The Bartlett


On a mission: helping Camden build back better

Supported by academics from The Bartlett, Camden has recently launched four ambitious renewal ‘missions’ to help rebuild the borough post COVID-19, and tackle long-standing inequalities.

Camden Lock (brick building next to canal)

15 June 2023

The new ‘missions approach’ is designed to spark ambitious policy and practical solutions to level up inequalities in Camden that were exposed by COVID-19.

This process was sparked by the Camden Renewal Commission, which brought together a top team of community, business and academic leaders across the borough to catalyse Camden’s renewal. This work is particularly significant to The Bartlett as UCL is based in the borough.

The Commission was co-chaired by the Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) at The Bartlett, Professor Mariana Mazzucato, alongside Leader of Camden Council Georgia Gould. It builds on the ground-breaking work of Professor Mazzucato and IIPP on ‘mission-oriented’ policies.

Through a co-design process that incorporated extensive feedback from diverse communities throughout Camden, the Commission helped launch four missions. The missions address policies and solutions relating to food poverty and sustainability, diversity in positions of power, health and sustainability of estates, and opportunities for young people.

Camden’s four missions 

  • By 2030, those holding positions of power in Camden are as diverse as our community – and the next generation is ready to follow 
  • By 2025, every young person has access to economic opportunity that enables them to be safe and secure 
  • By 2030, everyone eats well every day with nutritious, affordable, sustainable food 
  • By 2030, Camden’s estates and their neighbourhoods are healthy and sustainable 

Local community organisations, businesses and residents are now coming together to bring the missions to life, and build a better, fairer borough. Meanwhile, IIPP is continuing to collaborate with Camden Council, recently publishing a report about how the borough could use its existing community wealth to advance the missions. The IIPP team has also begun a new project exploring how the Council might use its procurement powers to finance the missions.

IIPP has led on putting missions work at the heart of innovation and growth policy globally. Using missions to drive national industrial strategy or innovation means focusing less on sectors, and more on problems that matter to us all, like climate change, ageing societies, preventative healthcare, and generating sustainable growth.

Further resources


Ryan Bellison
Senior Research Fellow in Cities, Climate and Innovation
Email: r.bellison@ucl.ac.uk 

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