The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced the six winners of over £2m of grant funding for green space improvements, as part of his push to make London the world’s first National Park City.
The winning projects, selected by a panel of experts, include cycling and walking greenways in Barking and Ealing, park regenerations in Barnet and Lewisham, river restorations in Enfield, and new wetlands in Harrow, which will help preserve a 14th Century moat.
The improved spaces will also include new skate parks, football pitches, tennis and basketball courts, a new lake for wild swimming and kayaking, and a new space for parkour, a fast-paced obstacle-course sport.
The awards were made as part of the Mayor’s Greener City Fund. Khan has also announced that he is allocating an extra £3m to the fund, bringing the total to £12m.
Khan also presented his new Environment Strategy to the London Assembly, which aims to make London the greenest global city and the UK’s first National Park City, by cleaning the capital’s air, planting trees, reducing waste, and becoming zero carbon by 2050.
Khan said: “London is the greatest city in the world and I want to make it one of the greenest too. That’s what my Environment Strategy is all about: cleaning our air, reducing waste, and becoming a zero-carbon city.
“For too many Londoners, nature simply doesn’t feature in their daily lives. That’s why we’re aiming to become a National Park City, with more than half of our capital green. Today’s funding will draw even more people into our outstanding parks by making green spaces more attractive and better for the environment.”
Lynn Kinnear, a landscape architect and member of the judging panel, said: “Some projects stood out because they strengthen the London-wide blue green network as well as investing in new green social infrastructure for London.
“For example, the newly created swimming lake at Beckenham Place Park will be a tremendous asset for all of London. Silk Stream Valley Park will intensify the facilities and use of an existing green space to support new housing intensification as well as creating new natural play and ecology opportunities by deculverting a length of river.”