Greenwich is the location of the Greenwich prime meridian, which is the basis of all Coordinated Universal Time. It was Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT, that was established on the prime meridian through Greenwich and the Greenwich Observatory, and is the basis for all world time. Frommer's listed Greenwich among the top ten global destinations in 2012 - the only UK destination to make the list.
The local council of Greenwich London Borough Council meets at Woolwich Town Hall, while its offices are located in Woolwich, the borough's main urban centre.
As part of the London Government Act 1963, Greenwich was formed on 1 April 1965. It covered parts of Greenwich and Woolwich (except North Woolwich).
'Charlton' was briefly considered for the borough. Greenwich sought city status, but the application was denied. If accepted, it would have been called the City of Greenwich like Westminster.
As part of Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, Greenwich became the fourth Royal Borough on 3 February 2012, adding to its historic links with the Royal Family, its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its connection to the Royal Family.
As a result of its growing popularity, tourism is becoming an increasingly important part of Greenwich's economy. In 2015, 18.5 million visitors were expected to visit the borough for a day or longer, generating over £1.2 billion; this figure was projected to increase by more than 25% by 2018. An InterContinental Hotel (opening in 2015) near the O2 Arena is evidence of the tourism boom.
In addition to the museums and historic buildings in Greenwich town and Greenwich Park, the main tourist attractions include the Cutty Sark, the O2 Arena, the London Cable Car, Eltham Palace, Charlton House, and the Thames Barrier. Woolwich's Royal Arsenal is also starting to market itself as a tourist attraction.
One of the five host boroughs for the 2012 Summer Olympics was Greenwich, which hosted 34 events across three venues. The Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich hosted shooting events, the O2 Arena hosted gymnastics and basketball finals and Greenwich Park hosted equestrian events and modern pentathlon.
The largest football club in the borough is Charlton Athletic F.C., a professional club playing in the EFL League One. Two non-league teams, Bridon Ropes F.C. and Meridian F.C., both play at Meridian Sports & Social Club in Woolwich. It is home to several rugby clubs, the most notable being Blackheath Football Club, which played at Rectory Field for 158 years before moving to Eltham in 2016. Blackheath Cricket Club still plays there.
The Greenwich Council owns and operates many sports centres, including Charlton Lido and the Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL).