London National Park City (LNPC) is a place, a vision and a movement to improve life in London by making London greener, healthier and wilder. A huge influence behind the project, Daniel Raven-Ellison, who started the campaign to make London a National Park City six years ago, said:
“London becoming a National Park City is something for us all to be proud of. London is so green and diverse, and why we can make it a National Park City today. It’s about lifting our ambitions; going further to make the city greener, healthier and wilder; improving our mental health; cleaning our air; making the city richer in wildlife; freeing children to play and meet friends outdoors again; tackling the climate crisis and bringing more joy to the city.
“Everybody can benefit and contribute every day by starting to think of the place they live as part of the National Park City and doing simple things like making a balcony or garden better for nature, walking more or going kayaking on the Thames.”
On 22nd July, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, hosted a summit at City Hall where he signed the National Park City Charter for London, a document that demonstrates support for making the city greener, healthier and wilder. The charter includes seven key aims, designed to improve:
- Lives, health and wellbeing
- Wildlife, trees and flowers
- Places, habitats, air, water, sea and land
- Time outdoors, culture, art, playing, walking, cycling and eating
- Locally-grown food and responsible consumption
- Decisions, sharing, learning and working together
- Relationships with nature and each other.
Over 250 organisations and individuals also signed the charter, demonstrating their support for making the city greener, healthier, and wilder, and creating a movement to convince other cities around the world to use London as a template to confirm their statuses as national park cities soon.
London has been celebrating the exciting launch all week with over 300 free, eight-day National Park City Festival including outdoor events celebrating the city’s green outdoor spaces and waterways.
Jayne Miller, Chair of World Urban Parks, said: “London, the First National Park City! What an amazing moment for the City. Celebrating, honouring and recognising the biodiversity and greenness of this great city. The lifeblood of a city is its people and their connection to the place we inhabit, our great earth and all of its natural riches. London is challenging cities around the world to venerate, protect and increase the green spaces in our cities. Let’s all get out and enjoy the great outdoors!”