Manifesto predicts shortfall of one million homes by 2036 and demands urgent action on infrastructure

London skyline / Cheesegrater

London faces a shortfall of 1 million homes by 2036 unless new sites are found and building accelerated, according to a “Manifesto for the London City Region” published by Aecom.

The manifesto, titled “”Big, Bold, Global, Connected - London 2065”, says that urgent action needs to be taken over the course of the next parliament to ensure that the UK capital retains its status as a leading global city.

In addition to the pressures on housing, it cites the need for ageing infrastructure to be renewed in order to prevent the city from being overtaken by Dubai and Shanghai in terms of competitiveness within 50 years.

The manifesto calls for a region-wide approach to tackling these problems, as greater levels of housing and economic activity will be based in “clusters” outside the capital. It suggests the definition of London be broadened to encompass an area within 90km of the city centre, forming the London City Region.

The manifesto also calls for:

  • Recognition that the London City Region already has a population of more than 20 million, which will rise to 30 million by 2065
  • A revised, integrated approach to economic, population and urban growth - otherwise London will not meet the housing, employment and infrastructure challenges of the next 50 years, jeopardising its global position as a mega-city
  • A new body - a London City Region Board - spanning the public and private sectors to address key challenges in infrastructure, planning, transport and housing;
  • An urgent review of the Metropolitan Green Belt, particularly around tube and rail stations.

Andrew Jones, who led the development of the manifesto and is Aecom’s UK leader for design, planning and economics, said: “We need to think differently about London - not just as a city, but as a city region if we are to meet the multiple challenges to infrastructure, planning, transport and housing that are crucial to London’s competitiveness and quality of life.

“Our manifesto identifies 10 actions to meet the challenges as there is no single solution to meeting housing demand and achieving balanced economic growth. It is critical that within the next five years real progress is made to deliver region-wide collaboration, planning and delivery.”