Experts look at how we can strengthen London’s polycentricity and ultimately its resilience to future crises.
The variety and diversity of London’s neighbourhoods – its local civic places, especially high streets and town centres, shaped through centuries of development – have played a major role in its success and identity as a world-leading city. These are the places where the social, economic and environmental needs and functions of the city meet and are visible to everyone. But they have been profoundly affected by both long-term trends, particularly the rise of online retailing and changing shopping behaviours, and the devastation of the pandemic, leading to prolonged shutdown of most day-to-day business activity and restrictions on travel for many over the past 18 months.
As we emerge from the pandemic, attention is now targeted on strategies for both recovery and resilience, to understand how best the capital can respond to and manage the effects of both future shocks alongside those of structural global socioeconomic and environmental challenges.
The NLA research paper “Local London: post-pandemic recovery” investigates London’s flexibility and adaptability, looking ahead to how high streets and town centres are changing to integrate a new mix of uses, enhanced public realm and improved infrastructure. In this event, experts look at how we can strengthen London’s polycentricity and ultimately its resilience to future crises.