New London Architecture

Knowledge Networks: London and the Ox-Cam Arc

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This research paper explores the growth in knowledge-intensive industries across London, Oxford and Cambridge, known as the ‘Golden Triangle’, and examines how the knowledge economy can be strengthened across this region. The project showcase presents over 90 exemplary projects and schemes having a transformational impact on the education, healthcare, technology and innovation sectors in the UK.


As we come out of the COVID-19 crisis, and out of the EU, the UK economy needs an industrial strategy that is firing on all cylinders. The knowledge economy, a key growth area in recent years, will face many of the challenges of the rest of the economy, not least the impact of the pandemic on our universities, but it will remain a key driver of future growth. Vaccine development and epidemiological modelling, which are in the headlines every day, are vital to create a safer world in the future. At the same time, tech has become even more critical, not just in terms of keeping the economy moving during lockdown but providing the means to control future viral outbreaks.

The Golden Triangle includes the strongest biosciences cluster in Europe studying genomics, digital health, artificial intelligence in healthcare, and neuroscience; it contains the greatest concentration of top universities in the world as well as clusters of global tech companies. This dynamic, world-class innovation ecosystem is key to harnessing transformative technologies to support the UK economy. To maximise its potential it needs to be planned and promoted regionally to ensure the development of appropriate buildings, affordable housing and efficient infrastructure.

This will become even more important as the Government adjusts the north-south balance. Boris Johnson can only achieve his election promises if the south-east economy remains strong. He should thus speed up coordinated development in the region and promote the growth of this world-beating supercluster in the Golden Triangle to deliver jobs and successful businesses as well as game-changing innovation.


04 Foreword 
05 Executive Summary 
07 A fast changing context — responding to COVID-19 
15 London, Oxford and Cambridge: a knowledge ecosystem 
20 Development activity and the demand for space 
26 The need for greater regional coordination 
29 Housing 
32 Transport Infrastructure 
34 The ‘Research Estate’ 
37 Equitable growth 
40 The future of public health 
43 Viewpoints 
61 Projects Showcase 
132 Endnotes 
133 Acknowledgements and profiles 


Published June 2020
142 pages

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