The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


UED student research showcased by Lord Mayor of London

6 June 2017

UED mayor of London news

Each year, as part of the London Project, students studying for the MSc in Urban Economic Development are tasked to deliver a research report and presentation for client organisations who are responsible for policy making in the capital city. This unique programme started when Dr Colin Marx approached Dr Margarethe Theseira, who was then managing the economics function for the Mayor of London, to set some questions tackling real life economic development issues facing the city. The programme has been expanded by Margarethe in the intervening years, who joined UCL as a staff member. Questions are now not only set by teams within the Greater London Authority but also by Local Boroughs, Central Government Departments and other agencies such as London and Partners and the Lee Valley Regional Park.

The scope of questions that have been tackled by students to date is extraordinarily varied, a reflection of the complexity of economic development policy making for a global city such as London. Way before Brexit was even a word, students identified for London and Partners the benefits that foreign talent working in London brings to the capital and how crucial this talent is in supporting London’s economic growth. Students have also provided recommendations to the Department for Communities and Local Government about the role that leisure, public space, services and residential property play in helping high streets and town centres adapt to changes in the retail market.

Earlier this year, the City of London Corporation asked students to identify lessons from other international cities about their provision of shared workspaces to help them consider how best they can support businesses. They were so impressed by the quality of the research of Hui Chai, Ebrima Cham, Adar Schneider, Nasia Taliadorou and Kaiting Wang that they have showcased the students’ findings on their website.