Focusing on current and emerging issues, FoL produces practical guidance to help urban practitioners navigate the fast pace of change in London, with a focus on regeneration, housing, local economy and infrastructure. Our extensive networks are integral to this, contributing knowledge and experience through events, field trips and case studies.

We are open to project ideas from members, partners and alumni. If there’s a topic you’d like to explore with Future of London, contact Anna Odedun.

“Future of London listens to its members and has its finger on the pulse. Their research themes consistently tap into London’s built environment zeitgeist. The emphasis on outcomes and practical tools stops debate or research straying too far from home.”

Kieron Hyams, Associate Director, Arup

Current projects

Achieving Net Zero

The transition to a zero carbon London will impact all aspects of urban life: from the design and planning of the homes and neighbourhoods and the infrastructure we build. to the frequency and mode by which we travel, and the commodities and waste we produce. Built environment professionals have a key role to play in leading this transition and this project will explore what this means on the ground, sharing insight, innovation and best practice.

Deserted London Bridge station, Learning from crisis

Learning from Crisis

As we navigate Covid-19 and consider the world we’ll emerge into, Future of London will share intel, strategy and best practice across its multi-media Learning from Crisis programme. We’ll focus on managing now, and how we’ll emerge from crisis.

People, Place and Community

Covid-19 has thrown a spotlight on the power of social and neighbourhood networks. It has changed how we experience both private and public space and, for some, has meant spending a lot more time locally. FoL’s 2020 project will investigate the role that both people and place play in creating community and will explore how London’s built environment sector can help forge and maintain a sense of belonging in new builds and existing neighbourhoods.

City Bites

City Bites is a peer-driven podcast with FoL staff, associates and members of the alumni network invite guests from different sectors and roles to share stories, insights and ideas. It draws on FoL’s role as a trusted platform; a track record in intelligent, objective analysis; a broad, mixed-level network; an online audience growing rapidly through webinars and social media; and the capacity to connect diverse groups and ideas.

ladywell fields zorbing

Healthy Homes

Poor quality housing is strongly linked to inequalities in health. Future of London, Catherine Max Consulting, and the King’s Fund are developing solutions and recommendations for Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity to help improve health and reduce health inequalities in Lambeth and Southwark, with lessons for urban and health practitioners across London and other cities.

paying for it featured image

Paying For Public Projects

Public budgets are shrinking, the EU tap is about to close, and funding sources are changing fast. We need more effective ways to pay for and deliver public projects. Future of London’s 2019 project will review existing and new funding sources, outline implications for each stream, and assess their merits based on real-world experience, expertise and evaluation.

Previous projects

borough housing development, skills mapping

London Borough Skills Mapping

London Boroughs are entering the house building market after a 30-year break but don’t have established and skilled teams ready to deliver. As a result, councils are recruiting and buying in skills and expertise, and competing with the private sector and housing associations. FoL is mapping the skills of housing delivery teams through a survey and interviews to help boroughs collaborate to address skills gaps and develop recruitment and retention strategies.

Workspace for All panel

Building Resilient Workspaces

This half-day conference examined the state of the market, what value workspaces can play beyond desks for hire, implications of the GLA’s pilot accreditation scheme and, most importantly, how to deliver resilient workspaces that work for London’s future.

royal docks

Water Works: Making the Most of London’s Waterways

London’s biggest Opportunity Areas are located along the city’s rivers, canals and docks, bringing significant waterside development in coming years. Running throughout 2019, this project showcased innovative schemes involving waterways and the strategies, policies and partnerships delivering them.

community-led housing in high barnet

Foundations for Community-Led Housing

Community-led housing can deliver genuinely affordable homes, strengthen local networks, promote well-being, deliver social value and cater to the aspirations of a growing number of older Londoners. With a growing number of local authorities keen to encourage community-led housing, this series of workshops and events helped them understand and effectively respond to the needs of community groups seeking to deliver homes.

social value

Social Value in Procurement

There’s appetite among local authorities and housing associations for understanding and requiring social value, but time-poor procurement teams are often overwhelmed with options, and rarely have time to share lessons learned. Through a series of events, this project gave practitioners a platform to share experiences, equipping London’s public sector to establish effective procurement practices that deliver demonstrable, social benefit for Londoners.

Knowledge Hub

FoL worked with GLA Skills & Employment, Rocket Science and the ERSA on the consultation for a new Skills & Employment Knowledge Hub for Londoners. A resource for policymakers, employers, training providers and learners, user input helped refine the direction for the Hub.

overcoming severance

Overcoming London’s Barriers

Future of London’s major 2018 project addressed two types of barriers: physical severance such as road-, rail- and waterways, and artificial boundaries such as borough borders and the ‘red lines’ that delineate estates or opportunity areas. We explored how impacts are assessed, showcase effective solutions, and create practical recommendations.

Workspace for all

To coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018, Future of London and LB Hackney spotlighted diversity and inclusion in the workplace at Hackney House on 14 November. We invited public and private landowners and workspace providers to an afternoon of seminars and networking exploring current and emerging challenges in workspace provision.

ageing cities

Ageing Cities

As the fastest-growing demographic in the capital, older people will have a huge impact on London’s future. Future of London identified best practice, innovation and practical recommendations for creating healthy environments for ageing.

smarter cities

Smarter Cities

Future of London’s Smarter Cities project helped London’s regeneration and built environment professionals navigate the hype of ‘smart city’ technology to take practical steps towards setting up and managing projects which respond to their short-, medium- and long-term priorities.

crossrail as catalyst

Crossrail as Catalyst

Commissioned by GVA as part of their work on land value increases around Crossrail stations, Future of London interviewed local authorities, housing associations, and business improvement districts to understand the qualitative impact as Crossrail nears completion.

private rented sector

Engaging London’s Private Rented Sector

London’s private rented sector has potential to adapt to the city’s fast pace of change, but comes with complex challenges and rising costs. Future of London’s three-year project uncovered best practice for fostering a more equitable PRS.

rye lane fruit stall

Making the Case for Place

Future of London’s major 2017 programme set out to understand how different stakeholders value the impacts of placemaking and how to foster greater common among their views. Over the year, we brought together over 500 cross-sector individuals through field trips, workshops, roundtables, and a conference and developed a set of guiding principles for built environment professionals doing placemaking schemes.

housing delivery models

Making Housing Delivery Models Work for London

This FoL/GVA project takes stock of the housing delivery models councils and the GLA family are using; estimates how many homes and how much affordable housing those are producing; and explores how to share skills and knowledge better, to make the most of these emerging models.

workspace that works

Workspace that Works

Demand for flexible, affordable workspace – including offices, studios, manufacturing, and incubator/accelerator spaces – is increasing. This year-long project gathered insight and best practice for public and private sector organisations seeking to establish workspace in London.

build to rent

Making the Most of Build to Rent

With London’s housing market in an era of chronic undersupply, both public and private sectors are welcoming build to rent: housing designed and managed specifically for private renters. This project provided an overview of the evolving policy landscape and burgeoning development activity in London.

priorities for transport

Priorities for Transport in a Growing London

London’s population growth adds pressure to the transportation network, much of which is nearing capacity. This series of seminars and workshops in autumn 2016 highlighted policy and delivery issues relating to large-, mid-, and small-scale transport schemes ahead of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy being published.

managing exposure to climate change

Managing London’s Exposure to Climate Change

Climate change-related events can cause significant damage to a infrastructure, not to mention astronomical repair bills. In London, surface water flooding, overheating, and drought are looming threats, but awareness and ownership of these issues is lacking. Managing London’s Exposure highlights how stakeholders can work together to mitigate and adapt to climate change, avoiding hefty costs and disruption.

camden town unlimited bid

The Evolution of London’s Business Improvement Districts

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) have become key players in the liveability of this complex city, funding local employment schemes, improving the public realm, and influencing planning and regeneration. This growing influence means BIDs must be accountable and navigate changing relationships – political, contractual and operational. Our BIDs report charts that path with a focus on high street and town centre BIDs. Read more here.