London, 2nd October 2017

Beautiful new map of London – created to celebrate the capital's great outdoors

UrbanGood National Park City Map full Charlie Peel 2017 lowerres

A stunning new map has been published byUrban Goodtoday showing London as the world’s firstNational Park City. The massive map includes all of the capital’s 3,000 parks plus woodlands, playing fields, nature reserves, city farms, rivers, canals and all the spaces that contribute to London’s parkland. Some of the most iconic walks through and around London are drawn, such as the London Loop and Capital Ring, along with symbols marking places to swim outdoors, climb hills, pitch a tent or go kayaking. It even shows front and back gardens, but not any buildings!

The map has been published on World Habitat Day to mark the launch of theNational Park City Foundation, a new charity established to help make the London National Park City a success. The folded paper map will be available to the public for free next year, with a limited public release this week. The public can:

·        Sign up to theNational Park City newsletter [ find out how and when to get their copy.

·        Follow @LondonNPC and @UrbanGoodCIC on twitter for locations of flash giveaways around London this week.

·        Urban Good will post out the first 1,000 free maps, with a small charge to cover postage and handling costs. 

London being a National Park City is a vision which celebrates and recognises what’s already being done in the capital, but challenges Londoners to work together to make the capital even greener, healthier, more naturally diverse, resilient, beautiful and enjoyable. The charity is making plans with the Mayor of London and an alliance of councils, groups and organisations for the London National Park City to be declared in Spring 2018, and then launched the following year.

The map has been created by Charlie Peel (founder of Urban Good CIC) in collaboration withOrdnance Surveyand Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC (GiGL).Unfolded the map measures 125cm x 95cm, the same as an OS Explorermap, but includes the whole of Greater London and extends beyond the M25. In doing so, it successfully reveals how London is not just a city, but a large and complex landscape too.

Londoners will find the map goes beyond the London A-Z to reveal the capital as you have never seen it before. We hope Londoners will use it to explore their local area and further afield, and enjoy London’s great outdoors! Printed on the rear of the map is an entire London National Park City Atlas on one page. There are twenty ideas for exploration and adventure, a London Rivers Atlas, infographics and information on how Londoners can help make the London National Park City a success.

Best of all, the map will be free to the public. Keep an eye on twitter, where Dan and Charlie will be giving away copies this week in their favourite green locations around the capital. You can get one of 1,000 free copies being posted out byUrban Goodthis week, for a small charge to cover postage and handling. Sign up to theLondon National Park City newsletter to stay up to date and find out where to get your copy in the future.

To enable 1,000s more maps to go to schools, Londoners and visitors, Urban Good are seeking funding partners to help cover print costs as well as start building a digital tool for exploring the National Park City.

On the map:

Writer Will Self said “The powerful only want us to know our location – while being effectively disoriented. The London National Park City map is our key to understanding where we really are, and taking control of our topographic imagination…”

London author Iain Sinclair said "Maps are the memories we have not yet earned. A solicitation and a goad to get us out in the territory and on the move, challenging or approving the fictions of the map-makers.” His latest book, The Last London, is out now.

Daniel Raven-Ellison, Chief Exploration Officer, National Park City Foundation. “This map is truly inspiring. It reveals London as an exciting urban landscape that’s ready to be explored. It is also a picture of Londoners’ remarkable achievement of making the capital so green and diverse. This is a direct result of a combination of top-down policy and grassroots action over hundreds of years. 49.5% of London is physically green and blue, and if every Londoner made one square meter of grey space green, the majority of the capital would be green and blue?”

The map’s creator, Charlie Peel, says: "The real power of this map lies in the imagination of every child and adult who sees it: to re-frame their city as a connected and natural landscape. It is a map to inspire going outdoors: especially getting people to try something new – like walking a new part of the city, swimming outdoors, or climbing a hill for a new view. I hold the untested belief that in a day’s walk around London you can see a greater diversity of animals, plants and green spaces than you can anywhere else in the UK. I don’t care to be proved wrong."

He added: “300 crowdfunders made this map possible to whom I am indebted, along with the generous support of fellow social enterprise GiGL, and Ordnance Survey: their detailed data sets brought the map to life. Since I first heard the idea to make London a National Park City, with an aim to connect 100% of London’s children to nature, I pro-actively sought ways to contribute. Having founded Urban Good CIC to deliver projects such as this, I am extremely proud of our debut." Charlie Peel, founder, Urban Good.

Managing Director of Ordnance Survey Leisure, Nick Giles, said: “At OS we focus on making the outdoors enjoyable, accessible and safe and the new London National Park City Map is a fantastic way for people to locate and discover greenspaces in the capital. The map is also a great example of OS Open Greenspace being used to deliver real value to the public and helping to encourage an active Great Britain.”

Chief Executive of Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC, Mandy Rudd said: “as the capital’s environmental records centre and a not-for-profit social enterprise, our collaboration on the National Park City map is a big step towards our vision of London’s natural environment being appreciated, understood, considered and improved”

Designer, Wayne Hemingway loves it: “What a tool for discovering new places to run with my dog in this greenest city of all”.

Henrik Waldenström of the World Wildlife Fund (Sweden) and a member of the World Urban Parks Large Urban Parks Committee, describes the concept as "a citizen led initiative to promote London’s green spaces as a single system or entity – seeing this as one large urban park".

The National Park City Foundation will help establish the London National Park City, having created the vision and grown support. Other communities have been captivated by the idea and would also like to declare City Park status. Talks are underway with other cities in the UK and abroad with enquiries coming from Australia, China, South America and Europe.

The National Park City Foundation is working with international partners to develop a globally recognised and achievable model of what makes a National Park City. We are keen to share the opportunities it could bring and are linking-up with others to maximise our collective impact, using the National Park City concept to connect people with nature and make real the benefits to people’s physical health, mental well-being, work places and communities.

The Mayor of London is supporting the London National Park City, describing it in his draft Environment Strategy as “collective action for a city where people and nature are better connected” and using it as a means to “work with partners to make London greener by improving London’s green infrastructure”. This includes making the city physically greener through a combination of convening, policy and funding and working with the National Park City Foundation on public campaigns. Other groups, networks and organisations will contribute in their own valuable ways. Together, we aim to unlock new opportunities and new ways of thinking to put London at the forefront of a new global approach to urban living.


London National Park City

The campaign to make London a National Park City began in 2013. Since then it has become a highly successful movement which has galvanised support from thousands of individuals across the capital as well as groups and organisations of all sizes.

The London National Park City has three core aims:

  1. Connect more people to nature and the outdoors, improving their health, wellbeing and social cohesion;
  2. Create high quality greenspace and better places in London, delivering improvements for wildlife, people’s enjoyment and an attractive and sustainable environment for living and working in;
  3. Promote the identity of London as the world’s first National Park City, helping residents and visitors to appreciate the potential for a rich cultural life anchored in its outdoor heritage;

It is also working to link people who live in London and other cities to the national and international family of nature reserves, national parks and other protected areas. Two of its targets are to connect 100% of London’s children to nature, and to make more than 50% of London physically green and blue.

London can officially be declared a National Park City once the initiative has the support of the Mayor of London and the majority of the capital’s elected council ward teams. The Mayor’s draft Environment Strategy and announcements over the summer not only showed his support, but demonstrated how he intends to use policy and funding to help make the National Park City a success. As of today, 247 ward teams across 31 boroughs have declared their support for the National Park City. Only a further 81 are required, but it is the ambition of the London National Park City campaign to recruit the support of all the capital’s politicians.

The National Park City Foundation is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation that has been created to help make the London National Park City and future National Park Cities successful.  The Foundation has a board of 12 trustees that represent a range of interest groups that is chaired by Stephen Head.

The Foundation is being launched tonight [Monday 2nd October 2017] at the Urban Innovation Centre in Farringdon with the support of Future Cities Catapult and Geovation.

The National Park City Foundation is working with partners to develop an internationally recognised National Park City typology that will be launched in 2019. A number of cities across the world share the National Park City vision and the Foundation will be linking up with them to maximise collective impact, using the National Park City concept to connect people with nature and its benefits where they live and work.

To be clear, the London National Park City will:

  • be privately and commercially funded, and not require any public funding,
  • avoid duplicating work being done by others,
  • not have any formal planning powers, add new layers of bureaucracy,
  • not manage any parks,
  • add value by creating an unprecedented opportunity to make London not just a political, financial and cultural centre, but an ecological centre too.

Urban Good

Urban Good CIC was established by Charlie Peel in 2016 as a community interest company with the mission to improve the urban environment and recycle profits into social and environmental causes.  We have fun writing, researching, designing, map-making and generally communicating good ideas. We strongly believe good urban development increases the capability of citizens to access opportunities. We want the London National Park City to become a reality for all Londoners.

We provide advice, research and support to architects, planners, developers, local authorities and community projects to inform decision making, and ultimately make material improvements to cities.

In 2016 Urban Good set out to raise enough money to fund the production of a printed map that was big enough and beautiful enough to inspire people to get out and make more of their National Park City. Our hunch was that most people would be surprised to learn that nearly half of London is green and blue. Now you know where all those spaces are.

Connecting children and adults to nature, experiencing the benefits of green and blue space, finding play spaces and sports pitches, seeking out new trails, cycle paths and skate parks, learning about biodiversity and where to look for all the above is why we made this map.

Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC

Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC (GiGL) mobilises, curates and shares access to data that underpin our knowledge of London’s natural environment, in order to enable our stakeholders to make informed decisions in policy and practice. We aim to raise awareness of the benefits the natural environment provides to the capital and to ensure the protection and enhancement of London’s natural environment are at the heart of the services GiGL provide.

About Ordnance Survey

Ordnance Survey is Great Britain’s mapping agency for government, business and citizens. Our geospatial data serves the national interest by enabling a safe, healthy and prosperous society. Everything happens somewhere, and every day we support the delivery of efficient public services, support land management & planning, help protect our environment and underpin national security, infrastructure and emergency services. With our partners, we provide expertise and accurate location data and services to help create a resilient nation, ready for next-generation technology. We’re driven to ensure Britain can build a world-leading digital and connected economy of the future.

OS Open Greenspaces is a new dataset making it easier for people to locate and access Britain’s greenspaces. The free dataset accurately shows the location and extent of recreational and leisure features and, for larger sites, their access points. Example features included in the data is every public park in Great Britain, every play space, playing field, golf course, public garden, bowling green, allotment and more. The OS Greenspace data can be viewed for free through the popular leisure mapping app and online service, OS Maps. For more info visit

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