Overcoming London’s Barriers

A4/M4 flyover

As the capital runs out of easy places to build, remaining sites are often in neighbourhoods divided by roads, railways, and other infrastructure or straddling neglected or contentious borders. Development and estate regeneration can bring their own challenges, marked out by red lines that can inflate land values and/or divide existing and new residents. The impact of these barriers is significant. Lack of easy access to work, shops, schools and services plus the pollution that comes with major roadways all affect physical and mental health. It is often vulnerable people who are most at risk.

We know connectivity is vital to help communities thrive, and are keen to avoid past mistakes. We know coherent cross-sector approaches can unlock economic development and housing opportunities, and can bring about increased mobility, inclusion and community cohesion. What is lacking is a coherent approach to tackling this issue. There are very few tools to measure severance; what does exist is limited to the impact of roads and vehicles.

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

Contact: Nicola Mathers or Amanda Robinson

Overcoming London’s Barriers conference

Future of London’s full-day conference on 21 June will bring together our cross-sector network to share practical approaches to overcoming barriers. See the dedicated conference page for details, speakers, and registration.

Related blog posts

levels of public realm in Olympic Park

Overcoming barriers: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park field trip

Physical barriers including roads, railways and waterways cut through London’s Olympic Park, which straddles four local authorities. On 2 May Future of London visited the Olympic Park to hear how the London Legacy Development Corporation is working across boundaries to overcome these barriers.

Solving Severance: Start with the people affected

Finding effective ways to address how roads, railways, and other infrastructure slice through communities first requires analysis of where and how those barriers actually affect people’s lives. Two field trips,…

The afternoon school run at Clayponds Avenue.

The flyover on foot: walking the A4/M4 corridor

The A4/M4 is an important economic corridor, but it causes severance and pollution for surrounding communities. On 26 Feb, we visited the A4/M4 to learn how stakeholders are addressing these issues.

SUPPORTED BY