This is the first report from the London Futures review. It examines London’s recent history and development to the present day, explores the global challenges facing London, and considers their potential impact on London’s future.
Like the tides of the Thames, London’s fortunes have ebbed and flowed over the centuries. It may no longer be the capital of the world’s only superpower, but London still ranks as one of the world’s leading cities.
Over the last 30 years, London has grown and evolved. By many measures it has been a success story, but in other areas, there has been little progress.
What went well
What went less well
Major forces shaping our world
Today London finds itself at a crossroads. The world is changing, perhaps faster than ever. Six major global forces shaping our world are set to have a profound impact on London’s future in ways that are not yet fully understood.
Understanding where London is today helps us explore what futures might be possible. There are many challenges ahead, and no easy answers but choices will need to be made across competing priorities. To help us explore London’s possible futures, we suggest five long-term illustrative scenarios for the city that could all be possible over the next 30 years. Each prioritises two complementary attributes of city life and addresses the challenges facing London differently.