Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Rethinking London – Future Cities

This passed me by last year, well it was launched on April 1st but it is not a joke. There is a campaign to create a Greater London National Park with all the protection that status gives. This might seem bonkers at first but some of the statistics fly in the face of the media representation of our capital as a concrete jungle bursting at the seems with people and traffic.
  • 47% of London is green space
  • it is over 60% if you include blue and open space
  • there are 8 million trees, the same number as people
  • over 1,300 sites of Importance for Nature Conservation covering 19% of the capital
  • home to more than 1,500 species of flowering plants
  • home to 300 species of birds

Last December the London Mayor took the first steps along this road to safeguard the city's green spaces, waterways and natural treasures - and open them up for people to enjoy.

While National Park status will not protect London from Fracking there is still a major debate to be had about housing needs and how and where to accommodate them. This should be about looking forward at the type of city we want to create for future generations in the light of climate change, resilience, food and energy security and sustainability.

Part of this means a re-think about how we move around and the impact on air quality and quality of life. It seems that here in dear old Blighty we are reluctant to take on new ideas, especially those that emanate from across the English Channel, but sooner or later we are going to have to ditch the car. This is a growing trend across Europe and it’s heading our way, whether you like it or not, public transport (and feet) is both the past and the future.

Meanwhile, Martina Juvara of Urban Silence Ltd, writes in her article: “Rethinking Cities in 2015 – Food for Thought on Devolution” regarding the lack of any link between environmental stringency on climate change legislation and a nation’s GDP, citing the Economist article, ‘Green Tape’. She also highlights the World Bank report that indicates that 2015 will be the year for new urban technologies and it will be the year in which there will be a peak of working age population (at 66%) probably followed by demographic stagnation and then decline in the second half of the 21st century.

1 comment:

  1. WOW - just think - all that space for Housing!!