Urban greening

We want to make London's streets and squares as easy to use, enjoyable and attractive as possible.

Trees along Victoria Embankment (Forestry Commission)

Although renowned as a green city, there are parts of London (including central London and London’s many town centres) which are densely developed and where green space is at a premium. Nevertheless, even in these areas there is both an opportunity and an imperative to increase the amount of green cover.

Urban greening describes the parts of green infrastructure that are most applicable in the most urbanised parts of the city. These include green roofs, street trees, and soft landscaping designed to contribute to sustainable drainage systems (external website).

The way gardens are designed and managed can contribute to a greener city too. A few simple measures (external website) can ensure your garden is contributing to urban greening. You can also help reduce stormwater flows into drains (and thereby help in reducing flooding and improving water quality) by installing simple rain gardens (external website).

The Mayor has a target to increase green cover across central London by 5% by 2030, as stated in the 2011 London Plan. In this respect urban greening is a key element of the much broader Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, which encourages the use of planting, green roofs and walls and soft landscaping.