In a country transformed by COVID-19, Brexit and the global upheaval to supply chains and industry caused by the ongoing war in Ukraine, it is crucial to explore the opportunities ahead for us to redesign the current outdated model of our high streets, where crisis has been mounting for decades. Approaching these challenges and seizing upon opportunities must start with the question, “what does the future of the UK’s towns and cities look like?”.
This workstream will seek to devise policy solutions to provide local government in the UK with the tools it needs as convener and master-planner of local centres, cutting across issue areas like new ways of work, infrastructure innovation, transport, business and access.
Driven by the dynamics of a new political cycle, we are on the edge of a major shift in how we shape our built environment, set our economic ambitions, create inclusive place ambitions and deliver local public services. This sea change will shift the paradigm of place-based provision for the next decade as all the […]
Over the last thirty years landfill policy has been among the most successful and singularly effective of government environmental policies. Since its introduction on 1st October 1996, the UK landfill tax has succeeded since the start of the millennium in drastically cutting local authority waste sent to landfill by 90%, encouraging waste reduction, reuse, recycling […]
Approaches to regeneration necessarily vary across the country and within regions to respect the genius and distinctions of place across our cities, towns and villages. This is as it should be. However, as we enter the end of one political cycle and await the start of a new one, what lessons, both broad and particular, […]
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the context of a clear national mandate for levelling up, public organisations and councils across the political spectrum are waking up to the idea that there is a great deal more they can do in partnership with residents and communities. The Connected Society is a policy […]
There is perhaps no better barometer of local economic health than the local high street. Rightly or wrongly, nothing gives such an immediate impression of a place. And the recent pandemic has highlighted the importance of having a good local high street or town centre as we have rediscovered the pleasure – and sometimes the […]
The relationship between the levelling up agenda and London has been the subject of intense scrutiny, both inside and outside of the city. The Local London subregion – comprising the boroughs in East and North East London – presents a clear problematisation of the often-presented view of London as a universally prosperous economic monolith. Local London and […]
Ahead of COP 26, government departments have been commissioned across Whitehall to inform the cross-government Net Zero Strategy that, amongst other things, will detail plans for decarbonisation across key sectors of the economy. One of the most significant challenges in reaching net zero is the need to retrofit the nation’s housing stock and increase energy […]
There is perhaps no greater issue driving division in British politics than the serious gap between aspirations for home ownership and the malign effects of constrained supply. This situation, in which we don’t build or supply enough affordable homes in places where people not only just wish, but need to live, is the unhappy reality […]
The Plan for Growth, released in March 2021, is the UK government’s new plan setting out its view on how to recover from the pandemic through ‘building back better’ and ‘levelling up’ across the UK. It sets out government objectives to ‘support economic growth through investment in infrastructure, skills, and innovation’. And serves as a […]
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven the resilience and strength of England’s local government in keeping our communities safe. Equally, the ongoing socio-economic consequences demonstrate the need for strong place-based leadership and governance at the right level to help our recovery. This is especially true for Oxford, one of our country’s leading cities and one that […]