need for public parks which gathered momentum during the latter part of the 19th century. The first public park developed with public funds was Birkinhead Park (near Liverpool, England) in 1847 when Frederick Law Olmsted visited there in 1850, it influenced him for the design of Central Park, New York, USA.

Recording Available

The webcast recording is available here.

About the Presenter

Dr. Christy Boylan is a retired landscape architect and has a 30-year career background in the design and development of parks and open spaces in the greater Dublin, Ireland, area. He served a three-year term (2006-2009) as Chair of IFPRA and has been a Fellow of the Irish Landscape Institute since 2007. He is currently a part-time Landscape Management lecturer for University College Dublin’s Landscape Architecture Masters program and an External Examiner for the Waterford Institute of Technology’s Bachelor’s of Science in Horticulture.

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Webcast Format

This webcast was conducted through online conferencing software and captured for future viewing. This webcast includes a digital recording of the presentation and a download of the presentation.

Course Completion

To be awarded an electronic certificate of completion for attending or viewing this webcast, you must successfully complete a brief assessment to demonstrate your understanding of key course concepts.

Be able to:

  • Have knowledge of the history of parks and garden design.
  • Know the contributions made by various key players, including horticulturalists.
  • Discuss how modern landscape design is influenced by historical developments.
  • Identify characteristics of park design.


Recording: audio and slides don't matchReview by Aricia
This review is for the recorded version. The audio feed and the pace of the slides in the video do not align. This made it difficult to follow and take notes at times. There audio doesn't reach the end of the presentation, and in the last two minutes of the feed there is another voice talking over the presenter.
The information was fascinating, but the presenter jumped around in the timeline,quite a bit and there was a lot of repeated information. (Posted on 4/3/2020)

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