Money needed to 'green' cities

Environmental groups are calling for some of the billions of pounds spent on road building to be used to make urban areas more "green" by planting more trees.

According to the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (Cabe) and Natural England, switching public spending to "greening" built up areas would not only help climate change but also the recession.

The groups say that millions of trees should be planted and new parks and "green" roofs should be created in towns and cities to turn the focus away from "grey" infrastructure such as road building or widening schemes.

They claim that greener urban areas would help tackle climate change by helping areas stay cooler and reduce the amount of flooding as more plants would absorb water and reduce flash flooding.

Natural England and Cabe also say that investing in green spaces would create more jobs as well as promoting healthy living through walking and cycling, which could reduce health problems such as obesity.

According to the two groups, just £20 per person is spent on green spaces across the country but £10.2 billion may be spent on road building and improvements, which could create a thousand new parks.

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