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The All London Green Grid

The All London Green Grid (ALGG) is the green infrastructure strategy for London.

It sets out a vision for the existing networks of green and blue spaces across London, and opportunities to enhance this though a series of projects across a number of area frameworks.
 
It identifies a wide range of functions that can be delivered by a healthy natural environment, ranging from: 'adapting to climate change' and 'promoting healthy living' to 'conserving biodiversity and increasing access to nature' and 'enhancing heritage features, geodiversity and landscape character'.
 

A green infrastructure strategy

The ALGG stems from the earlier East London Green Grid, and is built around four key elements:
 
  • London's existing river and other key landscape corridors, including the Thames;
  • Established open spaces and identified opportunities for creating new parks, such as the Wandle Valley Regional Park;
  • Existing and proposed green connections and corridors, such as the proposed London Riverside Link;
  • The designated and protected landscapes that are generally located at the boundary of London and flow across administrative boundaries to neighbouring areas and often include areas of degraded urban fringe.
The ALGG aims to promote a shift from 'grey to green' infrastructure in order to secure environmental, social and economic benefits.
 
It progresses a common perception of London as a city punctuated by parks, green spaces and surrounded by countryside, to an appreciation of this network as part of the city's fundamental infrastructure.
 
This connected network will improve the function, use and performance of our current green infrastructure.
 
By being connected, the value and function of the ALGG is significantly enhanced so that it can be used in many different ways including by pedestrians, for water management, for cooling the grey urban spaces and as an ecological corridor.
 
A series of projects that will deliver the ALGG are set out in 11 Area Frameworks, which are due to be formally launched in July 2012. These are:
 
1. Lee Valley and Finchley Ridge
2. Epping Forest and Roding Valley
3. Thames Chase, Beam and Ingrebourne
5. River Cray and Southern Marshes
6. South East London Green Chain Plus
7. London's Downlands
8. Wandle Valley
9. Arcadian Thames
10. River Colne and Crane
11. Brent Valley and Barnet Plateau
12. Central London

 

Links to the London Plan

To support the delivery of these outcomes, the All London Green Grid Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) provides guidance on the implementation of London Plan policy to:
 
  • Protect, conserve and enhance London's strategic network of green and open natural and cultural spaces, to connect the everyday life of the city to a range of experiences and landscapes, town centres, public transport nodes, the countryside in the urban fringe, the Thames and major employment and residential areas;
  • Encourage greater use of, and engagement with, London's green infrastructure; popularising key destinations within the network and fostering a greater appreciation of London's natural and cultural landscapes; enhancing visitor facilities and extending and upgrading the walking and cycling networks in between to promote a sense of place and ownership for all who work in, visit and live in London;
  • Secure a network of high quality, well-designed and multifunctional green and open spaces to establish a crucial component of urban infrastructure able to address the environmental challenges of the 21st century - most notably climate change.
These aims are in line with the emerging green infrastructure approach to the design, planning and management of landscape resources developing rapidly in Britain, Europe and North America.
 
The objective of this approach is to plan and manage networks of natural and cultural landscapes and open spaces strategically so as to conserve ecosystem functions and provide a range of benefits for people.
 
The ALGG provides a framework that can connect with other Mayoral and regional initiatives and strategies, including the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, and the London Tree & Woodland Framework.
 
The ALGG SPG provides guidance on the implementation of all the policy framework set out in the London Plan and is the green infrastructure strategy for London.
 
It will be a key document for delivering improvements to the green infrastructure network and to facilitate the identification and delivery of programmes and projects promoted by the boroughs and their partners.
 
The approach can also provide an opportunity to identify and develop green space jobs and skills training for Londoners via volunteering programmes and increasing the demand for skilled green space workers.
 
It will also help encourage local communities to become engaged, in line with the Government's localism agenda, by highlighting projects in which communities can become involved.
 
The SPG does not, however, make any specific reference to front or back gardens. This is not to deny their importance but it recognises that many of the decisions made by individual homeowners about changes to their gardens often fall outside the scope of the planning system and thus are beyond the remit of the Guidance.
 
London Wildlife Trust has been active in the development of the ALGG, especially in the development of project aspirations for a number of the Area Frameworks.
 
These include some of our Living Landscape ideas, as well as projects based around some of our nature reserves (for example From Thorn to Orchid).