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How Greenness Will Define Future Cities

Cities are placing increasing emphasis on parkland and green spaces in a bid to tackle environmental challenges, improve quality of life and prepare for future growth. “London already has strong green infrastructure, which makes it a good testbed to see how cities can start to enhance biodiversity, reduce carbon, and plant more greenery,” says Jessica Herman, Sustainability Executive at JLL UK. Organisers of the initiative aim to name at least another 25 cities across the world by 2025, with Newcastle and Glasgow already launching campaigns. “Designations like the National Park City status could encourage a greater sharing of information between cities in terms of implementing green measures,” says Jeremy Kelly, Director, Global Research at JLL. “By drawing awareness to the need for green space in cities, the hope is that these initiatives can catalyse for more sustainable cities.” Such investments in creating green spaces can also help cities meet broader sustainability goals such as reaching net-zero carbon emissions. London is one of 19 cities to pledge that all new buildings will be net-zero by 2030, while eight European cities including Madrid and Wroclaw are part of a EU-funded scheme to decarbonise all buildings by 2050. “Net-zero targets will significantly impact city design, from how buildings are built to how we use resources,” says Herman. “We’re seeing massive migration to urban centres and there’s a real challenge as to how these cities can not only absorb this growth but reduce their environmental impact.”

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