Press Releases & News
18 - 20 October 2019 - National Park City Foundation spreads the word at international parks conference
David Cope, Trustee of the National Park City Foundation appeared as an invited guest at the World Urban Parks 2019 Congress in the Russian city of Kazan earlier this month. This annual conference brings together parks professionals, planners, urbanists and city authorities from around the world to learn from each other on how to create the best parks and green spaces for urban residents everywhere. The theme of the conference was ‘development for sustainability and health’.
David appeared on a panel of experts from Canada, Belgium and Russia, who were invited to discuss how parks can help shape the identity of a city and become part of the city’s brand. His talk focused on London, as the world’s first National Park City, explaining how the National Park City status brings a common identity to London’s 3,000 parks, 850km of streams and rivers, 1,000km of signed footpaths and nearly 150 designated nature reserves.
David said "When you realise that there are almost as many trees in London as there are people and that we share our city with 14,000 other species, you start to realise that the city we call home is actually full of nature. By valuing that natural resource on our doorsteps, by noticing it, naming it and appreciating it, we hope that all London’s citizens and visitors will start to see London as a green city as well as an economic and cultural city.
“We believe that this works best at a landscape scale, so green spaces and our interaction with them doesn’t just happen in parks and spaces zoned for greenery and nature, but everywhere in our cities, accessible to everyone. We believe that we will achieve our goals with thousands of small actions, actions delivered by city and borough government, as well as actions delivered by individuals citizens and businesses, community groups and institutions.”
The National Park City Foundation has joined forces with World Urban Parks and the
Salzberg Global Seminar with a shared aim of seeing 25 National Park CIties around the world by 2025 (25*2025).
At the conference in Kazan, this aim was promoted extensively to the international delegates, with many expressing interest in how their cities
could start on the journey to becoming a National Park City. The National Park City Foundation, alongside our partners, launched our Universal Charter for National Park Cities in July 2019, and is currently exploring more ways to support cities as they go on this journey.
21 September 2019 - National Park City Foundation response to Glover Report
In May 2018, the then Environment Secretary Michael Gove committed to conserve and enhance England’s most cherished landscapes and launched a review into the nation’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).
That long awaited report by writer and Government Advisor Julian Glover has now been published. It praises the work of England’s 44 “national landscapes”, including the Lake District and Dartmoor, but calls for a new focus to stop declines in nature and welcome working-class and black and minority ethnic visitors. Reacting to the headlines of the report, Chair of the National Park City Foundation, Paul de Zylva says:
"More than ever, Britain needs its National Parks and the Glover Review offers them a new lease of life as accessible treasures for people to boost their health, recreation and contact with nature.
The renewal of National Parks fits with our work to make cities healthier, wilder and greener and to cross the false divide between town and country by better connecting people from urban areas to National Parks.”
A full statement will be made available after the full details of the report have been fully considered and its implications fully explored.
Notes to editors
- London National Park City’s aims include working with Londoners to:
- Connect more people to nature and the outdoors, improving their health, wellbeing and social cohesion;
- Create more high quality green and blue space and better places in London, delivering improvements for wildlife, people’s enjoyment and an attractive and sustainable environment for living and working in;
- Promote the identity of London as the world’s first National Park City, helping residents and visitors to appreciate the potential for a rich cultural life anchored in its outdoor heritage;
- Link people to the national and international family of national parks and other protected areas.
London National Park City does not have any planning powers. It adds value by creating an unprecedented opportunity to make London not just a political, financial and cultural centre, but an ecological centre too.
The National Park City Foundation is the charity created to help make the London National Park City a success. It is doing this by amplifying, catalysing and spreading best practice, joining-up initiatives, increasing investment into National Park City related activities and galvanising Londoners to take actions improving city life.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, made London National Park City a centre-piece of his plans for London; for example, citing National Park City aims in his draft Environment Strategy and his draft London Plan - the Capital’s planning masterplan. This includes a shared aim to make half of London green by 2050.
20 July 2019 - Charter for National Park Cities gathers international support
A Universal Charter for National Park Cities, the first of its kind to address the growing role
of cities as habitats shaping life on earth, is launched on Sunday 21 July 2019, by the
National Park City Foundation, World Urban Parks and Salzburg Global Seminar.
Organisations and individuals are invited to sign and support the first Universal Charter for
National Park Cities which is already supported by experts and change-makers from over 20
countries, including the UK, Australia, India, Uganda, Honduras, Canada, South Africa, Albania and
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Here are some selected publications and broadcasts on National Park Cities.
- Esquire Nov 2018: London is the world's first city to be named a National Park.
- Globus Oct 2018: Together for a Greener London "One of the most important considerations of green infrastructure is connectivity – gardens and squares in isolation provide nowhere near the amount of benefits that green corridors do."
- Time Out 17 Jul 2018: Help make London the world's first National Park City at this week of cracking outdoor events
- Evening Standard 25 June 2018: National Park City Week: The best eco-friendly events to go to in London
- Positive News April 2018: London will become the world's first National Park City An ambitious plan to turn London into the world’s first national park city has received the backing of the mayor, Sadiq Khan, and the majority of ward counsellors. It could now happen by 2019, and campaigners are calling on Londoners to back it by ‘rewilding’ as much of the urban landscape as possible.
- Hong Kong Economic Journal: London National Park City Both London and Hong Kong are faced with the problem of high property prices and there is also limited room for development. London is committed to increasing green land and turning the city into a National Park City.
- Lonely Planet Mar 2018: You can join a blooming great campaign to plant nine million wildflowers in London
- Time Out London, Mar 2018: Join a campaign to plant 9 million wildflowers in London
- Evening Standard 23 Feb 2018: Mayor launches a week of green events for the capital The campaign to declare London the world's first National Park City received another boost today when Sadiq Kahn unveiled plans for a week of events this summer celebrating its green spaces.
- Horticulture Week: Sadiq Khan calls for ideas and input for first London National Park City Week London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced a new London National Park City Week to take place in July.
- Time Out London: London: The world's first National Park City ... Mayor Sadiq Khan and members of the London Assembly were already on board but now the majority of the London's council wards - 53 percent of the capital - have backed the idea, as this map shows....
- Walk - The Ramblers Magazine 22 Feb 2018: Walk and Talk: The urban explorer and ‘guerilla geographer’ is leading the campaign to make London a National Park City. Also here.
- Lonely Planet: The world’s first 'National Park City' is set to be in the UK. London is preparing to become the world’s first ‘National Park City’, with thanks to the backing of the Mayor of London, members of the London Assembly and many of the city’s councillors.
- Time Out London: It's official. London will become the world's first National Park City. Today the campaign has finally declared victory. The majority of council wards – 53 percent of the capital – have backed the idea. London will become a National Park City! Also this story. "Now that it’s been given the green light, the campaigners are hoping to launch the National Park City in 2019. Watch this (green) space."
- Horticulture Week 25 Jan 2018: London borough to link up green spaces as part of National Park City movement - The cabinet of the east London local authority has approved The Connecting Green Spaces programme, which will aim to improve park entrances and boundaries, promote better connections between green spaces, and connect green spaces together where they are currently dissected by roads. It also agreed to formally endorse the campaign to make London the world’s first National Park City
- FutureArch Dec 17/Jan 18: Agenda: Would London Benefit from being made a National Park? (p6 & p16) - Landscape architects and others give their view.
- London News Online, Jan 18: Could London Soon Be A National Park [City]? Lewisham have given their full support to making London a National Park City.
- The British Association of Nature Conservationists, Dec 17: London's National Park City: Towards a new urban ecosystem?
- Time Out London, 3 Oct 17: This map of London's green spaces shows what the city would look like without buildings
- Geographical, 3 Oct 17: London National Park City Foundation launched
- Time Out: The Green Edition: 47% of our city is green cover and editorial
- Evening Standard: Mayor Sadiq Khan backs plan to make London the world's first urban national park
- HuffPost: How The London Environment Strategy Will Make The Capital One Of The Greenest Cities On Earth
- ITV News: Can London be transformed into a National Park City?
- BBC News: London mayor launches bid to improve city's green credentials
- Evening Standard editorial: A bold idea to make London into an urban National Park has today won the support of Mayor Sadiq Khan ... imaginative thinking such as this should be encouraged and parts of the idea, at least, could be considered.
- City AM: Going green: London mayor Sadiq Khan sets out his plans to make the capital a National Park City by 2019
- Horticulture Week: London draft environment strategy aims to kick start green space transformation
- Edie.net: Green groups praise Sadiq Khan's pledge to make London world's first National Park City
- BusinessGreen: London Mayor launches bid to create world's first National Park City
- BBC One Countryfile: Cities - Anita Rani joins Daniel Raven-Ellison on a walk along London’s longest and thinnest nature reserve, and she get’s a sneak preview of a new map, showing all the green spaces in London for the first time.
- Time Out: The highlights from London Fox Fortnight - Even the most jaded Londoner has to admit that spotting a fox is a bit exciting. Often confined to late nights and early mornings, the times you do catch a glimpse of them, they dash off at any slight movement.
- The Architects' Journal: Revealed: Winning ideas in contest for London National Park City
- Londonist: How to fill London with nature - The rows of London terrace houses look familiar enough. But the space once filled with cars and tarmac is now home to long grass, miniature allotments and a winding footpath.
- Time Out: What a greener London could look like - The winners plan to enhance the city’s wildlife population, air quality and even change the way Londoners travel into work. Maybe wellies will be the next big trend in officewear?
- East London Enquirer: The future is green
- Enfield Gazette: Explorer embarking on trek across 32 London boroughs sets off from Enfield
- National Geographic: One man's plan to transform a major city into a national park
- Time Out: The campaigners hoping to turn London into a National Park City are calling for your ideas
- Time Out: An urban wanderer walked all across London. Here's what he found.
- BBC Wildlife Magazine Feb 2017: Concrete Conservation "Our urban landscape offers great opportunities to wildlife of all kinds, so why not create the world's first National Park City?"
- The Croydon Citizen Jan 2017: What Croydon stands to gain from Greater London becoming a National Park City
- BBC Radio 4 Open Country Jan 2017: London: A National Park City?
- The London Economic: The Making of a National Park City
- The Independent: 10,000 people died as a result of air pollution in London last year, but there's something we can do about it
- BBC World Service, World Update: Will London become the world's first National Park City? [AUDIO]
- Time Out: This gorgeously verdant map shows all of London's green bits
- Londonist: London should be a National Park City: This event explains why
- Time Out: Is London any closer to becoming a National Park City?
- Time Out: Front Cover
- Love Nature: London: The world’s first National Park City?
- Indy100: This map shows that London is probably a lot greener than you think it is
- BBC Earth: How a city can save its wildlife
- Salzburg Global: A National Park City is where Individuals Have Power - “National Park City would be a new kind of national park,” said Raven-Ellison, Fellow of the first Parks for the Planet Forum.
- Evening Standard: Nine in 10 want London to become world's first 'park city'
- Centre for London, London Essays: Biodivercity, Ecologists: A Threatened Species and London's Empty Childhoods
- ITV News: TV Report
- Nature of Cities: London as a National Park City
- Resurgence & Ecologist: London Campaign Seeks National Park City Status
- The Guardian: Extend UK National Park model across London, say campaigners
- City AM: A campaign to turn Greater London into the world's first national park city needs your help
- Londonist: London Assembly Supports Proposal To Make London A National Park City
- BBC London News: Campaign to make London a National Park City
- The Guardian: Welcome to the UK's latest national park… London
- The Independent: 47 per cent of London is green space: Is it time for our capital to become a national park?
- London Live: Campaign to make London a National Park
- The Guardian: Why Greater London should be made into an urban national park
- BBC Mundo: El proyecto para convertir a Londres en la primera ciudad-parque nacional del mundo