Daniel Raven-Ellison Pushes Forward Campaign to Make London a National Park City

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Feb 02, 2017
by Oscar Tollast
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Daniel Raven-Ellison Pushes Forward Campaign to Make London a National Park City

"Guerilla geographer" discusses his thoughts after walking 56km across London Daniel Raven-Ellison speaking at Session 557 Parks for the Planet Forum - Nature, Health and a New Urban Generation

Explorer Daniel Raven-Ellison has put his best foot forward in a bid to make London the world's first National Park City.

Raven-Ellison, who attended Session 557 Nature, Health and a New Urban Generation in 2015, walked 56km across London to raise awareness of the campaign.

This walk, from Hinchley Wood in the south-west to Grange Hill in the north-east, featured as part of a wider journey undertaken by Raven-Ellison. In total, he has walked across the UK's 15 national parks, plus 69 cities.

Raven-Ellison spoke about this accomplishment as part of an article for Time Out.

In this article, he says, "Walking through London, I can't stop seeing blank canvases. Windowless walls could become climbing walls, dead concrete spaces could be brought to life as wildflower meadows, windowsills could turn into exhibition spaces, and there's a serious lack of street swings in our city.

"There are amazing things happening in London's great outdoors, but we could and should have so much more. Making London a National Park City will help to make that happen."

To read Raven-Ellison's TimeOut article in full, please click here.

In 2015, Raven-Ellison spoke to Salzburg Global about what he felt a National Park City would look like.

He said, "It would be inspired by rural national parks and in the great successes that they have made, but made appropriate for an entire urban environment."

The Nature, Health and a New Urban Generation session, which Raven-Ellison attended, took place as part of Salzburg Global's Park for the Planets Forum, a multi-year series developed by Salzburg Global and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Both came together to seek to develop a ten-year leadership and action platform to deliver the Promise of Sydney. 

The Promise of Sydney is a cross sector framework developed by participants from 160 countries at the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014. It focused on the significance of protected and conserved areas for global sustainability, climate resilience and human well-being.