This campaign aims to promote 'liveable neighbourhoods' within the London Plan and to develop alternative 'people-centered' responses to London's increasing housing, infrastructure and economic demands. It is part of CPRE London's Liveable Cities project.
Why CPRE London?
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) works nationally to reduce the pressure of inappropriate and unsustainable development in the countryside. Good urban planning and design is the opposite side of the coin - urban areas are good for people when they are well-designed, connected, open, inclusive and provide opportunities for local people to engage. Such design reduces the need to travel by car, improves affordability, increases local ownership and wellbeing and reduces the threat of sub-urban sprawl. We don't want to see the 'donut' development' of many US cities where car dependency rules.
House prices and rental charges in London are the highest in the country – more than twice the average annual London wage - and London has one of the highest levels of inequality within cities across the country (Cities Outlook 2013). According to the 2011 London Plan, London's population will reach an estimated 9 million by 2031. The 2011 Census suggests even more rapid population growth than this. Despite being the richest region of England, Londoners report the lowest average life satisfaction and highest levels of anxiety (Gov Today, 2012). Can we deliver higher levels of housing within London whilst also improving people's quality of life?
The London Plan has set a target for building 322,100 additional homes between 2011-2021 to address this need (GLA 2013). This target is now been revised upwards with new estimates calling for over 50,000 new homes in London every year for the next 10 years. London and the South East are under increasing pressure in terms of delivering sufficient water, energy and land, air quality, transport and service provision e.g. schools, health care, elderly care, community support and recreational amenities. At the same time London councils are facing massive economic challenges in terms of public sector cuts whilst needing to respond to growing business, social and environmental demands.
CPRE London has been involved in campaigning for compact communities for over 12 years (see: Compact Sustainable Communities report). We recognise the pressures on London's urban systems and their impact on the surrounding South East are now greater than ever. The Mayor’s London Plan 2011 and housing guidelines have set targets for the 32 London boroughs and the City of London, pressing developers to build at higher residential densities.
Additionally, due to the Localism Act 2011, communities have new powers to produce neighbourhood plans which can decide on the development in their local areas. These plans have the same legal weight as those produced by London boroughs and, with support and guidance, offer an opportunity for London’s citizens to take a lead the design of their neighbourhood planning and design.
Liveable London will:
- Promote a 'Liveable City' approach to the London Plan, reflecting alternative local responses to London’s increasing housing, infrastructural and economic demands
- Identify and review good practice that are community-led, resilient and support wellbeing in London’s residents and users
- Develop guidance and tools to equip the public, developers, councillors and officials with resources about which developments work best and how
Our target audiences are:
- Active citizens - equipping people with tools and approaches to actively engage if not lead in neighbourhood design and development
- Built environment professionals - to support those keen to deliver sustainable urbanism within London and more generally
- Builders, developers and funders - support those who are leading in this field and encourage wider uptake
- Policy-makers - engage local councillors, planning authorities and national policy makers to encourage their support of liveable city approach
Although this project is focused on London, we recognise there is a wealth of experience and remedies beyond the capital. The tools and resources developed will draw from these examples and the results made available to all CPRE members, and other groups and organisations involved in built environment debates throughout the UK and beyond.
|Draft London Housing Strategy|
|COMMONPLACE neighbourhood liveability pilots|
|Reports and guides
If you are interested to get involved or find out more, contact: office(at)cprelondon.org.uk