London’s Neighbourhoods

The places where we live and work shape our lives in important ways. But demographic, technological, economic and policy change are transforming the profile of London’s neighbourhoods and our relation to them. This project surveyed the ways London’s neighbourhoods are changing and explored what can be done to strengthen neighbourhood level responses to local challenges.


London is often described as a ‘city of villages’. The diversity of London’s neighbourhoods and the attachment people have to their local areas and identities is one of its defining features. The make-up of a neighbourhood, the way it is planned, designed and governed, and its services and amenities all influence fundamental aspects of our lives and wellbeing. But a range of deep social, economic and technological transformations – population growth, the rise of social media, the decline of local shops – and policy changes, including cuts to public spending, planning reforms and public service reconfiguration, are transforming neighbourhoods and the way Londoners relate to them.

This project had three elements. First, we mapped resources, policies, and innovations, using quantitative analysis and face to face interviews with elected politicians, public servants, and community activists.

Second, we commissioned a series of short expert essays exploring specific challenges and opportunities facing London’s neighbourhoods.

Finally, we made recommendations as to how national government, local government and civil society can work together to best support neighbourhood level responses to specific challenges.