Sunday, July 16, 2017

It’s not Easy Being Green

Meanwhile the London Assembly Environment Committee has published its report:
Park life: ensuring green spaces remain a hit with Londoners (PDF)

It’s not easy being green

  • London’s parks and green spaces face an uncertain future due to limited funds.
  • The capital’s green spaces provide environmental, physical, mental, social and economic benefits for Londoners.
  • The Mayor has committed to improving access to green space – in his election manifesto[1] he pledged to make more than 50 per cent of the city green and to ensure that all children have access to nature.
The report’s recommendations include:
  • In the forthcoming Environment Strategy, the Mayor should:
  • clarify his plans to increase London’s green space in terms of quality, multi-functionality and accessibility
  • set out a specific action plan to improve green space data collection to help target investment which improves access to, and quality of, green spaces.
  • The Greater London Authority should examine the feasibility of setting up a single, citywide website to provide key information on all London’s green spaces, including ways to get involved and a crowdfunding function.
  • Team London – the Mayor’s volunteering programme - should assist green space managers in recruitment, retention and satisfaction of volunteers, including assistance for fundraising, diversifying the membership base and connecting with target groups.
  • The Mayor should appoint a Green Infrastructure Commissioner or Champion.

Environment Committee Chair, Leonie Cooper AM, said:

“It is no longer the case that we can rely on local councils alone to maintain our parks and other green spaces. The money is simply not available. They will still play a central role, but need support.

This report encourages forward thinking to ensure London’s parks and green spaces – which are renowned throughout the world – are not only protected but also improved. We recommend that volunteers play a key role, crowdfunding is explored, and private investment is encouraged across the board.

We’re calling for a team effort – with the Mayor supporting the public and private sectors to work with Londoners to protect and improve our green spaces.”

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