Green infrastructure

Green Infrastructure

London is a very green city. Its parks, gardens and canopy of trees make it an attractive place to live, work and invest. They also form part of the history and character of the city. These green places and features already provide us with space to relax, help to clean our air and are habitats for wildlife. However, we believe that planning and managing them as an integrated green infrastructure will provide more benefits to Londoners as the city grows, its climate changes and we tackle the city’s poor air quality.

 

What is Green Infrastructure?

Green infrastructure is just as important to the city as its grey infrastructure of rail, roads, pipes and cables. It is a network of parks, green spaces, gardens, woodlands, rivers and wetlands, as well as urban greening features such as street trees and green roofs, that is planned, designed and managed to:

  • promote healthier living, providing spaces for physical activity and relaxation
  • cool the city and absorb stormwater to lessen the impacts of climate change
  • filter pollutants to improve air and water quality
  • make streets clean, comfortable and more attractive to encourage walking and cycling
  • store carbon in soils and woodlands
  • create better quality and better-connected habitats to improve biodiversity and ecological resilience

What we're doing

Not all Londoners have access to good parks or live in green neighbourhoods. The Mayor wants more than half of London to be green by 2050 so that everyone can experience, enjoy and benefit from the natural environment of the city. The Mayor also wants the full economic value that green infrastructure provides to be part of future decision making about the city.

The London Environment Strategy sets out actions the Mayor will take to protect, increase and improve London’s green infrastructure, including:

  • making it the first National Park City
  • working with others to expand and improve London's urban forest
  • highlighting the economic value of London’s natural capital, and finding new ways to fund London’s green infrastructure that recognise this value
  • providing guidance and support to help people manage and create habitats for wildlife and enhance London’s biodiversity
  • making maps, data and research available to help others to make a case for and identify priorities for green infrastructure in their local area
  • including policies in the new London Plan to protect the green belt and our best wildlife habitats, and to ensure that new developments include enough urban greening
  • supporting communities and others to improve London’s greenspaces and opportunities to enjoy nature through the Greener City Fund.

 

Planning for green infrastructure

The All London Green Grid (ALGG) is the Mayor's policy framework to promote the design and delivery of green infrastructure across London.

The framework comprises London Plan policies on green infrastructure and urban greening - and those relating to open spaces, biodiversity, trees and woodlands, and other natural habitats - plus the All London Green Grid Supplementary Planning Guidance. It is underpinned by a series of ALGG Area Frameworks that indicate local green infrastructure priorities and opportunities. 

The Mayor will review the ALGG supplementary planning guidance to make sure it aligns with the new policy framework set out in the London Environment Strategy. The updated document will be published following the adoption of the new London Plan.

What you can do to help

Everyone can help. You could: