Greenground Map aims to re-envision cities
through green infrastructure & active travel.

Greenground project started around a year and half ago with a suggestion on National Park City Twitter feed to have a tube style map that connects parks, rivers and open spaces with walkable and cyclable lines. The idea was liked and I made a small diagram, how I imagined this map could look like. I didn’t expect it to get much attention, but over 400 people liked, shared and commented the tweet with many people asking why so many parks are missing. So I got to work and made a second version with more parks and then a third version with even more parks. At present London Greenground Map connects 380 parks and open spaces with 12 lines.

The London Greenground map is a vision of a new urban transport map depicting active travel network that connects city’s green infrastructure. Once people start walking and cycling more, the green spaces in cities can provide green and safe ‘stations’ and lines represent quiet and green routes from one station to another. At the moment not all the lines connecting parks are green, safe and quiet, but I believe if more people start using them for active travel, this will change. The Greenground Map aims to make walking and cycling more open and accessible for the people, who right now mainly use transport maps.

This started as a volunteer project and my intention from the beginning was always to keep one version of the map open and free. The fourth London Greenground Map is on my blog and pinned on my Twitter feed, so everyone in London can access and use it. So far nearly 50,000 people have downloaded this map. But being an independent designer in difficult times I also have to make a living and this is how a paper version was published this spring. The pocket size paper map includes an index to parks, which makes finding parks easier. Now I also sell London Greenground posters that come in A1 and A2 sizes.

Although Greenground Map started with London, the concept can be applied to any green city and the second map of the series is another of my favorite green cities – Edinburgh. Although I have only visited Edinburgh twice, this project has given me an opportunity to get to know this beautiful city more. The first Edinburgh Greenground Map connecting 220 parks and open spaces with 9 lines can also be seen in my blog.

What people say about London Greenground Map

‘Walker’s Tube Map’ Has Flourished Into Something Beautiful’
Matt Brown, Londonist

‘I also love the Greenground map, a “tube map of parks” and a prompt for exploration in a city which is 47% green or blue.’
– Jack Cornish, Ramblers

‘If 2020 has reignited anything in us Londoners, it’s got to be a love of putting one foot in front of the other . . . walking is now a way of London life. That’s why we’re buzzing to discover this handy map created by graphic designer Helen Ilus.’
– Laura Richards, TimeOut

‘Now this is cool. Check out the London @GreengroundMap which plots London’s 380 parks as if they were tube stations – the “tube lines” are all possible walks.’
Heidi Alexander on Twitter, Deputy Mayor of London for Transport 

‘A key part of the [National Park City] campaign has been to restyle London as a green city in the maps its residents and tourists use every day. The Greenground Map by Helen Ilus follows the layout of the iconic London tube map but it links green spaces instead of transport hubs.
– Alex Ledsom, Forbes Travel

Helen Ilus put a new twist on London mapping with her delightful “GreengroundMap”, a map of London’s green spaces and how best to navigate between them done in the style of the tube map.
– Steven Feldman, GeoMob Podcast

We’ve been a bit slow to get our hands on a copy of @HelenIlus London Greenground Map but oh, isn’t it wonderful. What a delight!
– London Ramblers on Twitter