Greater London: National Park City

London's green and open spaces mapped - 48% of the capital overall
On June 24th, the team behind the campaign to designate Greater London as the world's first National Park City will present their ideas in Honor Oak.

Approximately 48% of the capital is given over to green or open space and London is home to more than 1,300 sites of national importance for conservation, as well as 13,000 different species.

The move would be a branding exercise, with little influence over the planning system - but as Tech City, Med City and Greater Brockley have shown, branding a place works - re-framing priorities and making people think differently about the place they live and work in. To that extent, the National Park City project is a great idea, which would give greater impetus to city-greening projects like the Peckham Coal Line and the Brockley Corridor.

The Friends of Blythe Hill Fields and Mayow Park are co-hosting a talk by the campaign's founder, Dan Raven-Ellison, on 24th June at 7pm at the Honor Oak pub.

Click here for a guide to the area's greenspaces.


Bored sunday said...

I love seeing statistics like "48% of the capital is green or open space". I assume that as parks are both green and generally open they are counted, and back gardens? And roof gardens? And sedum roofs? There are all 'green'. As for 'open'... Trafalgar Square?, Sainsbury's car park?, The Old Kent Road? All technically 'open'. I assume to come up with such an exact number as 48 someone has actually calculated it, so there must be a definition.

urbansurgery said...

Likely as not there are several definitions. The designations used will most likely be for non privately owned land. For publicly owned property and land a very good idea is had and mapped through planning designations. Back gardens and green roofs less so.

OKR likely designated as highway, Sainsbury's carpark under blanket of retail (albeit privately owned) Trafalgar square a mix of highway and, yes, 'open space'.

Brockley Nick said...

I think - once the definition is in place (and it will include some of those things you mention) then the measurement is straightforward, given the sophistication of London mapping.

raised eyebrows said...

National Parks have air that is good deal fresher than London and a lot fewer people and cars. The whole idea is that they are peaceful places, remote from urban centres. If London, and any other cities, decide to promote themselves in this way they risk devaluing the brand of the existing National Parks. I cannot imagine that the people responsible for promoting National Parks are going to be very happy about that. Better to create an original concept rather than infringe someones intellectual property.

Chris Wheal said...

National Parks get greater funding than council parks (but not as much as Royal Parks).

Brockley Nick said...

I think this is a very fair challenge. I suppose it's reasonable to assume that a National City Park is a different-enough concept that it wouldn't devalue the original National Park brand. But yes, perhaps we need something completely new.

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