Campaign for a Liveable London – people-centred solutions to meet London's housing needs

Model London, The Building Centre Model London, The Building Centre

The Campaign for a Liveable London aims to promote people-centred and compact communities in London.

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.

Why London?

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. 

Why now?

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.

Project focus 

Liveable London will:

Our target audiences are:

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.


Literature review
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)