Remixing Central London

Think tank: Centre for London

Author(s): Josh Cottell; Claire Harding

March 10, 2022

This report from UK think tank the Centre for London looks at ensuring a successful and harmonious mix of housing and economic activity in central London.

Remixing Central London examines what is needed to ensure a successful and harmonious mix of housing and economic activity are supported in central London – against the backdrop of shifting demands for retail and office space, flexible approaches are one idea that might allow more people to live in the city centre, converting sites like car parks, empty shops and offices to homes. The report puts forward recommendations for national, regional, and local policymakers to realise benefits of increasing housing supply while preventing any negative outcomes. Residents who spend time in their local area not only spend money in the local economy – they are also likely to play a “stewardship” role in their neighbourhood and add vibrancy to an area. Mixed use neighbourhoods where residential sits alongside retail, cultural and commercial spaces offer a unique place to live, work and visit. To ensure that central London can be home to a varied population and strong communities, the report recommends that planning authorities should require all major residential developments to include a mix of different-sized homes to make central London an attractive and attainable place to live for a wide range of residents. However, to ensure that property use remains flexible so that London can continue to respond to changing national and global needs, the report recommends that Planning authorities should require property owners to manage buildings in a way that enables them to be redeveloped later – including a presumption in favour of rents rather than private ownership for residential uses.