London, 14th July, 2015:

Londoners have unique opportunity to create history, and make London the greatest city on the planet 

New research shows nine out of ten Londoners want the Capital reimagined as a National Park, and for the London Mayor and local councils to back it 

New proposal launched today urges Londoners to sign up for a better and longer life 

A fast growing movement of Londoners has today published a proposal which aims to make the quality of life in London the best in the World. 

The ambitious vision sets out how the transformation of becoming a National Park City will improve housing, green spaces and education.

The movement has already received significant support from all the major political parties, four London Councils, more than 100 organisations, and the London Assembly recently passed a motion of unanimous support. 

There is no precedent for making a National Park City – London would be the first.  For this vision to become reality, the campaign is asking for the support of as many people as possible living across all of London’s Boroughs, by signing a declaration on the website that features the proposal: www.NationalParkCity.London.

The proposal has also been published in an eye-catching, free newspaper format containing previously unseen aerial photographs of London, a new map of walking trails, and new research revealing why and how much Londoners care about their city. It will spark discussion and ideas in classrooms, homes and offices across the Capital.

At the launch event tonight (14th July) at Conway Hall, in Holborn, the organisers will deliver a rallying cry for people from each and every council ward to back plans to make London a greener, healthier and more enjoyable place to live and visit. They will do this by inspiring individuals, community groups and businesses to make life in London better, such as improving the quality of the Capital’s green spaces, and ensuring that 100% of children are connected to nature. There will be a number of high profile individuals in attendance including designer Wayne Hemingway.

Daniel Raven-Ellison, one of the founders of The Greater London National Park City Initiative, commented, ‘We want to create a London where people and nature are better connected, the air is safe to breath, green homes are affordable and everyone leads healthier and more prosperous lives. With increasing numbers of people in the city and more homes needing to be built, our public, green, and open spaces will only become more valuable and valued.’

He continued, ‘London is world famous for its history, culture and commerce. Let’s become a green Capital too – we have a long and proud tradition of caring for our natural heritage and green space in London. We have the people, the community groups and the expertise. Making London a National Park City will take our great city to a new level and Londoners have the power to make this happen – they just need to add their name to our website.’

The proposal, produced thanks to a crowd-funding campaign backed by 347 individuals, has been described by renowned London architect Sir Terry Farrell as ‘one vision to inspire a million projects’. A recent poll of over 1,000 Londoners showed an overwhelming amount of goodwill for this initiative: 85% believe it’s a good idea and 84% think the Mayor and London Council should support it. Londoners agree that making the city a National Park City would make it a better place to live and visit (85%), benefit children (85%), help to protect and promote parks (88%), and improve Londoners’ health (83%).

The main aims of the movement include: easy access to high-quality green space, connecting all children to nature, improving air and water quality, inspiring the creation of affordable green homes and promoting London as a Green World City.

Research conducted by the leading design, engineering and environmental company, Aecom, estimates London’s 8.3 million trees generate £195 million of air filtration services, with air pollution costing the UK economy £20 billion annually. An estimated £1.9 billion of climate regulation services are produced by London’s green spaces. Tottenham Cemetery’s vegetation alone is estimated to produce £140,500 of carbon capturing ability. The quality of the capital’s built and natural environment and role in improving children’s education, regulating micro climates and attracting the best businesses, is what makes it such an important issue to tackle.

The Greater London National Park City would share similar purposes to the UK’s current 15 National Parks but would not have any formal planning powers. Instead, its focus would be to help Londoners to learn how to benefit more from Londoners natural heritage and how, in return, London’s environment can benefit from them. The organisation that would be created to look after the National Park City would be funded through private giving and commercial services. The proposal does not ask for any public sector funding from either local or central government. 

To add your support and make London a National Park City please visit www.NationalParkCity.London and sign the declaration.

Ends -

To download the full proposal, aerial photos of London and stunning photos of wildlife across London, please visit: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6nwi6nkamo1cxvd/AACh-dbjW8yP2pQrCcQKbWhNa?dl=0

An independent and representative poll of 1,005 Londoners was organised by Professor Edward Truch of Lancaster University Management School and conducted by Opinium.

AECOM research calculated the value of different elements of London’s ecosystems by considering 12 individual green spaces in London and, where possible, the city-wide ecosystem service benefits.

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