London in 20 years

Mayfair & Belgravia have never existed in a vacuum. Their fate has always been tied to London’s success. In preparing our vision, we carried out broad-ranging research to understand the changes that might affect London’s future.

Forecasting the future of something as complicated as a world city is not straightforward. The trends we examined will change the way people use space in all aspects of their lives. So how our vision is delivered will change over time in response to London’s evolution. We have summarised our core assumptions here.

London’s economy

  • London’s population will grow to 10 million by 2035 and include a higher proportion of older people.
  • London will remain a truly international city with an international population and mobile workforce.

Governance

  • London will have substantial devolved powers to steer its future and make decisions at local level.
  • London will face continued risks from national policy change, including on tax, immigration and the relationship of London to the rest of the UK and the EU.

Economy

  • London will be one of a handful of leading world cities. It will be an important global financial centre but benefit also from a broad base of competitive sectors, including tech.
  • London will compete with other cities for highlyskilled, internationally mobile workers. Companies will increasingly follow talent, who in turn will be attracted to vibrant urban environments with access to a wealth of leisure activities.
  • World-class cultural assets will make London a leading magnet for international tourists.
  • Leading education institutions will draw students from across the globe.
  • London will see cross-sector collaboration driving businesses of all sizes to a shifting network of commercial centres, the West End being the largest of them.
  • The West End will remain a premier global retail destination benefitting from a world-class food, drink and leisure offer that extends into the evening and night.

Infrastructure and transport

  • London’s infrastructure will struggle to keep up with the demands of its growing and increasingly affluent population.
  • The Elizabeth line, Tube improvements and the opening of Crossrail 2 will bring many more people into central London and the West End.
  • Public transport use, cycling and walking will be prevalent. In spite of this there will continue to be many cars on the road. Most of them will be electric.

Environment

  • Climate change will affect London’s weather patterns in unpredictable ways, affecting the way in which outdoor spaces are used throughout the year.
  • Energy will be expensive and ever more tightly regulated. Users will face pressure to improve energy efficiency, and providers to shift supply to sustainable sources. Londoners will benefit as a result from the innovative creation and operation of buildings.
  • London will see public and political pressure to clean its air. Air quality will be a competitive differentiator for well-managed places. Technology will allow the quality of air to be visible to everyone in real time.
  • Londoners will face pressure to minimise waste and increase recycling.

Technology

  • London’s digital connectivity will struggle to keep up with growing demand from businesses and consumers.
  • Smart technology will allow London’s assets and resources to be used more efficiently, but also more intensively, from office buildings to delivery vans.
  • Residents, companies, workers and visitors will have ready access to information about all aspects of life at city, neighbourhood and street level. This information will create competition between neighbourhoods.
  • London’s digitally-enabled sharing economy will change the way in which citizens and visitors use space as well as public and private assets. New business models will disrupt the traditional landlord-tenant relationship.
  • With technologies such as 3D printing, London will see traditionally separate activities such as manufacturing, office work and retail intertwined, changing established categories of space use.