Improving urban sustainability in London

Urban areas can be made more sustainable by encouraging:

  • water conservation - dual flush toilets in businesses and homes, collecting rainwater for gardens and the use of water meters in properties
  • energy conservation - insulating businesses and homes, use of double and triple glazing in buildings, use of low-energy lighting and appliances
  • waste recycling - recycling of household and commercial waste, adopting a 'reduce, reuse, recycle' policy, using 'grey' water to flush toilets in public buildings
  • creating green spaces - increasing the number of parks and planting more trees eg, Queen Elizabeth Park in London

Transport

London is attempting to be sustainable by encouraging the use of public transport. In an attempt to reduce traffic congestion London has adopted and/or improved several schemes

London underground - the extension of the Jubilee Line has encouraged more people to use public transport.

Oyster card - this is an integrated travel payment method which allows people to use buses, trains and tubes quickly and efficiently.

Oyster card with tube network map behind it
The Oyster card

Congestion charging zone - this has discouraged people from driving their own vehicles in central London. A fee is charged to any vehicle travelling in central London between 7am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Bike-sharing scheme - bicycles can be self-hired in many public places in London for as little as £2 for short journeys. This has encouraged many people to cycle, reducing traffic congestion.

London bike hire collection point
Bike-sharing scheme