London National Park City

The National Park City Foundation confirmed London as the world's first National Park City at summit hosted by the Mayor of London at City Hall on 22 July 2019. 

To celebrate, we held the National Park City Festival from 20-28 July 2019. Over 300 events across the city gave thousands of Londoners the opportunity to discover London’s amazing outdoors. Watch our short film of highlights from the festival:

National Park City Festival 2019

London a National Park City

A London National Park City aims to encourage more people to enjoy the great outdoors and to support all Londoners, and the city’s businesses and institutions, in making the city greener, healthier and wilder.

More than half of the world’s population now live in cities and the trend towards more urban-living is growing - London is set to be home to over 11 million people by 2050. Cities have to adapt if we want liveable neighbourhoods in the future that respond to the challenges of climate change, help to conserve biodiversity and provide people with healthy, active lifestyles.

As a National Park City, London will be:

  • a city which is greener in the long-term than it is today and where people and nature are better connected
  • a city which protects the core network of parks and green spaces and where buildings and public spaces aren’t defined only by stone, brick, concrete, glass and steel
  • a city that is rich with wildlife where every child benefits from exploring, playing and learning outdoors
  • a city where all can enjoy high-quality green spaces, clean air, clean waterways and where more people choose to walk and cycle

The Mayor's role

The Mayor has an important role to play:

  • The London Environment Strategy sets out how a National Park City will protect and improve London’s green infrastructure and natural capital, alongside other vitally important environmental objectives such as improving air quality and becoming a zero carbon city.
  • The London Plan includes policies on protecting the Green Belt, parks and natural habitats, and greening buildings and the public realm so that development contributes to an environmental net gain.
  • The Mayor’s Transport Strategy shows how investing in cycling and walking infrastructure and promoting Healthy Streets also contributes to London being a National Park City.

The Mayor’s ambition is to make more than half of the capital green and increase tree canopy cover by 10 per cent by 2050. City Hall has already funded the planting of 170,000 new trees and 200 green space improvements over the past three years. As well as increasing the quality and quantity of green cover in the capital, and enhancing habitats for wildlife, fresh ideas like green roofs and green walls will also help London’s fight against climate change.

Get involved

A National Park City is an idea and a movement which encourages everyone to do their bit to improve quality of life in London by making the city greener as expressed in the London National Park City Charter. Find out how you can contribute to making the London National Park City.

Get growing at home by picking up a free planting kit on Saturday 14 September, as part of our #GiveItAGrow giveaway with Hubbub.

Read our top tips for how you can help to make the city greener, healthier and wilder.

Sign-up to our email list to hear about giveaways of planting kits and trees this autumn. 

National Park City Festival 2019

The National Park City Festival took place over nine days from 20 to 28 July 2019 and was London's largest free celebration of the great outdoors. There were over 300 events across the capital in celebration of London’s green spaces, wildlife habitats, green rooftops and waterways.

City Hall organised a programme of flagship events:

  • National Park City Stage. For the opening weekend of the festival, we held a spectacular free cultural programme in partnership with the National Theatre, on their outdoor River Stage, celebrating everything green and wild about the city. 
  • National Park City Rooftops. In partnership with Open House London, we offered free access to some of London’s beautiful rooftop gardens. 
  • National Park City Forest. In collaboration with Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019, we produced a unique audio installation in Epping Forest. Living Symphonies portrayed the thriving activity of the forest’s wildlife, plants and atmospheric conditions, creating an ever-changing symphony in the forest.
  • National Park City Wildlife. A photography competition and exhibition in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust. 
  • National Park City Splash. London’s first multi-site outdoor swimming and paddle sports event. All abilities were welcome to try their hand at stand up paddle boarding and open water swimming, canoeing and kayaking.

Thank you

Hundreds of organisations put on events as part of the National Park City Festival 2019 supported by hundreds of volunteers. We'd like to thank everyone involved for their commitment and hard work. The Festival wouldn't have happened without you! We are currently evaluating this year's Festival and will be in touch with event organisers for their feedback. If you have any questions or suggestions please contact [email protected] 

If you are an event organiser you can still log on to your account here, or by clicking on 'Organiser Log in' at the top of the National Park City Festival website.

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