London Mayor Sadiq Khan has unveiled plans to make London the world’s first National Park City and the greenest city on Earth.
A new £9 million Greener City Fund aims to boost trees and green infrastructure, encouraging more “green roofs”, i.e. those covered with grass and plants for soaking up rainwater, “green walls” which can be added to the outside walls of buildings by busy polluted roads and are covered in plants to help boost air quality.
He also plans to incorporate “rain gardens”, i.e. small green spaces which help prevent flooding as well as habitats for wildlife.
Local groups can apply for the first £1 million of grants to plant neighbourhood trees and maintain green community areas.
They are part of the mayor’s draft London Environment Strategy, which aims to help tackle pollution, promote cleaner energy and make London a zero carbon city and more than 50% green by 2050.
It includes plans to introduce an Ultra-Low Emission Zone in 2019, the T-charge from October this year and London’s first solar action plan which sets out the mayor’s actions to more than double the capital’s solar energy generation capacity by 2030.
Measures will include a new community energy grant scheme and a “reverse” solar auction to help cut costs for Londoners who want to install solar panels on their homes.
A new fuel poverty action plan to increase support for Londoners struggling to heat and power their homes affordably will include support through a £10 million energy efficiency programme.
The mayor aims to launch London as a National Park City at an international Summit in Spring 2019.
Mr Khan said: “London is home to outstanding green spaces that I want to protect, invest in and improve as we aim to become the world’s first National Park City.
“We can also increase the amount of greenery in the city by installing many more green roofs and making our streets greener… I’ve set out my plans to improve London’s environment by fighting pollution, tackling waste and promoting cleaner energy so we can make London a healthier city that adapts to the impacts of climate change. I want to hear your views and ideas about how we can make London the greenest city in the world.”