Thursday, May 21, 2009

GREEN LIVING CASE STUDY - Greenest London Boroughs Go All Out

Deer in Richmond Park, October 2005Image of deer in Richmond Park via Wikipedia

Greenest London Boroughs Go All Out by Frances Van Den Berg

As cities go, London is one of the world's greenest. All you have to do to escape the hustle and bustle of the city is catch a tube to Hyde Park corner and you'll find yourself in a tranquil expanse of greenery where swans float by idly on a large lake. In the greenest London boroughs you won't be surprised by the presence of a fox sauntering past late at night and in Richmond Park you can enjoy watching the population of buck slowly munching on their breakfast as you go on your morning jog.

Historically, the parks were used as Royal hunting grounds by the likes of Henry the eighth, and they were landscaped in the 18th century. In the 21st century, the term 'green' has taken on an entirely new meaning and refers to housing projects and cities that aim to be environmentally friendly and reduce their carbon footprints. In this respect, London is also a leader with many government initiatives pushing for the more ecological use of energy and promoting a 'greener' city. Boroughs in London are competing for the title of the greenest in London, which takes into account both green space and ecological living.

Sutton, in South West London, is already one of the leafier boroughs, benefiting from being on the edge of London and in a green belt near the county of Surrey; however, the borough council wants to improve its reputation further by also living within its share of Earth's resources. In 2008, BioRegional announced that Sutton is considered to be the UK's most ambitious green borough. Researchers found that Sutton had been using three times the natural resources to which it is entitled - taking into account space and population; however the Sutton council is now working with residents and other organisations to implement a realistic sustainable action plan that will be reviewed annually.

Haringey, in North London, also has ambitious plans to be the greenest London borough. A quarter of Haringey (which includes Camden and Islington) consists of green space, which the local government is proposes to preserve with a ten year ecological plan that was implemented in 2007. The ecological plan focuses on building on their reputation as the London borough with the most Green Flag parks. Competing with Sutton for the title of 'London's greenest borough', Haringey council has invested more than £20million to improve their ecology since 2005. The plan includes installing energy efficient street lighting and purchasing electric cars for council businesses, as well as providing green bins to borough residents.

Greater London has a population of well over eight million people, which makes it all the more impressive that the city council is able to maintain so much green space and organise ambitious programmes for ecological improvement. All of which encourages boroughs to compete to become the greenest in London.

Frances wrote this article for the property agents Douglas and Gordon Estate Agent London D and G gives you all the assistance you need for buying, selling, renting or letting property in West London.

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