The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced the next step towards making London the world’s first National Park City, with plans for a week-long National Park City Festival from 20–28 July 2019. Working with the National Park City Foundation and other major partners, including the National Theatre and Open City, the free festival will celebrate London’s green spaces, wildlife, green rooftops and waterways. It aims to help a wide range of Londoners discover new environmental, cultural, sporting and community activities.
The Mayor’s ambition is to make more than half of the capital green and increase tree canopy cover by 10% by 2050. Sadiq has updated the London Plan to prevent the loss of green belt and increase ‘greening’ in new developments. City Hall has also funded the planting of 170,000 trees and 200 green space improvements. They have also developed high-tech mapping of London’s green cover to ensure his targets remain on track.
Key events taking place during the National Park City Festival include:
National Park City Stage
City Hall will host a free cultural programme in partnership with the National Theatre, on its outdoor River Stage on the Southbank. Performances will celebrate everything green and wild about the city. There will be a mix of dance, theatre and music, with a range of performances for all ages.
National Park City Rooftops
In partnership with Open City, organisers of Open House, they are offering free access to some of London’s rooftop gardens and natural spaces. The full programme will be announced later in the year.
National Park City Splash
London’s first multi-site outdoor swimming and paddle sports event will see everybody able to try their hand at activities such as stand-up paddle boarding and open water swimming.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
“I’m doing everything in my power to make London one of the greenest, most sustainable, zero-carbon cities in the world. Our National Park City Festival is a fantastic way for Londoners of all ages to explore outdoor green spaces. This initiative aims to make us really value our environment and I’m committed to protecting and improving our green spaces, wildlife and waterways to ensure generations of Londoners benefit from them. There is something for everyone in this great week of free celebrations.”