Page last updated at 14:02 GMT, Monday, 16 November 2009

Public spaces to get 225m revamp

Oxford Circus X crossing
The diagonal crossing in Oxford Circus is part of the 225m scheme

A scheme to invest more than £225m over three years to beautify London's "urban jungles" has been unveiled.

The mayor plans to invest in 50 projects, which include revamping parks and streets, and increasing the use of waterways for transport and leisure.

The recently opened Japanese-style diagonal crossing on Oxford Circus is part of London's Great Outdoors plan.

London Assembly's Green Group said the mayor was "re-announcing" past schemes and "not spending nearly enough".

Some £180m is going on redeveloping streets and squares by 2012-13.

That includes the revamp of Leicester Square and refurbishment of town centres in several boroughs, including Richmond, Sutton and Woolwich.

The second part of the scheme looks at green spaces and waterways, including work at Burgess Park in Southwark and in open spaces around the Olympic Park site.

Investment 'critical'

Mayor Boris Johnson also plans to improve links to waterside places, develop areas along the River Thames and use the river's tributaries for transport.

He said investing in public spaces was critical.

"This means creating a network of well-designed and enticing outdoor areas, which increase our city's popularity as a place to live in, visit and invest."

But Jenny Jones from the Green Group said: "He is yet again re-announcing the hard work of his predecessor and the local councils who brought these wonderful public space proposals forward.

"What we need from the mayor is a clear funding stream for extending the East London Green Grid across the capital with a network of funded projects that could truly be his legacy."

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