Insight Studies

NLA Insight Studies address the central issues affecting the shape of the capital through new independent research, public exhibitions and debates.


Upcoming and Past Insight Studies Toggle

London’s Towns: Shaping the polycentric city

October-December 2017

Part of the NLA Boroughs programme

Launching in Autumn 2017, London’s Towns will look at the new wave of development coming forward in London’s zones 3-6 and examine how policy can support London’s growth as a polycentric city. Research will examine the opportunity for housing-led, higher density, mixed-use redevelopment of London’s outer town centres; the impact of new transport investments in supporting orbital movement; and the changing relationship between the centre and the suburbs.

Further information to be announced shortly

Contact the NLA for more information on how to get involved

London: Design Capital

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates - One Vanderbilt

May-June 2017

Launching in Spring 2017, London: Design Capital will uncover the global reach of London’s built environment industries. From masterplans to individual projects, the Study will celebrate the capital’s exceptional design, engineering, urban planning and consultancy skills; highlight the new skills and technologies being developed for global markets; and examine the value and future for London’s built environment industries in a post-Brexit world.


October-December 2016

Part of the NLA Work Programme

London is having to work harder than ever to compete on a global level to attract and retain the best talent. Availability, affordability and quality of workspace will be critical, yet space for commercial and industrial uses are under threat as the demand for housing pushes up land prices and planning policies favour conversion of offices to residential use. This Insight Study examines how London can ensure its future resilience through its provision of space and land for business.

New Ideas for Housing

Holmes Road Studios by Peter Barber Architects

October-December 2015

It is clear that there is no silver bullet that will increase the level of house building and make up for years of under investment. That is why the NLA sought new ideas from architects, contractors, manufacturers, economists and house builders. This study illustrates a wide range of ideas and approaches to the delivery of new homes – some that can be delivered within the current regulatory system, others need a shift in policies in planning and funding.

Public London

Kinetic Rain Garden © John Sturrock

April-June 2015

Public London examines the transformation of London's public spaces over the last decade. It covers the evolution of placemaking; connectivity of the city; ownership, funding and management of public space; how we measure the value of public space; and how London's public spaces will need to adapt to the needs of a growing city.

Smarter London

© Eric Fischer

October-December 2014

Smarter London explores how data, technology and analytics are changing the way we design, build and manage the city. It uncovers a host of exciting smart projects taking place in London and examines the role of data in the development of a single building to large-scale city-wide infrastructure projects such as Crossrail, as well as the new role that gaming plays in community consultation projects.

London’s Growing Up!

View From St Pauls towards The City - PROPOSED © Visualhouse & photographer Dan Lowe 2016

April-June 2014

London’s Growing Up! brings together a mass of data regarding planning applications for tall buildings that is available through the planning portals of local authorities, together with published and unpublished future plans for developments, in order to highlight some of the massive changes that are taking place in the capital over the next couple of decades.

Great Estates

October-December 2013

Much of the story of London's development can be traced through the historic ownership of large pieces of land which, through the on-going ownership of freehold assets and their lease terms, have created a resilient cycle of change and renewal. This insight study examines the evolution of London's Great Estates and their impact on the development of new large-scale areas of the capital under a single ownership.

Planes, Trains and Drains

March-May 2013

Planes, Drains and Trains examines the far-reaching changes to London’s infrastructure that are taking place and what needs to happen next to maintain London’s competitive position. With 1.25 million more people living in the capital in the next 20 years and 750,000 new jobs, the need for investment in London’s creaking infrastructure is overwhelming. So how do we speed up planning, financing and delivery of new projects?