The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today awarded £4m as part of his Green and Healthy Streets Fund to deliver vital greening projects on the capital’s roads and public spaces in order to tackle the devastating impacts of climate change.
The Fund supports projects like rain gardens and tree pits which integrate green infrastructure and climate resilience measures into local streets alongside interventions that support the Mayor’s commitment to promoting active travel, reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality.
Rain gardens and tree pits reduce flood risk by absorbing surface water run-off from hard surfaces, while creating a more attractive environment for pedestrians and a habitat for wildlife.
The additional investment will help make local areas more resilient to events like the heatwaves seen in recent weeks, flooding, and other extreme weather. They will also support biodiversity and encourage more Londoners to walk and cycle. Eleven boroughs will receive £2.85m from the Green and Healthy Streets Fund and funding will also be provided to enable the development of strategic green walking routes.
This announcement follows a new report by Vivid Economics commissioned by the GLA which found that investment in such measures would generate benefits worth £11.4m annually and that, in terms of social value, the cost of intervention would be offset in just three years.
These projects will not only help improve London’s resilience to flooding but provide attractive and wildlife-friendly spaces.
The funding will also deliver 10 new pocket parks (small parks accessible to the public) and green spaces and hundreds more street trees to help provide shade, reduce the risk of flooding and combat air pollution in the capital.
Some of the projects receiving funding are:
- Greening Bowes Primary Area Quieter Neighbourhood (Enfield) – delivering new green spaces, sustainable drainage, and street greening in the Bowes Quieter Neighbourhood. The scheme will improve the safety and quality of school streets in the area, while improving access for walking and cycling.
- Wayland Avenue Low Traffic Neighbourhood (Hackney) – replacing parallel parking bays in the Wayland Avenue LTN with rain gardens and sustainable drainage areas.
- Sutton Town Centre Greening & Flood Resilience Scheme (Sutton) –removing concrete bases around trees to better filter stormwater and installing bike shelters and benches with integrated planting to encourage biodiversity.
A further £1m will be awarded to TfL for greening projects on the TfL Road Network. These include transforming the Joe Strummer pedestrian subway at Edgware Road (Borough of Westminster) into rain gardens. The existing subway has been closed for several years with pedestrians able to cross at the surface level. With this new funding, TfL will fill in the entrance ramps and stairs to the subway with soil and vegetation to create a series of rain gardens.
All London boroughs were invited to submit schemes for funding, but projects were prioritised by those located in areas of highest climate vulnerability according to the GLA’s climate risk mapping and with greatest potential to increase walking trips.
The programme is being delivered in close partnership with TfL. It supports delivery of the Green New Deal Mission under the London Recovery Programme, policies in the London Environment Strategy and aligns with the Healthy Streets approach in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, “The climate emergency is the biggest global threat we face today and its effects are on our doorstep. The flash flooding we experienced last year and the extreme heatwaves last month risk becoming more common as we deal with the impacts of the climate crisis.
“This funding will help boroughs across London and TfL invest in projects that will improve climate resilience so we are more prepared to respond to and recover from extreme weather incidents, they will also make the local area greener and more pleasant to be in.
“As Mayor I am determined to invest in more green spaces for all. We need to act now to adapt our city and build a better London for everyone – a safer, fairer, greener and more prosperous city for all.”