Greening London

Greening London

We’re working to help London cope with our changing climate by supporting more green roofs and walls in the capital, and supporting programmes to make London’s business districts greener. These are helping to cut the risk of flooding and reduce local temperatures by providing cooler, shaded and greener spaces. They’re also supporting wildlife and making London a more inviting place to live, work and visit.

What we're supporting

This map shows the location of mayoral programmes greening London. You can search the map to see what has been achieved in your area.

Green roofs and walls

‘Green’ or ‘living’ roofs and walls have plants, grass, trees and other vegetation growing on them. They can be single walls or full roof terraces and gardens. They help to absorb rainwater to prevent flooding, provide space for wildlife, help to insulate buildings, and can be used as new recreational spaces for Londoners. In the most built-up parts of London green roofs are sometimes the best way to increase our green cover and are particularly important as London continues to grow, with more people living closer together.

Our green roof 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! Click on a green roof to see a short description of the green roof type and the estimate of the area it covers. You can also search by postcode and switch between a map and aerial photograph.

The green roof map was produced in partnership with the Green Roof Consultancy by studying aerial images of London taken in 2013 by The Geoinformation Group, plus other data compiled during 2014. Consequently, the map provides a 2014 baseline for green roofs in the CAZ.

We know we don’t have all of London’s green roofs, so if you know of one we can add, email us. Or, if you would like to add more information about a green roof currently on the map – such as a photo, or links to a website with further details of the roof – then please click on the green roof on the map and the ‘email us’ link, which will open a new email window.

How can you get involved?

There is lots of help and guidance available on creating green roofs and walls for business and London boroughs. We have produced this useful guide on Living Roofs and Walls.

Transport for London have also installed green roofs at St James’s tube station and West Ham bus garage and a green wall at Edgware Road tube station. To help those who are thinking of installing a green wall, they have summarised their experiences in Delivering Vertical Greening.

People living in London can also create their own green roof. Take a look at this green roof DIY Guide.

Greening the Business Improvement Districts

We’re working with businesses to create more rain gardens, green roofs and green walls in central London. We have supported ‘green infrastructure audits’ for 15 central London Business Improvement Districts or employer groups.

Over 500 hectares of London have been audited, which showed over 300 rain gardens, 200 green walls and more than 100 hectares of green roofs could be created, as well as other small scale interventions like planters and window boxes. We’re now working with the Cross River Partnership to help districts and employer groups to install these. Businesses have also invested in measures as part of their longer-term refurbishments and regeneration plans. Many of these greening projects are showcased in the Green Capital report and video.

How you can get involved

If you are a Business Improvement District, employer partnership, or land owner and are interested in finding out more about how to complete a green infrastructure audit please view the best practice guide. If you’d like to find out any more about the project or get involved please contact us.

What you can do

You too can help to prevent flooding and make London greener. You can make your garden greener and can help reduce stormwater flows into drains by installing rain gardens.