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Arup on greening the city and the London Plan

Our forum this week will look at the importance of a sustainable greening strategy for London which encourages an environment where people want to live and work and will do so for decades to come.

This month, the Mayor of London announced the next step towards making London the world's first National Park City, with plans for a week-long festival in July, with the aim to get people more in tune with nature, improving health, wellbeing and social cohesion.

The Mayor has also updated the London Plan to prevent the loss of green belt and increase 'greening in new developments.

Arup will be speaking at our forum this week about the Plan which promotes a green infrastructure for London, recognising its economic and social value. It is a development strategy, reflecting an integrated economic, environment, transport and social framework for development in London over a 20-25 year period, that was given a full review by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan following his election to reflect his priorities up to 2041.

It proposes an Urban Greening Factor (UGF) or GSF model for the capital - the UGF being a planning policy tool derived from a series of green space factor (GSF) frameworks that have been adopted in a number of European and North American Cities to encourage better greening.

Associate Joe Wheelwright, from Arup, will be warning planning authorities at our forum that a Green Space Factor or GSF is an assessment tool and should not be the sole method of determining how urban greening is provided or designed as part of a development:

'Urban Greening has achieved considerable traction over recent years. The Urban Green Factor (UGF) represents a powerful planning policy tool to underpin the Mayor's manifesto commitment to make London at least 50% green by 2050 and promote London as a National Park City', he states.

'The UGF is at first only to be applied to major applications across London, though boroughs are encouraged to develop their own UGF model, which will result in smaller scale developments being assessed. The UGF utilises the quantum of surfaces, so runs the risk of schemes rigidly interpreting the GSF, with schemes meeting but not exceeding minimum targets or devising proposals that simply meet a GSF rather than looking at how to integrate green infrastructure in a meaningful way.'

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