Call: 01962 657180    email:  
Schedule a Call

The Urban Greening Factor | What does it mean for London?

April 11, 2021

Sustainability and building compliance expert. Specialising in low energy design, SAP, SBEM, BREEAM, and air testing for the construction industry,

Andrew Sadler

The Urban Greening Factor is an exciting policy that has been introduced as part of the London Plan. But what is it, why do we need it and what does it mean for London?

As the UK’s urban areas become busier and busier, so too does our impact on the planet. And that’s why we are so excited by the Urban Greening Factor.

The Urban Greening Factor is the London Plan’s solution to a growing time bomb that has been building for years: lack of green space, poor air quality and minimal habitats. The answer? Rewilding the city.

In this article, we’ll explore the different layers of the Urban Greening Factor, why it is necessary and how it will impact London. 

What is the Urban Greening Factor?

The Urban Greening Factor (UGF) is a means of evaluating the merits of green infrastructure and is a core part of the The London Plan. It was inspired by the work undertaken in Malmö, Sweden where an all-important, ambitious eco-transformation turned the Swedish shipyard into a sustainable city.

The main aim of UGF is to bring about green developments throughout England’s capital city. It will calculate this through a ratio between the amount of built areas and green areas within the city, ensuring every scheme contributes to London’s green goals. They will achieve this by weaving in green features such as:

Urban greening must also be at the forefront of developmental plans going forward. UGF states that green spaces and infrastructure should be prioritised at the beginning of the design and planning stages, and will need to be delivered on-site even if a developer is considering off-site solutions for their biodiversity net gain.

Why do we need Urban Greening?

This many come as a surprise, but London is actually an incredibly eco-friendly city with aims to become the first National Park City. However, despite its efforts, London faces enormous environmental challenges:

Urban greening and green infrastructure strives to counteract these problems. The effective planning, design and management of these networks of green spaces can provide:

Plus, through the Urban Greening Factor, London hopes to encourage and inspire other regions in the UK and countries around the world to adopt their own green focus and environmental action.

What does the Urban Greening Factor mean for London?

In London, the population is estimated to top 10 million by 2030. It’s a city with a continuously growing demand for residential and affordable housing; there’s no escaping that. This scheme therefore pays attention to the need to continue building, but in a way that mitigates the impact on the environment.

A big priority for UGF is to encourage developers to create properties that minimise disruption to the existing environment and, as a result, provide greater access to green spaces. This means that developers should also take specialist advice (usually from landscape architects) to be sure that their plans meet all of the necessary requirements.

 How will the Urban Greening Factor make London greener?

Ideas are still being developed, but the fundamental concepts being discussed include:

Can Buildpass help me navigate the Urban Greening Factor?

Absolutely! We provide London Plan Reports to ensure you are fulfilling your obligations with your new development and creating as a green a development as possible.

Schedule a call with a member of our team to find out more.

More from the Buildpass Sustainable Construction Blog

View Our Blog

AECB Building Knowledge
BREEAM New Construction


Schedule a Call
12 Foster Way Romsey Hampshire SO51 OAW Registered in England No. 11310114

Useful Links

Privacy Policy
Terms and Conditions
Contact Us