Mayor answers to London
Question by Andrew Boff
What progress is being made in delivering your Great Spaces programme to improve public spaces in London, and what will be the main benefits for Londoners?
Answer by Boris Johnson (1st Term)
My Londons Great Outdoors Programme continues to go from strength to strength, transforming the capitals public spaces for both Londoners and visitors alike.
Since the Programme was launched in autumn 2009 much has been achieved:
49 projects have been delivered to date, including the iconic Exhibition Road in Kensington and Chelsea, Windrush Square in Brixton - Lambeth, Orpington Town Centre in Bromley and Fairlop Plains Park in Redbridge (a full list is attached at Appendix F).
A further 31 projects will be delivered ahead of the Olympics, including Jubilee Gardens on the Southbank and Burgess Park in Southwark.
My Street Trees initiative has already seen 9,500 trees planted across 29 boroughs, with a further 500 being planted as we speak. All 10,000 trees will be in place by March 2012.
The Green Grid has galvanised efforts to improve and connect Londons green spaces, levering in £88 million in capital investment.
My Help a London Park programme has invested £6 million in 11 parks, and approximately £20 million of investment has been attracted from other sources.
Last year, through Round One of The Outer London Fund, 30 localities were awarded £10 million for a wide range of projects, £6 million of which will go directly towards public space enhancements.
Looking forward, Round Two of the Outer London Fund will direct a further £56.3 million to Londons high street places over the coming two years, including £24.6 million match funding coming from the boroughs and other organisations. My Regeneration Fund will work with the Outer London Fund, and will direct an additional £94.8 million of investment to boost economic growth and place-specific regeneration, including £31.9 million match funding.
The benefits of improving these spaces cannot be underestimated. Our public spaces inform the way everyone sees the city, and they contribute to Londoners quality of life and the experience of visitors. Well designed and decently maintained public spaces can bring communities and people together and encourage physical and cultural activity, recreation and play. They can restore a sense of place, identity and pride in an area, and play a big part in attracting businesses and jobs.