Going green: London mayor Sadiq Khan sets out his plans to make the capital a National Park City by 2019

Rebecca Smith
The mayor said he will help boroughs invest in the capital's parks
The mayor said he will help boroughs invest in the capital's parks (Source: Getty)

London mayor Sadiq Khan has unveiled his plans to turn the capital into "the world's first National Park City", including a £9m Greener City Fund to increase the amount of green infrastructure in London.

Khan said he will use planning regulations to protect the Green Belt, and introduce more "green roofs", which are covered with grass and plants, as well as green walls, and rain gardens into new developments.

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He is working with partners across the capital to set criteria for a National Park City, with the aim of launching London as a National Park City in spring 2019, which will mean celebrating and protecting the capital's green spaces.

Strategy proposals Khan has floated to do this include creating a challenge map to highlight the areas of London that need prioritising for green infrastructure, and targeting "grey areas" to make them greener. The mayor has also proposed setting up a commission to work with environmental experts to help boroughs attract investment.

Local groups can apply for the first £1m of grants from the new Greener City Fund to plant neighbourhood trees and maintain green community areas.

The new fund announcement was made alongside the mayor's launch of his draft environment strategy to crack down on the capital's toxic air troubles, and roll out clean transport and energy.

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.

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