The National Park City Foundation (NPCF) will confirm London as the world’s first National Park City on Monday 22 July at a City Hall Summit hosted by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
Organisations and individuals will sign a London National Park City Charter demonstrating their support for making the city greener, healthier and wilder.
The day before, on Sunday 21 July, the National Park City Foundation in partnership with World Urban Parks and Salzburg Global Seminar will publish the first International Charter for National Park Cities in response to various leaders in cities around the world, setting out a vision for how other cities in the UK and worldwide can follow London’s lead.
London’s new status comes during a week-long National Park City Festival of free celebratory events, helping people enjoy and engage with the great outdoors in London. Organised in partnership with the Mayor of London, more than 300 events are being run by organisations, community groups and businesses across the capital.
A crowdfunded National Park City ‘Maker’ newspaper is also being distributed showing how people, communities, business and others can be involved in making London National Park City a reality. Designers, Urban Good, will also publish a National Park City map for getting outside in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
On 22 July, campaigners in Newcastle upon Tyne will launch their campaign for their city to become the UK’s next National Park City. A campaign is already running in Glasgow. Daniel Raven-Ellison, who started the campaign to make London a National Park City six years ago, said:
“London becoming a National Park City is something for us all to be proud of. Inspired by the aims and values of our precious rural national parks, the London National Park City is fundamentally about making life better in the capital through both small everyday things and long-term strategic thinking.
“We’ve been doing that in London for centuries, which is why London is so green and diverse, and why we can make it a National Park City today. It’s about lifting our ambitions; going further to make the city greener, healthier and wilder; improving our mental health; cleaning our air; making the city richer in wildlife; freeing children to play and meet friends outdoors again; tackling the climate crisis and bringing more joy to the city.
“Everybody can benefit and contribute everyday by starting to think of the place they live as part of the National Park City and doing simple things like making a balcony or garden better for nature, walking more or going kayaking on the Thames.”