On Wednesday 9 December the Greater London Authority’s Green Infrastructure Task Force published its report ‘Natural Capital: Investing in a Green Infrastructure for a Future City‘. The report identifies why green infrastructure is increasingly necessary, and the changes to policy, governance, valuation and funding that are needed to ensure long-term investment in London’s green infrastructure. Recommendations include the need to appoint a Green Infrastructure Commissioner; further refinement of the All London Green Grid; new approaches to revealing the economic value of green infrastructure; and working with others, such as the National Park City initiative, for example, to find better ways of engaging the public.
The Parks Alliance welcomes the report. Parks are an integral part of quality places, and as important a part of the capital’s infrastructure as roads and power lines. The Victorian’s recognised the need to create parks as places that were beneficial for people’s health and wellbeing, and well designed and managed. Parks continue to do that and so much more – including reducing flooding, improving air quality, and supporting sustainable transport routes. The Parks Alliance welcomes the lead that London has taken in recognising the importance of green infrastructure, and is committed to working in partnership with the Mayor and others in retaining and improving London’s Park. The appointment of a Green Infrastructure Commissioner will help in raising awareness of the benefits Parks bring.
We have previously called for greater use of green prescribing and are pleased to see the recommendation for a pilot to test the health outcomes resulting from improvements to green infrastructure.