Why London is being turned into the world's first national park city

Jul 22, 2019 · telegraph.co.uk

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Think of Britain’s national parks and you probably imagine the sweeping landscape of Dartmoor and the ­majesty of the Lake District. You almost certainly won’t think of Greater London. But this month sees the first step to making the capital the world’s first National Park City.

The concept may seem strange, but the aim is to highlight the importance of green space in the capital in order to increase and protect it. According to mapping company Esri, Greater London’s public green space covers 16.8 per cent of the city.

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has set a goal of turning the capital 50 per cent green by 2050 (including private areas such as back gardens). He also plans to increase tree canopy cover in the capital by 10 per cent during that period.

"Our job is to help raise the profile of the work being done to protect and preserve green areas," says Paul de Zylva, chair of the National Park City Foundation. "We wondered what the conversation would be like if we ­applied the same principles of national parks to London."

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