The coronavirus crisis has dealt London a particularly harsh blow: commuting has reduced to a trickle, global tourism has frozen, and unemployment claims have soared.
While some services (including finance and business services) have quickly switched to remote working, those sectors that rely on physical proximity to customers have been very hard hit.
London’s town centres have been affected by the pandemic in very different ways. Those relying on workers and visitors have seen spending collapse, while neighbourhood centres have gained new customers. The overall impact of the pandemic is still uncertain, but could provide an opportunity to rethink how London functions, and how people work, live and travel around the city. Longer term challenges including an ageing population, automation, the climate crisis, inequality and Brexit set the context, but also give us the urgency to act.
This project was commissioned by Cross River Partnership to:
- Enable its members and partners to think through the potential impact of the pandemic on London over the next two to 10 years;
- Consider possible future models for its town centres, their function, their relationships and their connectivity, and;
- Make recommendations for action, so that opportunities can be captured, risks mitigated and a positive vision for the future realised.