London, your lean, green champion is Richmond upon Thames!
That statistic about London being 47% green space never fails to amaze me, given that my first thoughts of the city are always of towering skyscrapers, winding City streets, and the bustle of the West End. Still, London is most certainly green – with literally hundreds of parks to explore – and one borough has now been revealed to be greener than the rest. Richmond upon Thames has just been crowned the verdant victor in a new study from Essential Living, which looked at land use and resident satisfaction to crown their champion.
Whilst the number of parks, gardens, wildlife areas, playgrounds, lakes, rivers, and forests was taken as a starting point for deciding upon London’s greenest borough, the study also checked in with residents to see how happy they were with the amount of green space and the local air quality. With a precise score of 48.84 out of 60, Richmond topped the charts as London’s greenest borough, seeing off strong competition from Hillingdon and Bromley to snag the number one slot.
The study also had a stab at ranking UK cities, and it’s more joy for the capital, with Central London emerging atop the Green City Index, ahead of Birmingham and Leeds. The city scored highly for both green spaces and playgrounds, although it was hamstrung a touch by the comparative lack of bodies of water and forests. We didn’t fare quite so well when pitted against the rest of Europe, emerging 11th (Paris took the number one spot here), and positively nosedived in the survey of air pollution in UK cities – finishing 19th, ahead only of Sheffield. Let’s hope these pollution-guzzling artificial trees can help turn that one around, eh?
You can see the full results of the study here.
Also published on Medium.