Letter: Why our cities should be greener

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The Independent Online
Sir: May I suggest another reason why the effort to introduce more green spaces into cities must be maintained ('The triumph of green over grey', 20 October)? As is now widely recognised, the continuing increase in carbon dioxide emissions from all forms of transport, but particularly private cars, must be halted if we are to meet the undertakings agreed at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio to reduce CO2 emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000.

Of all car journeys, those relating to leisure and social trips comprise the highest proportion (45 per cent of all car mileage - see the Department of Environment and Department of Transport report Reducing Transport Emissions through Planning, HMSO 1993) and it is this sector which has shown the greatest increase over recent years (it comprised 56 per cent of growth in car travel 1979-86).

Since many of these trips will be made in pursuit of leisure and recreation opportunities located in the countryside, access to such 'countryside' opportunities in the urban area in the form of well designed multi-functional greenspaces would not only have the benefit of making towns and cities more attractive places to live and work, but could also make a significant contribution to reducing the problems of global pollution.

And they would help protect the real countryside by reducing the pressure of too many vehicles and human feet.

Yours faithfully,



Land Use Consultants

London, NW1

20 October

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