New ‘Tube’ Map for Walkers Shows London’s Green Spaces

The Greenground map is walkers and cyclists traverse the city above ground.


Green spaces in London.

Paddington Street Gardens in Marylebone (CK Travels /

Like the iconic New York subway map, London has its own. Harry Beck’s Tube Map helps people navigate London underground. Now, the concept has been brought to the streets and designed to help people who are walking or cycling to find the greenest routes according to Positive News.

The Greenground Map, was designed by graphic artist Helen Ilus and links the city’s greenery including forests, parks, cemeteries, and waterways. Ilus wants people to try traversing the city by foot. She is hoping that the map, that doesn’t mark distance or give routes, will change the perception on how people  view the city aboveground.

“I want to reach out to people who perceive cities through transport maps and get them out more by using similar visuals,” Ilus told Positive News. “I think seeing parks and green spaces represented like this brings people closer to nature.”

The map even includes more leisurely spots like ferry piers, kayaking spots, and places for bird watching according to the National City Park (London was declared the first national park city in July 2019) website so it is perfect for Londoner’s who would rather take an alternative route and not be stuck in city traffic on their way to work.

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Ilus was inspired to create her map by the successful city park campaign, according to Positive News, and she shared it on Twitter. This encouraged her to have it printed and she has already sold 500 copies.
“When I started making the map, I mostly thought of people like myself, who want to make their commutes greener or go out to nature at the weekends,” said Ilus. But since the coronavirus pandemic has made people walk and cycle more, providing pleasant walking spaces has become more important and made the Greenground map more relevant.
While London has more than 3,000 parks and green spaces, there are only 380 on the map but Ilus is planning on expanding it. “This is an ongoing project,” she said. “I hope it gives a good starting point for discovering new urban green spaces.”

The city is also working to transform the way people navigate around it by creating the London Streetspace program. The plan that was unveiled by mayor Sadiq Khan on May, 7, 2020 will change the city’s streets to accommodate more walkers and cyclists so that the new trend can continue.
Streetspace calls for the construction of a cycling network that includes new routes and the reduction of traffic in residential neighborhoods. The  plan is to transform local town centers so that people can safely walk or cycle on local journeys. These initiatives will help clean the air by having less car emissions in the city as well as more active and healthier residents who will benefit from getting out in nature.
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