Pocket park in Lambeth

Parks and green spaces

London’s parks, canals, reservoirs and riversides form an important network of spaces and public places. Alongside London’s trees, these green and riverside spaces play a valuable role in improving the quality, character and economy of the capital.

 

With 3,000 parks of varying sizes designated by the boroughs as ‘public open space’, London is a green city. Together they cover almost 18 per cent of London which is more than the area of the city covered by railways and roads combined.

What we are doing for London's parks and green spaces

The Mayor wants London to be the world’s first National Park City and for 50% of the city to be green by 2050. We are working to make our city's parks, green spaces and waterways great places for people and spaces where wildlife can thrive. 

Improving parks and green spaces

We are funding green space projects across the capital through our Greener City Fund. Our Green Capital Grants support strategic green space projects to bring multiple environmental benefits such as river restoration in parks, new habitats for wildlife and improved space for play. 

 

You can see where our previous projects such as Pocket Parks and the Big Green Fund have supported the improvement and enhancement of London’s green spaces.

 

The Greater London Authority is not a major landowner and the Mayor does not have any duties or powers relating to the day to day management of parks. Most parks in London are owned, managed and funded by London boroughs, and some by other public bodies and environmental charities.

 

Valuing our parks

The Mayor wants all Londoners to have access to high quality parks and green spaces and for these places to be managed to provide the green infrastructure network that London needs. We want the wide range of benefits our parks provide to be fully understood and reflected in decisions about how to manage these areas.

 

Our ground breaking report, Natural Capital Accounts for Green Spaces in London shows for the first time the economic value of health benefits that Londoners get from the capital's public parks and green spaces. The research shows that for each £1 spent by local authorities and their partners on public green space, Londoners enjoy at least £27 in value.

 

The Mayor is also establishing a new Green Spaces Commission of independent experts. The commission will promote the economic value of parks and review new ways to deliver park management to help address the ongoing pressures boroughs are facing funding the management of parks.

 

Through policies in the new London Plan, the Mayor will protect green spaces and encourage more greening of the urban environment such as pocket parks.

 

How you can get involved

Across the capital Londoners play a vital role in keeping parks and green spaces special. The charity Parks for London helps to connect Londoners with existing ‘Friends of Parks’ groups and other opportunities to get involved in local green spaces projects.

 

From 21-29 July 2018, the city will host the first ever London National Park City Week. Events and activities will take place all week long, showing you how to take action for London’s unique green spaces, waterways and natural environment.

 

The Royal Parks

The Royal Parks are some of London's most iconic green spaces and landscapes, visited by millions of people every year and home to a wide range of wildlife.

 

The Royal Parks charity manages the eight Royal Parks and a number of other open spaces on behalf of the government. The Mayor, along with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, appoints a board of independent trustees to oversee the management of the charity.