London National Park City Map

Urban Good, a new community interest company created by Charlie Peel, have this month published the first edition of their London National Park City Map. This huge, folded paper map covering the whole of London, was created through a crowdfunding campaign, and is available from Urban Good’s web store for just a payment of a postage and handling fee. (N.B. temporarily out of stock, but you can pre-order for delivery expected in the next few weeks). It’s part of a campaign, led by Dan Raven-Ellison, to designate London as the UK’s first National Park city – along the way, increasing the awareness and use of the capital’s many and varied green spaces, to further the fitness and health of Londoners and visitors. The campaign has caught the eye of the London Mayor, and this map has the support of the Greater London Agency.

The map was produced using Ordnance Survey and GiGL (Greenspace Information for Greater London) data and aims to map all of London’s green space and water. When you include private gardens, it’s is estimated that almost 50% of London is green or blue.

Urban Good have created a detailed map which has many functions – as well as mapping the green and blue space, it highlights public parks, allotments, marked walking trails, city farms, allotments, cemeteries and nature reserves. It also shows the city’s highest peaks and is indeed overlaid with a hillshade texture to show the slopes and hills. This has the effect of blurring the garden/water detail below it – this is perhaps as the creator intended – private gardens are good for the green “stats” of London, but ultimately it’s the public parks which are rendered above which are the key useful local landmark this map will guide you too:

On the rear of the main map, once you unfold it (and realise how big it is – it’s just like a classic Ordnance Survey Landranger map!) are a series of smaller maps, infographics and lists, highlighting London’s gardens, waterways, scenic areas and so on. It’s a little hard to first access and then read this additional information. Ultimately, the extra graphics here would look great in book form – hopefully a green London guide might follow from the Urban Good project. An online version would also be lovely to have, a more easily accessible if less tangible product.

Producing a full-size, printed map, one which would require almost the width of a tube carriage to unfold in full, is a brave thing do to today, in a world of Google Maps on everyone’s smartphone, mapping a constantly evolving and developing city into a paper product and then giving it away for almost nothing. But if it helps Londoners discover and explore a new public green space (out of the several thousand that appear) then that must be a good thing.

Photos from the Urban Good website and a hard-copy map sent courtesy of Charlie Good.