This Isn't a Utopian Vision -- It's Actually What London Is Like Today

Illustration for article titled This Isnt a Utopian Vision -- Its Actually What London Is Like Today

There's a common sense idea that cities are the opposite of nature. And yet if you look at this visualization of green space and gardens in London, what you'll find is that this giant metropolis contains more plants and wildlife than buildings.


This image is part of a campaign to turn London into a "National Park City," where the local government would work to preserve the city's green spaces and promote natural diversity alongside the city's cultural diversity. From the campaign website:

London is an incredibly diverse place. 8.3 million humans speaking 300 languages share the city with 13,000 wild species as well as lots of cats and dogs. You may be excused of thinking there was not much space for all these Londoners, but 60% of London is open land and 47% of Greater London is green. As well as the 3,000 parks, 142 local nature reserves, 36 sites of special scientific interest, 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 2 National Nature Reserves within the city's limits, there are 3.8 million private gardens. For its size, London is one of the very greenest cities in the world – something to celebrate ...

The Greater London National Park would be a new kind park, a 'National Park City' that would aim to conserve London's awesome ability to be dynamic, innovate and evolve. The Park's leadership role would be to inform and inspire best practice, help better to co-ordinate and promote London's biodiversity and recreational opportunities.

A Greater London National Park is an idea that thousands of us could get behind to improve our communities, wildlife and habitats.


Unfortunately London's mayor says it's not within his power to turn London into a national park, though he thinks it's a lovely idea.

Read the full National Park City proposal on

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This is another of one of those times where I'm glad to live in Toronto. We have a LOT of green spaces.

We did this partially because it's awesome, partially because in the 50s we had a hurricane and learned where the city really liked to flood :/ So those spaces became green spaces where there couldn't be any development. Woo!