The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today announced the first ever London National Park City Week, celebrating the capital’s natural environment and encouraging Londoners to help make it even greener.
Sadiq has committed to help make London the world’s first National Park City, where more than 50 per cent of the city is green by 2050 and the capital’s green spaces and waterways benefit all Londoners.
Working with the National Park City Foundation and other partners, he aims to declare the capital a National Park City in 2019, and is calling on Londoners and community groups to get involved.
National Park City Week, running 21-29 July 2018, will kick off the school summer holidays with a range of activities across the capital including guided walks, talks, food-growing, community clean-ups and improving spaces for wildlife.
The Mayor is inviting community groups, boroughs and other local networks to organise their own events, and for the public to get involved by revitalising a green space or exploring some of the capital’s natural areas.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London boasts an incredible array of green spaces that I want to protect and improve as we aim to become the world’s first National Park City. By making our city one of the greenest on earth, we can improve air quality, conserve wildlife and develop a green infrastructure to benefit all Londoners.
“From protecting the greenbelt and taking polluting vehicles off our streets, to providing communities with money to develop new green areas, I am working hard to improve London’s environment, and I urge community groups and Londoners to help me by getting involved in National Park City Week. Host an event or get out and explore your local area – whether it be a woodland, a community garden or one of our fantastic Royal Parks, there’s something for everyone.”
The Mayor’s National Park City programme will include:
- Improvements to London Plan policy to protect and increase green space, and access to it, particularly in areas where it is currently lacking.
- Support and advice to boroughs and others in charge of land to help plan, design and manage green infrastructure that benefits all Londoners.
- Help to identify and promote the economic value of London’s green infrastructure, to build the case for essential investment.
The Mayor is already funding the planting of thousands more trees and helping London’s boroughs invest in the capital’s much-loved parks. His draft London Plan also highlights the importance of protecting green spaces and creating new, accessible open space, particularly in areas with little access to parks. Earlier this month, he announced £6 million extra funding to boost green spaces and reduce plastic waste, and his £9 million Greener City Fund is already delivering grants to local projects improving parks, designing new green spaces, greening school playgrounds, planting trees and restoring waterways.
Judy Ling Wong CBE, National Park City Trustee and Honorary President, Black Environment Network said: “We are excited to count down to London becoming a National Park City in 2019 by working with the Mayor and others to stage the first National Park City Week in July. It is the perfect excuse to get outside and visit, try, enjoy or learn something new about what London has to offer. There will be inspiring events and activities throughout our wonderful parks, gardens, squares, streets, waterways and nature reserves for people to enjoy, but anyone can make their own National Park City Week events too, from holding a flower pot festival outside your house to putting on a performance somewhere special outdoors. This first National Park City Week is an open invitation to London’s 9 million residents to celebrate our rich urban cultural life, anchored in the nature of our great city.”
Leah McNally, Director of Visitor Engagement at London Wildlife Trust said: “London Wildlife Trust is very pleased to support the Mayor of London’s new initiative, London National Park City Week. Nature is an essential part of our city; with countless Londoners able to enjoy and benefit from the capital’s natural green spaces – and the amazing 13,000 wild animals and plants with which we share our city. London National Park City Week will provide fantastic nature-themed events and activities that will inspire even more Londoners, and will help to make London one of the greenest cities in the world. We will have a range of exciting events lined up for the Week, which supports our longstanding mission to engage Londoners with the amazing nature and wildlife in the capital!”
Londoners are encouraged to share their discoveries and experiences using the hashtag #NationalParkCity.