The Urban Village quality is an important factor in the ‘liveability’ and attraction of London, not only to Londoners but people from all over the world. This land use pattern is also a driver of economic renewal and growth. Businesses such as those in the creative and technology industries, critical to the future economy, have a strong track record of gravitating to mixed use, highly textured neighbourhoods like Soho, Islington and Hackney. In our Urban Village high streets, we are seeing a revival of entrepreneurial retailers, pointing to an increasing desire on the part of city dwellers for diversity and the ability to live and work locally, and on the part of businesses for affordable start up/growth business space with good local amenities.
What lessons can we learn from London’s Urban Villages, and how can we use these lessons to inform a new wave of growth across the city, within our suburban centres? This year we have teamed up with 4orty Asset Management, a leading retail consultancy operating across the city, and Rightmove to undertake research into the nature of success in London’s Urban Villages. Take a look at some of the issues and ideas that we'll be exploring here.