Changing Planet

Help Make London a National Park City

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Daniel Raven-Ellison sees the world a bit differently than most people do at most times.

Instead of looking at whole landscapes as either city or country, he sees each spot for what it is. This might be a building, but that might be a dog park with grass and trees. This might be a highway, but that might be a creek that runs clear through town. String it all together, and in a grand bird’s-eye view, he’s able to see not just forest for the trees, but the park that’s thriving in the city.

And London is a park city par excellence.

He’s pushing to have this be the way eveyone sees his beloved city, but he needs some help.

“Making London a National Park City is a celebration of the capital’s remarkable natural heritage,” he says, “but it’s also one vision to inspire a million projects that will improve the quality of our lives and the city itself. As we welcome more people into our increasingly dense city, we need to make our parks and other shared spaces even better. Using them improves our health, happiness, wellbeing and productivity. Making London a National Park City will be a great way to achieve this.”

This week is big for the project. He aims to raise £30,000 within the next 30 days, and those who donate could be commemorated on a Founders’ Stone to be located somewhere prominent in the city if the plan comes to fruition.

Tweet your questions or comments to @LondonNP using #GLNP, and donate directly to help everyone see the forest for the buildings.



Andrew Howley is a longtime contributor to the National Geographic blog, with a particular focus on archaeology and paleoanthropology generally, and ancient rock art in particular. He is currently beginning a new role as communications director at Adventure Scientists, founded by Nat Geo Explorer Gregg Treinish. Over 11 years at the National Geographic Society, Andrew worked in various ways to share the stories of NG explorers and grantees online. He also produced the Home Page of for several years, and helped manage the Society's Facebook page during its breakout year of 2010. He studied Anthropology with a focus on Archaeology from the College of William & Mary in Virginia. He has covered expeditions with NG Explorers-in-Residence Mike Fay, Enric Sala, and Lee Berger. His personal interests include painting, running, and reading about history.

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