The capital city of London has recently been declared as the ‘National Park City’.
In a movement known as the National Park City movement, the city commits to augmenting its connection with nature and with greener spaces. As part of the project, the waterways in the city will be cleaner, the green spaces and parks will undergo a revamp, citizens will be encouraged to commute either by bicycle or by foot, in addition to creating green spaces on a personal level, by creating greener and wilder gardens and balconies.
In order to safeguard London’s status of National Park City, the capital underwent a programme of tree plantation, under which 170,000 trees were planted and 200 green space improvement projects were established.
In order to maintain the ‘green status’, plans are underway to sign a charter by the capital’s mayor, Sadiq Khan. “Today I co-signed the London National Park City Charter which sets out key actions to make London a city where people, places and nature are better connected,” Khan posted on Twitter. “A greener future is central to my vision for London and I’m proud we’re officially the world’s first.”
Several London based organizations as well as individuals also supported Khan in signing the National Park Charter. As a result, the National Park Foundation, partnered with World Urban Parks and Salzburg Global Seminar, in order to establish the International Charter for National Park Cities, a document, first of its kind, in order to help other cities follow London’s example.
According to the charter, a National Park City is “a place, a vision and a city-wide community that is acting together to make life better for people, wildlife and nature”. This characteristic of the city is defined by the charter as “a defining feature is the widespread commitment to act so people, culture and nature work together to provide a better foundation for life.”
Following the declaration of London as a National Park City, the capital will observe a week-long festival which will help people engage in more outdoor activities. As per sources, more than 300 free events are organized.
According to Daniel Raven-Ellison, who spearheaded the green campaign, he said, “London becoming a National Park City is something for us all to be proud of. Inspired by the aims and values of our precious rural national parks, the London National Park City is fundamentally about making life better in the capital through both small everyday things and long-term strategic thinking.”
Other cities who are closely following London’s footsteps are Australia, Adelaide, Glasgow, Galway, Ireland, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Scotland.