Solving Severance: 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

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