The hanging gardens of London

Gill Higgins, Origin Green Ambassador, London

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has a vision for making London a better place to live and visit. Part of his mission is to achieve good food in the city, with every Londoner having access to healthy, affordable and good food, irrespective of their culture, abode or take home income. His approach is laid out in a new draft London Food Strategy, under six priority action areas:

  1. Good Food at Home: Plans include helping poorer families obtain food for their children during the holidays, and encouraging employers to pay the London Living wage to enable people to spend money on healthy food;
  2. Good Food Shopping and Eating Out: Plans including banning unhealthy food advertisements on the London Transport network, and encouraging colleges to train sufficient human resources to support the food industry;
  3. Good Food in Public Organizations and Community Groups: Plans include encouraging businesses to promote healthy eating amongst their staff, and making drinking water fountains available around the city, with facilities for filling up bottles for free in local shops;
  4. Good Food for Children: Plans include setting up expert panels to explore why many London children are overweight, and helping schools educate pupils about the merits of healthy eating;
  5. Growing Good Food: Plans include making more land available for growing food in community gardens, allotments and urban farms, and protecting land that is currently being used in this manner. The Mayor will endorse new innovative ways of urban agriculture, for example, vertical cultivation up the sides of buildings; and
  6. Good for the Environment: Plans include reducing food waste and packaging, increasing recycling and making transport more efficient.

The Mayor has invited Londoners to share their views and has requested their support in developing and implementing the London Food Strategy. By engaging the people and through collaboration, city-wide change on a large scale may be possible. Will we soon be growing lettuce on our walls and parsnips on our rooftops?