London's Towns: Shaping the polycentric city

London is growing. As central London becomes increasingly unaffordable and as the population continues to expand, many people and businesses are settling beyond the centre. This new NLA Insight Study - informed by in-depth research, interviews with key experts, and workshops - examines the future of the capital’s outer urban centres, exploring the next wave of development taking shape and looking ahead to how the capital could be strengthened as a truly polycentric city - creating a sustainable, liveable city.

DOWNLOAD - free publication or BUY hard copy

EXHIBITION - visit the free exhibition 

EVENTS - join us for the London's Towns programme

SURVEY -  let us know what you think of your local town centre 

Centres such as Croydon, Bromley, Romford and Kingston – once historic villages and market towns, but later absorbed into London’s huge suburban growth in the 19th and 20th centuries – have distinctive characters that are being reshaped with new development, alongside emerging centres at White City, the Olympic Park, Royal Docks and Greenwich Peninsula. But the idea of London as a multi-centred (‘polycentric’) city is still often undermined by the perception that the outer districts service the centre, putting intolerable strain on infrastructure in particular. How do we unlock opportunities for transport investment and orbital movement across the city, and what impact could this have on the way in which people live and work in the city? 
 
London’s local towns offer an opportunity to utilise a smarter, more intensive, affordable and attractive sub(urban) typology that integrates spaces and places for living, working, relaxing, learning and making – making places that work for local communities as well as London as a whole. However further opportunities for intensification hinge on investment in transport infrastructure, with the Elizabeth Line, HS2, Crossrail 2 and Bakerloo extension all set to unlock new areas of development.
 

The results of the research is supported through October 2017-January 2018 by a research publication, major public exhibition and a three-month programme of events

London's Towns forms a key part of our year-round London Boroughs programme.

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