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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

London Is the World's First City to Be Named a National Park

London is on track to become the world's first city to be designated as a National Park. Your days in the spotlight are numbered, Yosemite.
A National Park City is a city that makes a dedicated effort to provide its citizens with park space, encouraging green living among the urban sprawl. The idea came from a former geography teacher named Daniel Raven-Ellison, who started a crowdfunding campaign on London's behalf five years ago. London's mayor Sadiq Khan announced his support last summer, and the designation will become official in July 2019. 
"London is not just a city, it's a landscape," Raven-Ellison  says. "It's a landscape that's home not just to nearly nine million people, but there are as many trees. We share this city with 15,000 other species of wildlife, and I don't think that urban life is worth any less than that life that we see in maybe those more distant places from cities."

London had to set some goals to earn the title of first-ever National Park City, which it is bestowing on itself. Currently, 47 percent of Greater London is covered in green space, like parks and golf courses, but the city wants that number to be more than half. It plans to achieve that by growing plants on walls and roofs, and building wildlife habitats. The National Park City initiative goes nicely with London's other initiative to cut down on rampant car pollution. 
Mostly, though, Raven-Ellison said he started his campaign to help Londoners appreciate the green space around them. The campaign also launched the National Park City Foundation, which is eyeing San Francisco, Glasgow, and more as future National Park Cities.
It's really that easy, huh? All you have to do is make up a designation and commit to a little more green living? Then consider this the start of my campaign to christen Cleveland as a National Park City. Cleveland can offer the world:
  • The Cuyahoga River, which is pretty clean these days
  • The Towpath Trail (a canal system that connected Northeast Ohio waterways from 1827 to 1913, which is now a lovely collection of walking and biking trails)
  • One (1) celebrity chef
  • An "Emerald Necklace" of Metroparks crisscrossing the city, covering over 21,500 acres
  • Places LeBron James has been to
  • The Lake Erie shoreline, featuring a semi-abandoned airport, FirstEnergy Stadium (home of the Cleveland Browns), and an incredible spit of land across from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that's bonkers good for watching sunsets
  • All that stuff Serial dug up in Season 3
  • Easy access to the Cuyahoga National Park, which is the best place in America
It's thriving! Forget San Fran and pick it next!

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