Green cover map

Green infrastructure maps and tools

How to use this page

To help organisations and individuals in London understand, explore and improve London’s green infrastructure, we have made a series of useful maps and tools available for anyone to use.

The maps provide baselines that will help us to monitor progress against London Environment Strategy targets and data that provide context for decisions about protecting, improving or creating green infrastructure. We have also combined various datasets to create an interactive map that can be used to inform these decisions.

This page lists the tools and maps that we have produced in-house or in partnership with others.

Green infrastructure focus map

What does the map show?

This web-map is a new tool to help London’s decision-makers identify where green infrastructure improvements and investments might be best targeted, and what kind of interventions might be most useful for the needs of a specific area.

The interactive map shows:

  • where there is the greatest need for new or improved green infrastructure that can improve the environmental and social challenges that we have identified (such as flooding or poor health)
  • other environmental and social data that provide useful context for making decisions about London’s green infrastructure (e.g. demographic information)

Why was the map created?

This interactive map contributes to an evidence base that helps to strengthen the case for investment in green infrastructure. It does this by providing spatial information that can be analysed to inform decisions about the type and scale of green infrastructure that might work best at different locations.

See the map

View the Green Infrastructure Focus Map. You can find more information on the London Datastore.

Green infrastructure focus map

Green cover map

What does the map show?

The green cover map uses high-resolution aerial imagery and land use mapping to identify how much of London is covered by trees, plants and open water across the entire city, not just in parks open spaces. This includes green roofs, trees in private gardens and road verges, for example.

Why was the map created?

In the London Environment Strategy, the Mayor committed to make more than half of London by 2050. Previously, the best available data could not be used to monitor London's progress against this target as it did not map green and blue cover in sufficient detail. This new map provides the baseline for measuring future change.

The mapping indicates that London’s green cover is between 48%-51%. The baseline is presented as a range to account for variations in the analysis of aerial imagery. As the upper limit is over 50% it does not mean that the Mayor’s ambition to make more than half of London green has been met. The Mayor’s ambition is to make London greener than it is today. To determine if that is being achieved we will measure change against the both the upper and lower limits.

See the map

View the Green cover map. More information can be found at the London Datastore.

Green cover map

Tree canopy cover map

What does the map show?

The tree canopy cover map shows how much of London is covered by trees. It was developed by analysing high resolution colour infrared imagery using machine learning techniques.

Previous estimates of London's tree cover were based on statistical sampling taken from different areas of the capital. This new map uses high-resolution aerial imagery of the whole of London to analyse tree cover using machine-learning techniques. It will help us pinpoint exactly where trees are, and which parts of London have low tree cover and should be targeted for tree planting projects.

We have made this data publicly available so anyone can download it and use it for further research.

Why was the map created?

In the London Environment Strategy, the Mayor committed to increasing tree canopy cover by 10 per cent. The map and new data will help us to monitor change in the canopy cover over time and identify those parts of London where an increase in tree cover might be a priority.

See the map

View the tree canopy cover map. More information can be found on the London Datastore.

Tree canopy cover map

Street tree map

What does the map show?

This map shows the locations and species type of over 700,000 trees – most of them street trees, but also some trees in parks and green spaces. It is a combination of data held by many London boroughs. The London iTree report estimated that there are over 8 million trees in London, so the map is only a partial illustration of trees in London.

Why was the map created?

The London Street Tree Map was an initial attempt to visually present London tree data (the data was provided by boroughs in 2014-15).

See the map

More information can be found on the London street tree map page.

Street tree map

Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) case study map

What does the map show?

This map shows the locations of the SuDS projects that we are aware of across the city. SuDS will play an increasingly important role in helping the city adapt to climate change. SuDS can also contribute to the greening of the city. Clicking on a case study point on the map reveals a link to further information about the project.  

Why was the map created?

The map was created to show the extent of SuDS across London. The intention is for members of the public and key stakeholders to keep letting us know about new SuDS schemes that we can add to the map. This will help us get an idea of the pace of change in different parts of the city and contribute to our understanding London’s resilience to surface-water flooding.

See the map

More information can be found on the sustainable drainage page.

SuDS case study map

Green roofs map

What does the map show?

The green roof map was produced by the GLA and the Green Roof Consultancy by studying aerial images of London taken in 2013 (by The Geoinformation Group), plus other data compiled during 2014.

The map shows there are around 700 green roofs in central London alone, covering an area of over 175,000m2. That’s 17.5 hectares or around 25 football pitches!

Why was the map created?

The aim was to determine the success of London Plan policy in greening the Central Activities Zone.

See the map

View the original map. The analysis was repeated in 2016 using aerial imagery from 2015 and the raw data can be downloaded from the London Datastore.

Green roofs map

Urban heat island map

What does the map show?

This map shows the results of a simulation for the average temperature at midnight during the summer of 2011 (May to September). This year was selected as it represents typical summer conditions (i.e. a summer that was not unusually hot or cool). 

It demonstrates that the night-time temperature is approximately 4°C higher in the city centre as a consequence of the so-called Urban Heat Island effect. During some hot summer nights, even larger effects are possible. This can have serious health impacts on vulnerable groups such as the very old and very young.

Why was the map created?

The map illustrates one of the impacts of climate change. Existing, improved and new green infrastructure can help to alleviate the urban heat island. 

This project was carried out by VITO as part of an EU-funded programme investigating the urban impacts of climate change.

See the map

More information can be found at the London Datastore.

Urban heat island map

Greenness index (coming soon)

What does the map show?

This map combines the data in the green cover map with a map of London's Areas of Deficiency in Access to Public Open Space. This allows us to better target where green infrastructure projects should take place to make the most built-up neighbourhoods greener in the future.

Why was the map created?

The London Plan sets out standards for access to public green space. Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC used this to create a map that shows where the standards haven't been met.

However, many of these areas (particularly in outer London) are actually quite green because of the presence of private gardens and street trees, or the proximity of the Green Belt, for example. Whilst there is still a need to provide more publicly accessible green space in these areas, there is a greater need to improve areas which are both deficient in public green space and green cover of any type. Although creating publicly accessible green space might not always be feasible in these more heavily built-up parts of the city there will be opportunities to green buildings and streets to provide some of the benefits of more green infrastructure.

See the map

More information can be found on the London Datastore.

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Natural capital borough map

What does the map show?

A 2017 natural capital account for London showed for the first time the economic value that London gets from the capital's public parks and green spaces. Accompanying the natural capital account report is an interactive map that breaks down the economic benefits by borough.

Why was the map created?

The natural capital account was commissioned to help decision-makers understand green spaces as assets that provide a wide range of economically valuable benefits. It reveals the relative value of the different services that green spaces provide within a borough and how unequally natural capital is distributed across the city.

See the map

You can find out more on the natural capital account page.

Natural Capital Account map

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