Walking, cycling and urban greening: Meet London's priorities

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London’s mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that, as part of his plan to make London net zero by 2030, new developments will need to be greener and prioritise energy efficiency and space for walking and cycling.

Set today by Khan, the three pieces of new guidance – called Be Seen Energy Monitoring, Urban Greening Factor and Sustainable Transport, Walking and Cycling – will be taken into account when making decisions on planning applications and developing planning documents.

“I’m committed to making London a zero-carbon city by 2030 and delivering a brighter future for London – one that’s greener, fairer and more prosperous for everyone,” said Khan today.

“That’s why I’ve developed these new pieces of guidance, building on the ambitious targets in my London Plan, that will ensure new developments in London prioritise urban greening and make space for sustainable transport like walking, cycling and public transport.”

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While the Be Seen Energy Monitoring will require the operational energy performance of buildings to be part of major developments for five years after construction, the Urban Greening Factor will set how new developments calculate their urban greening score, taking into considerations factors such as their contribution to the city’s green spaces.

The Sustainable Transport, Walking and Cycling London Plan Guidance (LPG) will provide developers with guidelines on how to create walking and cycling routes as well ensure there is enough transport infrastructure.

“I’m committed to doing all I can to accelerate the transition to a greener future, with cleaner air for all, but I can’t do it alone,” he added. “COP26 this year provides an opportunity for the government to show global leadership and give us the powers and resources we need to take even bolder action on climate change.”

Part of the London Plan 2021 – a spatial development strategy envisioned for Greater London by Khan – the mayor’s new building guidance comes less than two weeks before the COP26 summit, when world leaders will gather in Glasgow to discuss the best strategies to achieve net zero by 2025.

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