Actress and national treasure Barbara Windsor recently unveiled a brand scheme by planting a ceremonial tree in Weymouth Street, Marylebone.
The tree will be one of hundreds planted as part of the scheme, which aims to improve air quality, reduce traffic noise and make the area more attractive. The scheme will focus on Marylebone Road, one of the most heavily polluted areas in the city. Trees on Westminster's streets have been in decline but the new planting programme aims to buck the trend and improve quality of life for everyone who visits, live or work in the area.
The scheme was launched after studies showed that street trees can promote a sense of wellbeing, reduce crime and improve both physical and mental health of people who live or work nearby. They also provide green links between Westminster's award winning parks and open spaces, as well as keeping streets cooler in the summer and homes warmer in the winter.
Each tree costs £300, funding which is provided by the W1W Tree Planting Initiative and Groundwork London. Plans to introduce 250 trees have already been approved by the council and this is set to increase to 500 ahead of the 2012 Olympic games.
Cllr Ed Argar, Westminster's cabinet member for city management, said: "Street trees are one of the most important ways in which we can keep our city green, helping to make them more pleasant places to walk, sit and cycle, but their presence is all too often taken for granted.
"We put a tremendous amount of hard work into ensuring Westminster meets the high standards expected from a world-class city and we will continue to support projects that help to build a Living City, a green city, where families and businesses can thrive.
"Westminster has always done its bit to reverse the worrying trend of decline in the number of trees in the capital. Thanks to the hard work of all involved, including local ward councillors, residents and businesses, this project will create an oasis of greenery in the heart of London for our residents to enjoy today and for generations to come."