Yesterday Boris Johnson confirmed that he had taken the imminently sensible decision to scrap The Londoner – the taxpayer-funded propaganda sheet that blighted London letter boxes under Livingstone’s mayoralty. Johnson has further announced that he is to use £1m of the £2.9m saving to plant 10,000 ‘street trees’, particularly in London’s poorer, least green communities. Unveiling the initiative Boris explained:
Trees improve the street environment in which Londoners live and work so I will do all I can to save the trees we have and campaign for more trees to protect London’s open spaces.
Well, yes, this is all well and good. But surely on the PR front team Boris have missed a trick here? After all, trees, vegetation and water features in the urban environment – apart from making a more attractive city – work to combat the effects of climate change by dramatically cooling the surroundings. This is why air around the Thames or within urban parks is on average 0.6 degrees Celsius cooler than neighbouring built-up areas. So this tree planting business need not just be about making London prettier but also making it a healthier, more comfortable, greener place to live and work.
Boris should tell his detractors in the green lobby to put that in their rizla and smoke it.