London Gets World’s First Green Lamp Posts

Pilot Scheme in Belgravia to Monitor Benefits of New Green Intervention

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland is piloting a world first scheme in London’s Belgravia aimed at reducing air pollution, improving urban biodiversity, evapotranspiration cooling and noise reduction.

Six lamp posts on the company’s Belgravia estate will be retro-fitted with green columns incorporating a range of vegetation able to promote biodiversity, purify the air and provide an attractive focal point on the street.

The Smart Pillar™, which has been developed by The Scotscape Group and Greenwich University, takes the concept of ‘vertical greening’, as seen on living walls, one step further:

  • Retro fitting lamp posts to make best use of existing street furniture to improve the environment – physically and aesthetically
  • Providing a range of attractive and multi-purpose foliage including plants that can purify and cool air, reduce noise pollution and encourage biodiversity
  • Benefitting from a smart design that:
    • Can be easily installed to existing lamp posts without damaging them
    • Requires minimum maintenance and therefore on street disruption
    • Recirculates water, reducing wastage
    • Self-powers the irrigation system through solar panels embedded in design

In addition to direct environmental benefits, there is mounting evidence that incorporating and enhancing greening in the built environment can reduce stress, blood pressure and heart rates, whilst increasing self-reported rates of mental health and well-being.

The environmental impact of the lamp posts will be monitored through a recently installed air quality monitor on Ebury Street through Grosvenor’s participation in the London Air Quality Network, run by Kings College London. Grosvenor has committed to creating a significant net biodiversity gain in its portfolio by 2030 and in the last five years has invested in over 240 biodiversity features on its London estate including green roofs, bee hives, parklets, habitat hotels, bat and bird boxes.

Andrew Maskell, Landscape Management, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, said: “Creating new green space in intensely used urban areas requires imagination and determination. We know that green interventions can have a tremendously positive impact on our environment and also our well-being and we are excited to see the results of this unique pilot. With 14,000 lamp posts in Westminster alone, the potential of the green lamp posts to improve the health and well-being of Londoners could be significant and lead to the development of green lamp posts as standard street furniture.”

Cllr Tim Mitchell, Westminster City Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment and City Management said: “Tackling poor air quality and improving the environment in a borough as urban as Westminster is always going to be a tough challenge, but we’re looking at a range of ways to make lives healthier and greener for our residents and those visiting.

“There are no silver bullets in the fight against pollution – it’s going to take a range of measures to improve the air we breathe. That’s why innovative schemes like this are essential – together with our action including on engine idling through our Don’t Be Idle campaign – will help drive small but powerful changes.”

 Angus Cunningham, Managing Director of Scotscape, added: ‘'In the 35 years since I started Scotscape and with global warming, pollution and urbanisation achieving regular headline space, an exciting marketplace is appearing where we really can make a difference. With our patented Smart Greening systems we have the technology to face up to these challenges using nature as our ally. Scotscape has grown into a dynamic SME with a wealth of knowledge and intellectual property that we continue to develop. We are as excited as we are passionate about introducing and maintaining living green and biodiversity into the most challenging of urban areas.'

Environmental goals and achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030 are a key pillar of Grosvenor’s sustainability strategy. Grosvenor has begun an ambitious programme of investments and innovation across its estate to improve air quality and quality of life for residents, workers and visitors.  

Recent interventions include:

  1. Investment in green infrastructure: Over 240 new biodiversity and green space features connect the 25 acres of green space on the London estate including 4 parklets, six green roofs, 8 habitat hotels, bee hives, 160 bat and bird boxes.
  2. Increasing electric vehicle usage: all suppliers are being encouraged to, and supported in, electrifying their fleet – 8 new charging points were added to the estate in 2018.
  3. An ambitious programme to reduce traffic through consolidating deliveries to offices to just one a day. For the Grosvenor office, this cut vehicle deliveries from 23 a day to 1.
  4. Consolidating waste collections – A single zero to landfill service to over 700 buildings which substantially reduces heavy traffic on the streets, waste loitering in public places and delivers a 60%+ recycling rate, nearly  twice the London average.


About Grosvenor Britain & Ireland

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland creates great places where communities, business and nature thrive. 

In London’s West End, we support 9,000 residents, c1,000 businesses and 50,000 workers every day. We also create and manage sustainable neighbourhoods in London, Liverpool and across the South East of England. 

We are one part of a global, family owned business that has been developing and managing land and property for over 340 years.  Thinking long term allows us to give equal weight to the environmental, social and commercial impact of everything that we do. 

Notes to Editors

About Scotscape                                                                                

Scotscape brings 30 years of landscape, construction and maintenance experience to the UK’s thriving landscaping industry.  We work throughout the UK and Europe installing ‘smart’ greening systems for interior and exterior settings. These include living walls, living ceilings and bespoke irrigation services.  Scotscape is committed to providing excellent service, funding on-going research into nature-based solutions in order to make our cities cleaner, greener and healthier places to live.

Our research has now extended to projects with the University of Sheffield, The University of Seville and The University of Cambridge, University of Greenwich Hadlow College and the charity Bug Life. We will continue to work with educational bodies to ensure that the value of greening our cities is irrefutably supported.

To find out more about Smart Pillar™ contact or call Tel: 0208 254 5000

About the University of Greenwich

The Green Roofs and Living Walls Centre at the University of Greenwich is a leading research group delivering innovative solutions for sustainable urban development, knowledge dissemination involving all aspects of green infrastructure including green roofs, living walls and urban agriculture and aquaponics

Collectively the team have been involved in numerous innovative projects over the last 10 years. We have academic and practical expertise in environmental and sustainable design including air quality mitigation, plants for biodiversity, urban food growing, air quality and wellbeing and practical expertise in living wall systems, planting design, maintenance and education.

We have developed short courses on living walls for designers and urban greening promotion for local authorities, as well as providing tours of our Centre at Stockwell Street in Greenwich where we have 14 green roofs and numerous living wall systems on display.

Please contact Dr Benz Kotzen or visit for more information.

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