No, it’s not just you. Some parts of London are actually hotter than others, and we’ve got the science to prove it. A new heatmap has revealed which London boroughs trap the most heat and, unsurprisingly, it’s the areas with the fewest green spaces and trees that are the warmest.
The map, created by climate organisation Friends of the Earth and map experts TerraSulis, is the first time the cooling ability of green space and trees in urban areas has been properly visualised.
Condensed central London boroughs like the City of London and Tower Hamlets were found to be the hottest, with almost no ways of cooling off. Neighbourhoods like Camden, Westminster and Greenwich, however, benefit from being close to Hyde Park, Primrose Hill and Woolwich Common. Charlton Park and Woolwich Common were some of the coolest areas, being on average 3.5C cooler than London’s hottest areas.
During last year’s hottest day on record (July 19) the climate organisation found that inner-city areas with no trees can be up to five degrees hotter than leafy areas. London was one of five UK cities that were researched by Friends of the Earth for cooling properties. Here is the full map.
Mike Childs, head of science, policy and research at Friends of the Earth, said: ‘We know that extreme weather, including heatwaves, is becoming more frequent and severe due to the climate crisis. But not everyone is affected equally, with the most marginalised communities the hardest hit in the UK and overseas.
‘Boosting tree numbers is such a clear win for our communities and our planet, not just because of their ability to cool urban areas, but because they capture planet-warming carbon too.
‘This should be prioritised alongside a rapid programme of council-led, street-by-street insulation, which helps keep homes cool in the summer just as much as it keeps them warmer in winter.’
London could be surrounded by an ‘M25 of trees’ to combat pollution.