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Making Greater London the first National Park City

By ucyow3c, on 5 March 2015


 Written by Hannah Sender, Research Assistant, UCL Institute for Global Prosperity

Last week, the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity teamed up with the campaigners behind the Greater London National Park* to drive a debate on London’s green spaces and green infrastructure at a conference in the Southbank Centre.

The Reimagine London conference saw academics, practitioners and politicians come together to argue their case for what a new National Park City could achieve for the natural and cultural heritage of London.

What is a National Park City?

London's Battersea Park

London’s Battersea Park (credit: Tim on Flickr)

The idea of making London the first National Park City has gathered momentum since it was first conceived by National Geographic explorer and geography teacher Daniel Raven-Ellison last year. Daniel’s vision features London as a biodiverse landscape boasting enough substantial natural resources and cultural capital to be worthy of a new title: a National Park City.

Daniel proposes that, since we already have the natural capital, Londoners could take the principles of National Parks – to “conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area” and “promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the park by the public’ – and apply them to their city.