Login | Register

Khan plans to make London a National Park City

Words: Laura Edgar
Khan makes plans for green roofs / iStock-155599487

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched plans that aim to make the capital the world’s first National Park City, using planning measures to help him achieve it.

The mayor is attempting to make London one of the greenest cities on earth.

He said he will use planning regulations to protect the green belt and incorporate into new developments more green roofs, green walls, rain gardens and habitats for wildlife.

Plans also include funding for thousands of more trees and improvements to community green spaces as well as helping London’s boroughs invest in our much loved parks.

To achieve this, Khan has launched a new £9 million Greener City Fund for London. Local groups can apply for the first £1 million of grants to help them plant neighbourhood trees and maintain green community areas.

The fund comes as Khan published his draft environmental strategy, which outlines how he proposes to target air pollution and make the city greener, cleaner and healthier.

It includes the introduction of an ultra-low emission zone in 2019; London’s first solar action plan, which could see the capital’s solar energy generation capacity double by 2030; and policies to cut waste and encourage better use of resources.

Khan said: “London is home to outstanding green spaces that I want to protect, invest in and improve as we aim to become the world’s first National Park City.

"We can also increase the amount of greenery in the city by installing many more green roofs and making our streets greener. From our famous Royal Parks, to our much-loved community gardens and urban nature reserves like Woodberry Wetlands, this ‘green infrastructure’ is a vital asset that improves air quality, boosts quality of life, conserves wildlife and attracts thousands of visitors.”

In 2015, The Planner reported on a green paper that suggested London become a National Park City.

Campaigner Daniel Raven-Ellison put forward a model and said at the time that it did not call for new planning controls or more administrative powers. Instead, the model aimed to grow London’s green space from 47 per cent to 51 per cent and make it a 'green world city'.

Raven-Ellison said: “Making London a National Park City is an opportunity to improve the health of all Londoners. One of our main goals is to make the majority of London physically green and we very much looking forward to working with the mayor on this target. The capital is famous for being a financial, cultural and political centre, but it's an ecological centre too, with an incredible 14,000 species of wildlife, 3.8 million gardens and nearly as many trees as people. I look forward to working with the mayor through the National Park City Foundation which is galvanising a movement to turn this big vision for London into a reality.”

The consultation on the environmental draft strategy runs until 17 November. It can be found on the Greater London Authority website.

In May, the City of London Corporation won the Excellence in Planning for the Natural Environment category at the 2017 RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence for its scheme Planning and Delivering Green Roofs in the City of London. Read more on the RTPI website.

Read more:

‘Green paper’ suggests that London becomes National Park City

London Assembly supports national park initiative 

Image credits | iStock