Sunday, July 02, 2017

London - Gray not green

Part of Queens Walk near Tower Bridge
Brits are famous for their gardens, but they seem to have locked them out of their capital city. London streets are narrow and noise levels high. I am finding the grayness and high noise levels overwhelming after the greenness and comparative quietness of Hamburg.

In Germany there is a lot of traffic calming, and planned islands of green in the inner cities, small oases of calm. I have yet to discover any of these planned oases in London.
London trees
There are trees but they are planted in concrete/gravel and the lack of undergrowth make them seem fake somehow.

Today I walked from Southwark passed London Bridge and the Tower Bridge to trendy Bermondsey (right side of map) and found very little greenery at all.

Over the Tower Bridge, north of the river I found a map of green spaces - it shows how few there are.
The map was next to a church (St Dunstan in the East) that had been bombed during the war and converted to a garden in 1967. It is one of the only green spaces in the area and the seats were full of lunching business folk when I was there.
Garden at St Dunstan
A lot of Londoners still smoke. Some use electronic cigarettes but many don't and there are still a lot of butts on the streets.
Cleaning the railing
I saw one house front being cleaned by a man in business clothes with a red cloth and I wondered if it is the continuous traffic that makes the whole city feel dirty. All of the parts of London I have seen so far are contaminated by vehicle noise and pollution. I know there are huge parks in the west, but it is the everyday city greenery I am missing.

Electric cars and buses will have a major impact here.

Londoners at a sidewalk function

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