The Financial Times has contributed to the transformation of two estate areas in Southwark, London through new charity partner Trees for Cities.

Trees for Cities works with local communities on tree planting projects in socially and economically deprived urban areas around the world.

The FT has pledged to sponsor Trees for Cities for three years from 2011-13, with this year’s funding helping pay to transform green spaces at Pelican and Brayard Estates in Southwark. Both estates have been transformed from empty grass areas next to high-rise tower blocks to attractive, colourful green spaces where local residents can play, relax, exercise and socialise. Local communities were involved in tree planting and landscaping at both sites.

Trees for Cities development manager Joanne Stewart-Clark says: “We’re delighted about our partnership with the FT, which has enabled us to complete these valuable projects in London. Such work is particularly important in the borough of Southwark, where two thirds of the population live in highly deprived areas. Projects like Brayards and Pelican Estate grow stronger neighbourhoods, enhance urban landscapes and improve people’s health and happiness.”

As part of the FT and Trees for Cities partnership, FT staff in London and New York will also take part in volunteer tree planting opportunities later this year.

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