Barnet green belt

The green belt of the future seminar

Date published: 
14 March 2017
  • Has the case for the green belt been strengthened or weakened?
  • How we can enhance its value?
  • What more can we get out of it?  
  • What lessons can we learn from other countries where similar issues are faced?

London’s green belt is an issue that divides opinion across the country. With an increasing need to balance population growth while ensuring quality of life, the value of the green belt to Londoners is increasingly under pressure.

On 16 February 2017 the London Assembly Planning Committee hosted a seminar at City Hall about the future of the green belt. Invited speakers were asked how we could protect the green belt, while extracting more value from it The experts, academics and planners had some valuable ideas – which you can read below.

Topics included the economics of the green belt, urban sprawl, intensification, brownfield and ‘greening cities’. Speakers, panellists and delegates reaffirmed a commitment to protect the green belt and share ideas about how we can improve the value of London’s green belt land so that its benefits are shared by all Londoners.

Presentation topics included improving access to green belt land through new transport schemes, marketing the green belt for recreational use and increasing market gardening ventures to bring food production closer to consumers. We also heard about the important role the green belt plays in environmental protection, acting as London’s ‘green lung’ to improve air quality and increase biodiversity.

This page summarises some of the speeches and contains photos and video from the day.


If you would like to tell the Planning Committee your view on the future of the green belt please email [email protected].

The green belt of the future seminar

On 16 February 2017 the London Assembly Planning Committee hosted a seminar at City Hall about the future of the green belt.


‘Why the green belt is central to our future’

Dame Fiona Reynolds, ex-Director General, National Trust



´The Green Belt - London’s Natural Capital´

Dieter Helm CBE, Professor of Energy Policy, University of Oxford and Chair, Natural Capital Committee

Powerpoint / Transcript

Dieter’s book Natural Capital – Valuing the Planet’ is out now.


´Preventing urban sprawl and strengthening the compact city´

Janet Askew, Town Planner and Past President of Royal Town Planning Institute



´Green infrastructure benefits and conflicts - the European experience´

David Stanners, Head of Partnerships and Networks, European Environment Agency

Powerpoint / Transcript


Panel discussion: ‘Back to the future: reaffirming the value of the green belt’


Alice Roberts, CPRE

Powerpoint / Transcript

Chris Brown, Igloo Regeneration


Ben Derbyshire, HTA Design

Powerpoint / Transcript


´The work of the Mayor protecting the green belt´

Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy



´Green belt – a new future for a past success´

Baroness Barbara Young, Chair, Woodland Trust and Ex-CEO, Environment Agency



´London’s future is dependent on the green belt´

Noel Farrer, Immediate Past President, Landscape Institute

Powerpoint coming soon



Panel discussion: ‘How can we increase the value of the green belt?’


Mathew Frith, London Wildlife Trust

Powerpoint / Transcript

Kate Ashbrook, Open Spaces Society and Ramblers


Michael Walton, London Transport Museum

Powerpoint / Transcript

Nic Durston, Wandle Valley Regional Park


Guy Barter, Royal Horticultural Society


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