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UED UK practice engagement

UK practice engagement is undertaken as a core, assessed component of UED’s compulsory practice module, BENVGUE3: Practice in Urban Economic Development.

This core module explores the challenges of promoting economic development in practice, in both developing and developed cities, offering students real-life client-facing research experience in urban economic development and management practices. In undertaking this, and through a series of different teaching and practice formats, the module has the overall purpose of equipping students with the knowledge, techniques and skills required on design and conduct cutting-edge research on challenging issues facing in urban economies.

The London-based fieldwork has more recently been engaging with a range of stakeholders in London's economic development and policy making spheres, including public authorities, government bodies and research organizations. Every year, the project is carried out in collaboration with our client organizations, allowing our students to work as a team of consultants and explore London’s most challenging issues today.

Our approach also focuses on the challenging dynamics or teamwork. We support students in leveraging digital tools for unleashing self-management and distributed leadership within teams. Teams learn to harvest their collective intelligence and collaborate in pursuit of their common purpose.

The London Project spans across parts of Term 1 and 2. It offers a great opportunity for UED students to utilize the theoretical undesrtanding and academic skills acquired in other classes in a practical context, and helps to strengthen their ability to work in team-oriented projects in multi-cultural environments.

Please see below for the previous research areas in London-based fieldwork.

The London Project (2020-2021)

Due to Covid-19 this was the first year that we delivered this module on line. Our students rose magnificently to the challenges set up by our partner organisations despite not all having the opportunity to be located in London. Many thanks to this year’s project partners the Greater London Authority, Enfield Council and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for participating in this collaborative programme.

Our topics this year covered issues arising from the pandemic in terms of social enterprise service provision and impacts on the housing market, we developed a clearer understanding of how meanwhile usage potentially supports placemaking and explored approaches for how to identify the economic benefits arising from good design in urban developments.

If you would like to learn more about the overall module or if you are a policy based organisation that would like to set a topic for our students then please contact Margarethe Theseira m.theseira@ucl.ac.uk

Our research reports are below:

The London Project (2019-2020)

Jacobs

Does major infrastructure deliver the economic and wider socio-economic impacts that are expected?  An assessment of major infrastructure. Comparing economic appraisals in business cases and Economic Impact Assessments to the actual changes that result from projects.

Greater London Authority, Green Infrastructure

How can we value green spaces in London? How might the value proposition change with the introduction of the national park city concept?

Greater London Authority, Economics

Does London have an innovation cluster? If so, how is it impacting on local labour markets and what policies should be developed to maximise inclusive growth outcomes of the cluster formation?

London Borough of Haringey

What have been the impacts on the local private rented market of introducing licensing schemes?

UED london project presentations

The London Project (2018-2019)

The following list provides the Executive Summaries of the final group reports that students submitted to the various client organizations involved in the London Project.

How have other international cities adopted and implemented circular economy policy and programmes. What impact are they having on economic development and what lessons can Old Oak Common and Park Royal Development Corporation learn from approaches of other cities?

Old Oak Common and Park Royal Development Corporation 

Off the back of the Thames Estuary Commission Report and the announcement of Local Industrial Strategies, we are looking closely at the economic vision for London’s hinterlands, many of which underperform despite proximity to the capital. What future for Gravesend?

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 

Learning from international experience of highspeed rail, what effect is HS2 likely to have on urban development in Euston?

High Speed 2 Limited

What are the benefits and costs on cities of the short-term lettings model? In this context, what is the optimum regulatory framework for short-term lettings companies in London?

Greater London Authority Housing Team

The London Project (2017-2018)

The following list provides the Executive Summaries of the final group reports that students submitted to the various client organizations involved in the London Project.

How does the council tax system in England impact on Local Authorities incentives to provide housing and how does this compare to incentives created by tax systems in other countries?

Department of Communities and Local Government

Are there any international examples of successful intensification of suburbs that London should learn from as it tries to build more homes? Intensification for this project should include use of space and will cover employment and other land uses.

Greater London Authority Housing Team

What are the implications of Brexit on London's current and prospective international students?

Greater London Authority Economics

What are the challenges and needs of the creative industries located in Park Royal and what measures are required to attract this sector to the OPDC area in the short, medium and long term?

Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation

The London Project (2016-2017)

The following list provides the Executive Summaries of the final group reports that students submitted to the various client organizations involved in the London Project.

Tech City – the cluster of high growth creative and digital businesses in and around Shoreditch – is emerging as one of London and the UK’s key creators of new jobs. However, there are significant barriers to entry into this labour market - in particular for households in areas of high deprivation in Hackney, on the doorstep of Tech City. Please explore potential public policy interventions to enable local residents, and in particular young people, to fully benefit from the job opportunities being created by Tech City.

London Borough of Hackney

What are the other infrastructure mapping applications available globally and how they help cities to deliver their smart cities agenda? Who are their contributors? What do each of these contributors offer to the application? What has worked and what are the benefits of such applications?

Greater London Authority, Economics and Business Policy Team

What is the overall impact on London of the loss in industrial land in London on the logisitics industry?

Greater London Authority Economics and Transport for London

Where – and how - should new homes be built to maximise the net social and economic benefits to existing communities? The UK Government is attempting to deliver around 200,000 homes a year which involve a number of trade-offs that this research will need to consider. For example, where should the homes be built? What are the advantages of using brown field sites over greenfield sites?

Department for Communities and Local Government

With a rise in agile and mobile working, how are shared workspaces such as serviced offices and accelerators, and co-working spaces, meeting different types of business needs?

City of London

The London Project (2015-2016)

The following list provides the Executive Summaries of the final group reports that students submitted to the various client organizations involved in the London Project.

By the end of 1950s London was in a period of decline but its fortunes reversed in the late 1980s, as population boomed and employment increased. What are the factors behind its economic success and will it continue to grow? What are the limits to London’s expansion?

Greater London Authority Economics

Green economy: How can London harness the opportunities that the green economy will create to deliver sustainable economic growth in London, and what role can institutions (both companies & public sector) play in delivering this?

London & Partners

The latest census data shows that Outer London’s population is growing rapidly and is getting more diverse.  How should these demographic shifts affect our assumptions about London’s spatial patterns of economic growth and inequality? And do we therefore also need to change our assumptions about where new social and physical infrastructure should be concentrated?

Greater London Authority Housing Team

Is there a mismatch between the skills of London’s resident population and the needs of London’s economy?

Department of Communities and Local Government

What innovative techniques, services or behaviours could be introduced to infrastructure delivery of major projects that would bring down costs (focus on quantifying the contributions of the ‘smart’ solutions)?

GLA Economic & Business Policy

The London Project (2014-2015)

The following list provides the Executive Summaries of the final group reports that students submitted to the various client organizations involved in the London Project.

By the end of 1950s London was in a period of decline but its fortunes reversed in the late 1980s, as population boomed and employment increased. What are the factors behind its economic success and will it continue to grow? What are the limits to London’s expansion?

GLA Economics

The paper’s main purpose is examining what are the factors behind London’s economic success after the 1980s and how can the British capital succeed in accommodating the remarkable growth in the number of its inhabitants.

The first part of the research focuses on analyzing the internal and global contexts along with the impact of the economic and labor reforms that the British government implemented during the period in question. In this relation, the report provides useful insights into the positive and negative outcomes from London’s development in the 20th century, related to the forces that have created agglomeration economies and urbanization diseconomies for the city.

The second major section addresses the authorities’ concern about London’s population rise, which is currently happening and is predicted to continue in the near future. After a thorough investigation of the capitals’ past strategies and after a substantial exploration of a number of international case studies, recommendations are provided.

The main techniques that are discussed in the paper relate to either increase the housing availability in the metropolis through applying a densification or a sprawl approach or to create demand elsewhere through establishing local economic developments. The merits and shortcomings of every method are described and interpreted so that feasible propositions for resolving the threat are suggested.

Green economy: How can London harness the opportunities that the green economy will create to deliver sustainable economic growth in London, and what role can institutions (both companies & public sector) play in delivering this?

London & Partners

This report explores the situation of the green economy in London, through a narrowed focus on the low-carbon economy in order to optimize our analysis. We first look at London's comparative advantages and global demand conditions using case studies of London's main competitive cities.

Then four key sectors are identified to be further strengthened and developed – finance, education, retrofitting and transport. Institutions – both public and private – should grasp the potential offered by London's factor endowments to provide stronger policy frameworks and increase investments in these sectors. By analyzing past practices, our research provides adjusted recommendations that institutions should follow to exploit these opportunities London has yet to offer to create sustainable economic growth.

Highlights

  • London's comparative advantages are key drivers for the development of green initiatives in different sectors.
  • Global demand conditions in competing cities are analyzed to assess where competing cities intensely engage in and specializes in are identified as the globally significant sectors in the low carbon economy.
  • Finance, education, retrofitting and transport are key sectors for investment, innovation and policy focus.
  • London Sustainability Industry Park is a good example of London's first successes in switching to a low-carbon economy by having an impact on different sectors.
The latest census data shows that Outer London’s population is growing rapidly and is getting more diverse. How should these demographic shifts affect our assumptions about London’s spatial patterns of economic growth and inequality? And do we therefore also need to change our assumptions about where new social and physical infrastructure should be concentrated?

GLA, Housing Team

This report answers the following question given to us by the GLA:

The latest census data shows that Outer London’s population is growing rapidly and is getting more diverse.  How should these demographic shifts affect our assumptions about London’s spatial patterns of economic growth and inequality? And do we therefore also need to change our assumptions about where new social and physical infrastructure should be concentrated?

The report validates the facts presented in the question by showing the changing demographic trends of Outer London in terms of population growth and diversity. A demographic diversity index was constructed based on 2011 census data consider ethnicity, religion and household. The following assumptions were identified through a study of policy documents and subsequently analysed with regard to the effect of changing demographics.

Assumption 1 | Economic growth Inner London will be the main engine of economic growth for London

Assumption 2 | Inequality Inequality can be reduced through a geographically targeted approach

Assumption 3 | Social Infrastructure Densification and an increase in housing through a geographically targeted plan will reduce the housing gap

Assumption 4 | Physical Infrastructure Physical infrastructure should mainly focus on connecting Outer London to Inner London

The following three competing planning models were synthesized from the assumptions and used as proxies to understand the effect of spatial demographic change.

  1. Mono Centric vs. Poly Centric City
  2. Densification vs. Urban Sprawl
  3. Geographically targeted vs. Aspatial Interventions

The outcome of the analysis is a set of recommendations that are related to the four identified GLA assumptions. Additionally the report finds that the amount of residents in risk of displacement due to gentrification is increasing in Outer London, which is found to be crucial to take into consideration along with the recommendations related to the identified GLA assumptions. The report determines the following recommendations.

Is there a mismatch between the skills of London’s resident population and the needs of London’s economy?

Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG)

In retail, skills shortage is a particularly important phenomenon. Given the low skill requirement for many of the sector’s jobs this shortage appears to be due to a lack of “soft skills” in the labour market. Construction, on the other hand, suffers from a lack of training opportunities, which creates a skills shortage because of inadequate numbers of apprenticeships and a skills gap because of insufficient in-work training.

Determining the true extent of the skills mismatch is made difficult by a lack of consensus on the concept’s definition and because of the difficulty of quantifying skill supply and requirement within the labour market. The latter is particularly problematic when assessing the importance of soft skills, the consequence of which is the underplaying of the importance of these skills in analyses and in resultant labour market interventions.

A complementary explanation for the problems facing young, low skilled Londoners in the labour market appears to be the uneven spatial distribution of workers and jobs across the city. This “spatial mismatch” is created by high transport and housing costs, variable travel times and the limited mobility of those in social housing. Although conclusive evidence is lacking, data suggests that the skills mismatch in London may be reinforced by a spatial mismatch.

The study suggests that the theory of spatial mismatch could be expanded to consider psycho-geographical issues, such as the limited awareness and aspirations of young people, given the importance these factors would appear to have in understanding unemployment in London among young, low skill workers. Awareness is a central and common theme to the two forms of mismatch as limited knowledge of job markets and career pathways skews young people’s decisions about which skills to acquire and where to search for employment.

Addressing the skill mismatch identified needs a multifaceted approach based upon partnerships between government, business and other third parties. Engaging employers in the education system and broader training system should be central to this approach. Successful examples of this exist in both the retail and construction sector, however truly addressing the problem will require a more concerted and widespread effort.

The efficient functioning of any labour market requires a matching of the skills held by workers to the skills demanded by employers. Not doing so results in a mismatch, which in turn causes unemployment, lower job satisfaction and restricted productivity gains. Analysis of primary and secondary data indicates that such a mismatch exists in London between the skills possessed by its young, low skilled people and the needs of two particular sectors: retail and construction. This mismatch is primarily manifested in a lack of people with the required skills, a “skills shortage”, and a difference in the skills held by workers and those needed to perform their jobs, a “skills gap”.

What innovative techniques, services or behaviours could be introduced to infrastructure delivery of major projects that would bring down costs (focus on quantifying the contributions of the ‘smart’ solutions)?

GLA, Economic and Business Policy

London, like so many growing cities around the world, is facing a daunting challenge of providing the infrastructure needs of an expanding population. The city is expected to reach 10 million inhabitants by 2030 and has set out a £1.3 trillion 2050 London Infrastructure Plan that will guide the city’s investment priorities, but the plan faces a £4.4 billion funding gap per annum.

This funding shortfall puts increasing pressure on London to push innovative solutions for high quality infrastructure at a reduced cost. Smart infrastructure provides a premier opportunity for modernizing London at a reduced cost to hard infrastructure investments while positioning the city for long-term success.

Under the broad umbrella of smart infrastructure lies smart parking. Smart parking uses sensor, information, and communication technology to optimize the parking capacity of traditional metered parking through dynamic demand-based pricing.

Beyond efficient parking pricing, smart parking leverages digital applications to provide real time parking availability to drivers enabling electronic payment, reduced waiting time, and decreased roadway congestion. In 2009, San Francisco’s SFPark pioneered a five-year smart parking pilot implementation.

SFPark’s implementation is a model that cities can emulate and provides key insights on the benefits smart parking can create including: a 15% increase in parking capacity, 30% time savings for parkers, 30% reduction parking carbon emissions, and increased revenue from parking.

Though not explicitly in the 2050 London Infrastructure Plan, smart parking aligns with the report’s transport and parking objectives with the potential to guide commuter patterns towards more sustainable modes, reduce environmental impacts passenger vehicles, and provide a much needed additional revenue source for the city.

Currently, Westminster Borough is leading the way with smart parking in London with a recent rollout of partial smart parking. Despite the progressiveness of this endeavor, the project lacks perhaps the most influential principle of smart parking since it does not use dynamic demand-based pricing.

This report explores the potential of a dynamic demandbased smart parking implementation to the more than 158,000 on street controlled parking spaces in London’s 13 inner boroughs and the City of London.

Overall, this analysis provides promising results for the benefits that smart parking could bring London. Three key benefits that could result from a smart parking implementation are quantified as: (1) £166 million in increased parking revenue, (2) £259 million in annual economic benefit from parking time savings alone, and (3) 112,000 tones per year CO2 emission reduction.

Further, a financial analysis on investing in smart parking found a 24% internal rate of return (IRR) over ten years and a timeline of only four years to break even on costs. Broader benefits identified (but not quantified) include: direct and indirect job creation, additional time savings to commuters, increased capacity to the transport network, and improved public safety from less distracted driving.

Contained within the report is a set of key recommendations for London decisionmakers that can best position the city to take full advantage of this emerging technology. 

The London Project (2013-2014)

The following list provides the Executive Summaries of the final group reports that students submitted to various client organizations involved in the London Project.

There are no official figures for London’s service exports. How should we go about estimating these? How important are London’s service exports compared to other World Cities?

Centre for London (CfL)

There is no available data on London’s service exports. Attempts to capture the reality of trade movements in this rapidly growing industrial category are particularly challenging and are still a work in progress at the national level. As a result, policymakers – both at the national and local level – find themselves deprived of important evidence on the trade flows of services.

This is particularly striking given London’s high degree of specialization in terms of international service provision. Moreover, accurate data could allow situating the cities’ performance in the global context, which is essential for a world city of London’s calibre. Overall, we believe that the Greater London Authority (GLA) would greatly benefit of more accurate estimates of London’s service exports.

The aim of this report is to contribute towards the development of a methodology that draws from base data that is comparable in its range and scope across countries and cities. We begin by outlining the conceptual and technical issues that are inherent to the trade in services and highlight the implications this has for statistical systems. We then proceed to critically assess different methodologies that were used to estimate the subnational share of service exports in the UK and the US.

The analysis is used as a starting point to build our methodology, which is the focus of the subsequent part of the report. Building on our findings we were thus able to develop an updated methodology that derives more accurate estimates using city-level employment data per sector as well as national service exports data and national employment data per sector.

Finally, we move on to compare London’s service exports with New York City. The aim here is to show how important London’s service exports are compared to other world cities. We then applied our methodology to estimate service exports for New York between 2002 and 2011. Our findings allow us to compare the importance of service exports for London in light of the performance of another world city. 

How is the changing dynamic of businesses in the City of London reflected in terms of changing patterns of office usage and demands for different types of office space?

City of London (CoL)

The City of London is looking to grow the amount of office space available for developers to build high quality and modern office stock. The City plan is to increase the amount of office floor space by 1,150,000 square metres before the end of 2021 and the construction pipeline supports this target with was 802,000m2 of office floor under construction as of March 2013 (City of London, 2013a and 2013b). In this report, we address the question of if the City of London is on the cusp of a new office cycle.

This report uses an academic framework to analyze the commercial real estate market from work completed by Hendershott, Lizieri and MacGregor in 2010 and Hendershott, Lizieri and Matysiak in 1999. Their work, which was tested in the City of London, highlights triggers that impact the supply or demand of commercial office space, producing volatility and in turn new cycles in the market. Through a literature review, interviews with industry experts and a short questionnaire, the current and future state of the market was defined with respect to the triggers outlined in the framework.

Optimism over the economic recovery from the 2008 crash influences the commercial real estate market as GDP growth leads to higher demand for office space. This correlation is leading to enthusiasm on the supply side of the market as rental and property values are expected to increase this year and into the future. As stated by commercial property consultants CBRE, “With the wider economic recovery also gathering momentum, prime headline City rents are forecast to show high levels of growth over the next two years.” CBRE (2013c, 8) For property developers, expected increases in rents, property values, low interest rates and construction costs present an attractive market to enter. This reinforces the strategy for expansion from the City of London but the demand side analysis show less optimistic picture. 

London has a large & diverse non-UK born population. What benefits does foreign talent working in London bring to the capital – and how crucial will this talent be in supporting London’s economic growth in the next 5/10 years?

London & Partners

This report examines the question of foreign talent and its role in supporting London’s economic growth. The report will examine the influence that foreign talent plays in the growth and expansion of the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) sector in London. In particular, we will examine the impacts on the “Tech-City” area of east London, the area of London which is seeing the development of an ICT and digital media industrial cluster.

The review of documentation on the ICT sector revealed that business leaders in the areas see lack of skilled staff as one of the primary obstacles to growth. An estimate of the skills deficit in the industry suggests at least 20.3% of population from outside London may fill up the ICT skill gaps in London in 2036.

The report also examines the current utilization of foreign talent by conducting a survey on businesses in Tech-City. 12 companies responded and the profiles of numbers and educational attainments of non-UK staff is profiled and documented. One of the conclusions of the survey was that two thirds of the companies who responded don’t regard the new immigration laws as prohibitive on their ability to recruit foreign talent.

What is the scope for the greater use of compensation to third parties to encourage communities to support development?

Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG)

The role of compensation to third parties to support housing development has increased in recent years with the introduction of Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the Community Infrastructure Levy (April 2010) and the New Homes Bonus (February 2011). However, opposition to housing development from those living nearby remains significant with 46% opposing the construction of new homes in their local area (British Social Attitudes Survey, 2011). When combined with an inadequate supply of housing, averaging only 142,050 in the last 20 years (gov.uk, 2013a) compared to the UK Government’s demand forecast for the next decade of 220,500 per annum (gov.uk, 2013b), there appears, indeed, to be a housing crisis.

In this paper we assess how changes to compensation for third parties might be used to encourage communities to support housing development to a greater extent. We also explore the closely linked issue of the planning approval decision-making process and its potential impact on housing supply.

We base our framework of analysis on the Local Government Decentralization Theorem. This says, “If there are no economies of scale or spillover effects then services should be provided at the lowest possible level” (Oates, 1972). According to the theorem, intervention at the lowest possible level (i) takes into account differences in demand and costs by location and (ii) provides greater scope for innovation and experimentation. Both of these factors are likely to be beneficial to third party compensation and the planning approval process.

Under the existing system, there is a mismatch between those receiving compensation and those who are affected by development. Compensation to third parties is predominantly paid at the District Planning Authority level, a structure with an average population of 162,000 in England, yet most of the costs of housing development are incurred by the much smaller number of people living within 50 metres of new construction (Dekkers and Kooman, 2008). Similarly, planning approval decisions are made by officials elected at the District Planning Authority level rather than by those directly affected by new housing development and any related compensation payments. These mismatches may be a material factor in reducing housing supply (Morton, 2010). In line with the Decentralization Theorem, we look at the effects of resolving these mismatches at the smallest possible scale of intervention.

We do this in three ways:

A. An international comparison of the scale at which planning intervention occurs and how this relates to housing supply.

B. A data analysis to assess if compensation to individual third parties is justified on the basis of impairment to property values in the UK in the last decade.

C. An assessment of the scope for involving all of those people directly impacted by housing development in decision-making.

How would London benefit from a more even spread of economic development among other UK cities? How do other countries achieve a lesser reliance on their largest city?

Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG)

The purpose of this research question is to see whether a greater spread of economic development across the UK would benefit London as a global city. Furthermore, we have examined how the UK can expand the national economy without largely relying on its primate city, London.

After carrying out a literature review and research on this topic, we conclude that London does benefit both internally and as a global city from a wider spread of economic growth in second tier UK cities. We conclude this by linking together the benefits derived from the City Deals strategy implemented by the UK government to specific indicators under the Global Power City Index. The framework of analysis and our approach is explained in detail in the following chapters.

Through our framework of analysis, we have gathered together the benefits from the local development strategies and established how this would benefit London. These benefits for London were, but not exclusively to, increasing highly skilled human capital in London, slower population growth, creating a larger market, retaining a higher portion of taxes, and achieving its low carbon economy goal. All of these benefits aid London in maintaining its competitive advantage when competing in the global market.

This report ends with a case study of Germany to illustrate how the German economy has managed to create a polycentric economy with economic development more evenly spread among its major cities. The strengths of the German economy will then be analysed to determine how the UK could spread economic development whilst ensuring London remains competitive in the global market.

How could affordable housing best support employment?

The Greater London Authority (GLA)

Affordable housing is a pressing issue in London and the UK. This report provides a brief outline of some problematized definitions of affordable housing and presents the results of an analysis carried out in order to evaluate how affordable housing could best support employment. Two factors are mainly taken into consideration as the rationale to embed employment support in affordable housing policies: the decrease in social exclusion and the possibility of dealing with market failures in housing and labour market by means of a single intervention. 

A careful statistical analysis of the data from 2001 and 2011 Censuses is provided. The main results highlight that the changes between London Councils have generally followed an asymmetric pattern, with the main differences experienced between Inner and Outer London and between Councils in the East and in the North West. 

Finally, the housing allocation schemes of London‘s 33 Local Authorities were evaluated according to the employment-related policies currently in force in order to provide recommendations on how affordable housing allocation policies could best support employment. 

Is it important that London Government's staff represents the population that they serve in terms of ethnicity and gender? What policies will encourage more people from under-represented groups to work at the Greater London Authority?

Centre for London (CfL)

The main purpose of this study is to examine whether it is important that London Government’s staff represents the diverse population in terms of ethnicity and gender. To achieve this, we conducted a literature review regarding better representation of gender and ethnicity. The review showed that better representation is necessary; not only for the under-represented groups, but also for the London Government as it is their responsibility to reflect the interests of the people they are governing. However, the previous studies also suggested that even though better representation is necessary, it is not sufficient to deliver supportive policies for particular groups.

The policies for women and ethnic minorities suggested by GLA and the outcome of last decade are then examined to assess if GLA is representative to its people. The result and finding suggest that even though the GLA has concerns about the gender and ethnicity equality and roughly reflects and represents the general situation in London’s labour market, they are still tackling the issue of inequality.

The further evidence shows that the inequality problem is sophisticating and there are a number of approaches to identify the underlying causes of this inequality including difference in occupation and education level. Hence, GLA and its policies are not the only factor impacting these groups. We therefore suggest that the idea of better representation is necessary and important as it contributes to better understanding the interests of minority and under-represented groups but it is not the only factor to make a difference.

The GLA Project (2012-2013)

The following list provides the Executive Summaries of the final group reports submitted to the GLA.

How can we support London's SME"s to export more, especially to fast-growing economies around the world?

This report aims to provide an effective way to assist SMEs based in London Tech City to export to China. The information and data collections were based on surveys and interviews with key. Based on the background research, London digital economy has strong competitive advantages in the international market and China has a huge demand market for digital products and service.

According to the results from surveys and interviews, despite China being an attractive market for digital SMEs in London, several barriers such as the lack of international property protection, the language barrier, lack of information of potential markets, company size and lack of export experience, impede access to this huge market.

The revised SME entry selection model highlights the lack of institutional support and promotion of services resulting in fear of poor international property protection in China, little market information and qualified Chinese human employees in British firms. This report recommends the following:

  • Mayor’s Promotion Export Challenge to SMEs
  • Increased data collection on SMEs and refined Digital definitions
  • Promotion of Export Services in Tech City
  • Support of Digital Chinese Student Internships
  • European level collaboration for IP and
  • A return to greater London presence in China
How big is the "medical tourism" sector in London and is it growing? Explain why it is or is not growing.

New patterns of production and consumption of healthcare services emerged over recent decades, together with an increase in sector operators, public press coverage and general public awareness. Global medical tourism is expected to grow in the medium term, hauled by an increased accessibility of information, the development of international accreditation standards for healthcare facilities and international health insurance products.

The term “Medical Tourism” highlights and sometimes overstates the recreational value of the term, while the intentions of many patients drift towards the sophisticated medical treatment available in the principal destinations. Also, “medical travel” is the term preferred by WHO when travelling abroad is dictated by complex medical problems, rather than cosmetic or dental surgery, for example.

Nevertheless, the present analysis encompassed a reflection on the “tourism” element in the Medical Tourism industry: people, or patients, take into consideration factors other than medical treatment when choosing their destination. This aspect is perhaps not adamant, but during our interviews with sector experts and patients it emerged explicitly that the wider opportunities offered by London as a global city place a consistent weight on the decision patterns of international patients.

Our findings suggest that the patients who choose London as their destination for medical treatments, especially those who originate from the former Soviet Republics seek the professional services of broker agencies that organize a package consisting of transport and transfers, accommodation and ancillary tourist services.
However, there is a significant market segment represented by patients from the Gulf Corporation Council, who mostly choose to be treated in London because they are fully sponsored by their Governments.

Both the case studies presented and the interviews conducted depict a strong preference among patients for the “London brand” that along with the excellent reputation of the British education system and specialization and expertise on certain branches of medicine and research, which offset the sometimes prohibitive costs of treatment in London.

These two trends are somewhat recurrent: many countries with underdeveloped health systems send patients abroad for specialised treatment, while self-paying patients belong to high-income groups, and both look for the best quality available.

This report acknowledges the potential and scope for development of medical tourism industry in London. Hence we used Singapore as a reference model to demonstrate the beneficial outcomes and higher innovation potentials that may come from increased influxes of medical tourists and from enhancing and sustaining the sector.

Furthermore, we present a critique of the status quo: obtaining a VISA is a lengthy procedure even if needed for medical treatment, and public institutions so far have not promoted a common platform to strengthen the competitive advantage of London-based operators.

These, in turn, appear to be under-represented on the international panorama and even though in the medium term Medical Tourism in London does grow due to the listed factors, their market share may be at risk. Therefore, the fundamental drawbacks of undermining this sector are to be overviewed. 

How did London's ethnic or diaspora business communities see the economic benefits/costs of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (choose 2 or 3 communities)? Explain why they have this view.

There is intense competition amongst cities to host what can now be called ‘mega-events’. London won the right to host one such event, the Olympics, which above all else can afford this description, with attendance at the events themselves reaching over 8 million and television audiences around the world in the billions.

The most compelling reason for cities to bid for these sporting spectacles is the promise of vast economic returns. It is also evident that cities use these events as a springboard for kick-starting development and investing in infrastructure. The question therefore is whether the economic benefit comes to fruition and trickles down to business communities in the catchment area of the mega-event.

This report considers the benefits and costs of London 2012 on ethnic minority and diaspora business communities. The main aim of our research was to gauge the perceptions of two east London ethnic minority or diaspora communities towards the recent Olympic and Paralympic games. We carried out interviews during December 2012 and January 2013, with a total of 30 businesses willing to partake in our research.

This report has six main threads:

  1. The theory of sports regeneration and its emerging role in economic development
  2. Defining and identifying ethnic minority groups, including a profile of our chosen communities.
  3. Our strategy on how we approached answering the question using primary research and the use of relevant literature to reinforce our findings.
  4. The impact of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games on ethnic minority and diaspora business communities.
  5. Our perceptions of the economic benefits/costs on our chosen communities.
  6. Our recommendations for policy makers on how to reach critical mass, based on our interactions with local ethnic minority and diaspora business communities.
What factors should be considered, and how should planning policies be designed, for the management of what remains of land designated for industrial type of activities in London? Explain why.

This report examines London’s changing industrial land and the current city-level policy towards its release. The authors examine the current policy set forth by the Mayor, Boris Johnson as well as taking a closer look at a particular London borough, Newham.

By combining an examination of policy, statistical analysis, and looking beyond the UK’s borders, the authors conclude with a number of observations and recommendations. Current GLA industrial land release benchmarks are not met and are non-binding. The GLA are recommended to expand and refine their use of data and work to yield more influence over the boroughs. 

Highlights

  1. Benchmarks do not reflect economic and industrial release reality
  2. Regardless of policy, effectiveness limited by lack of awareness or willingness
  3. GLA policies do not consider trends in industry and sometimes self-contradictory
  4. GLA must examine new sources for policy creation
What, if anything, should be done to regulate London's private rented housing sector and what are the expected economic benefits and costs of such policies? Explain why.

This report for the Greater London Authority is focused on the current state of the private rental housing market (PRHM) for students in London. It aims to provide a framework to function as a basis to further explore alternatives in the student private rental market.

We argue that the increasing cost of rent may negatively affect the competitive advantage of the education industry in London. The increasing costliness of higher education in London may negatively affect its price-to-quality ratio in a national and international perspective, as well. Prospective and current, UK-based, EU and overseas students are confronted with sharp rises in rent and rising tuition fees. Overseas student suffer stricter immigration laws.

In our opinion, there exists a market failure in the student housing market that needs to be addressed. Students bring large amounts of capital and other positive externalities into the London economy but are being priced out of the market. Our results indicate that the position of the London education industry in the global market may be weakened by the costs of studying in London. Student rental rates have been increasing and students report a low quality-to-price score of their rental unit.

The decision making power in regards to how the PRHM for students develops is largely controlled by private developers and the boroughs. A more balanced policy framework in which national regulation and GLA are more prominent is desirable in order to coordinate the supply more efficiently. Public-private partnerships, that set prices to recover cost rather than to maximise profits, should be explored to expand supply and reduce student rents.

A more controlled price of student housing, in which rent stabilisation can play a role, can positively affect the affordability of studying in London. The current lack of affordability and lack of efficiency as a place to study within the life cycle, might lead to London attracting the national and international financial elite only, instead of students of academic talent. This would be contrary to London’s city-marketing strategy.

We believe that exploring alternatives is needed if London wants to continue to breed academic talent that enhances its innovative capacity and forms a high-skilled labor pool. We believe this to be vital to maintain London’s position as the world-leading global city.

Highlights

  • Rents in the private rental housing market for students in London are rising
  • London’s competitive position as a student city is under pressure
  • Decreased financial revenues, asymmetric information and uncoordinated governance are issues
  • Alternatives to counter this market failure could be explored, such as;
  • Rent stabilisation, governance restructuring and public-private partnerships
Is the business incubator and accelerator model proving successful in supporting business start up and growing SMEs? What further support should/could the public sector offer to improve business start up and survival rates? Explain why.

The objective of this report is to evaluate the Business Incubator (BI) and accelerator models’ successes in supporting business start-ups and fostering Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and the contributions that the public sector could implement to improve business start-ups and their survival rates. The focus here is on BIs created by academic institutions and those by the private sector for technological SMEs.

In this report a BI is defined as a mechanism that supports business enterprise development by creating a process that nurtures infant SMEs at the early stage of development, helping them to survive and grow during the start-up period when they are most vulnerable.

In contrast to BIs, accelerator models focus more on growing SMEs and help guide them to a stage of maturity. However, there are overlaps between the two models and therefore when it comes to technological business support, accelerator models are said to be a specific type of BI model rather than standing on their own.

The focus on BIs created by academic institutions and those by the private sector for technological SMEs, is due to the fact that London’s current focus is on models for technological SMEs and a high proportion of these start-ups are led by academic institutions (universities) and the private sector. Also there is a
global trend towards boosting new technological SMEs. 

A host of research methodologies are employed in writing this report, mainly literature research, questionnaires, as well as phone and face-to-face interviews, in order to collect primary and secondary information. 19 BIs (7 university BIs and 12 private sector BIs focusing on technological SMEs) were interviewed and surveyed. 87 SMEs were surveyed, 39 SMEs being in university BIs whilst the remaining 48 were from private sector BIs. 

Various yardsticks such as the range of services the BIs provide to SMEs and their turnover rates, the amount of finance available to the start-ups, and survival and commercialisation rates of SMEs can be employed in deciding if BIs and accelerator models are successful in supporting business start-ups and growing SMEs.

However, output data on current and previously incubated SMEs are in short supply at firm/company/organization, city and national level. In the absence of such data, this report will assess BI inputs using the range of services provided (workspace, mentoring, shared facilities and services, and access to finance) in order to measure the success of BIs and accelerator models in supporting SMEs. Best practices in New York show that BIs offering such a range of services are more likely to prove successful in terms of support. 

Based on the above criteria, the report evaluates the success of BIs in London and finds the following: 

All the BIs provide physical workspace and 89% also provide virtual workspace. The rent charged for workspace varied from BI to BI, but all workspace rents are not subsidised and in London they are so expensive that BIs target their workspaces to SMEs who are already trading/generating revenue or those who are close. 

87.4% of the SMEs said that they feel the current rates paid are very high. Thus London has a lack of affordable workspace, and not simply workspace. According to our surveys and interviews, university BIs explicitly provide access to external high-tech and business expertise as compared to private sector BIs.

However, 17.9% of SMEs incubated by university BIs felt the support they received was not good enough because the mentors were too far removed from their focus, and also they were not benefiting enough from the university’s technology research/expertise.

Private sector BI mentoring is found to be less explicit and less regular and is mainly through networking events. 87.5% of SMEs incubated by the private sector were not satisfied with the mentoring provided as the mentors at times did not have in-depth expertise and at the networking events it is not always possible to find a person specific to their needs. In addition, all the BIs provide office equipment, shared business services, meeting rooms, ‘breakout’ spaces, and kitchen facilities that all SMEs can use.

Most university BIs also provide SMEs with student and graduate interns who have knowledge in the research or enterprise being explored. 84.2% of SMEs said that the above shared facilities and services were sufficient for their needs. Apart from specific BIs, i.e. accelerator BIs, none of the other BIs offer finance or access to finance at entry into incubation.

Once in incubation, access to finance is offered by BIs through Demo days and Angel events. 86.2% of SMEs felt that their BI did not do enough for them financially as they felt that their BI’s knowledge of access to finance is lagging and the BIs often provide the same investors/venture capitalists at events. 90.8% of SMEs said access to finance is an essential service for business start-ups and growing SMEs. 

Furthermore, the above results led to 6 recommendations which were also influenced by the existing policies of three comparison cities; Berlin, Singapore and New York. However, adjustments were made to suit London’s situation.

  1. The London government could create incentives for BIs to provide a comprehensive range of services (workspace, mentoring, shared facilities and services, and access to finance) instead of only focusing on workspace.
  2. The government could serve as a public venture capitalist for London local SMEs through BIs. 
  3. A legitimate hybrid public-private authority could be established. This authority has three major tasks: first, cooperate with other government agencies to provide SMEs with a comprehensive range of services; second, collect data at the city level; third, employ legal policy changes to create incentives for technological innovation, transfer and commercialization.
  4. Cooperation among the five entities (government, industry, universities, research institutions and finance institutions) could be promoted.
  5. The government would gain from allocating the limited resources towards SMEs in particular industries instead of spreading out; this has proved to be cost-effective in other comparison cities.
  6. “World Innovation Network” should be encouraged by promoting BIs to build up the competitiveness of SMEs both domestically and abroad.
Identify London's tech convergence opportunities and outline options for London government's role in enabling this fusion (such as supporting the development of a new Fin Tech Accelerator Programme, which is currently in development). Explain this options.

The London government should expand its smart metering programme, which will help consumers understand the long-term energy saving associated with green home technologies. A more informed consumer base will demand green technologies in new built developments, which will act as in incentive for construction companies to design and build greener homes.

This report argues that the technological convergence in the construction sector is an opportunity that can be achieved most efficiently through demand side initiatives such as smart metering rather then relying on the construction industry to converge with green technologies naturally. 

The GLA Project (2011-2012)

The following list provides the Executive Summaries of the final group reports submitted to the GLA.

Is there a correlation between rental values and energy efficiency of properties in central London, and why?

Group 5 undertook the task of finding a correlation between energy efficiency and rental values in central London, and why?

Qualitative evidence, collected via interviews with property professionals, provided ‘anecdotal’ and ‘tenuous’ evidence of a positive correlation between energy efficiency and rental values. Chris Jofeh (Director & Global Buildings Retrofit Leader, Arup) suggested that ‘there is not a correlation between energy efficiency and rental values in central London at present – however there will be in 2014’. Further anecdotal evidence, suggested that for every £1 spent on improving the operational efficiency of a business: £1 is spent improving the asset’s (property) ‘energy efficiency’; £10 is spent on ‘rent’ and £100 on ‘staff’ (1:10:100).

The ‘operational efficiency ratio’ was a reoccurring ‘theme’ throughout the interviews. One property professional suggested that instead of looking for a ‘Green Premium’ (whereby occupiers pay more for ‘green features’) our research might also look for evidence of a ‘Brown Discount’ (where a property yields a lower rent due to a lack of ‘green features’).

Other anecdotal evidence from property investors, indicated that ‘voids’ were the imperative in this market place not energy, securing or renewing tenant leases was more pressing than energy efficient measures. However, investors conceded that ‘energy is likely to play a more prominent role in deciding the rental value of properties, as inefficient buildings will face increasingly onerous tax liabilities’ (First Alliance Properties).

Also, the Energy Act (2018) is expected to legislate, that buildings scoring Energy Performance Certificate labels of ‘F’ and ‘G’ will not be allowed to market themselves – further anecdotal evidence of the ‘Green Premium’ and ‘Brown Discount’, whereby those properties either side of EPC label; ‘D’ will achieve positive/negative rental returns.

The group set out to prove/disprove the qualitative responses from the interviews by developing a questionnaire. One of the recommendations the group has reconciled, is that having developed a questionnaire (Appendix 1) to establish whether there is a qualitative and quantitative correlation between energy efficiency and rental values in central London, and why?

The most popular response to the questionnaire was respondent’s required ‘substantial’ resource to complete it. Regrettably, the results of the questionnaire were negligible due to a 1:100 response rate, and have thus not been included in the report.

The group’s independent quantitative research yielded a negative correlation between rental values and energy efficiency in central London. Why? Our central recommendation would be for a central fully accessible database with complete and up-to-date property transactional data, which also included composite property ‘energy efficiency’ data (energy consumption) including full energy performance certificate information.

Nevertheless, it is perhaps premature to find a correlation between rental values and energy efficiency, anecdotal evidence suggests that government policy, such as EPC and BREEAM has not greatly impacted the commercial property market in London, yet.

However, empirical data from the US, Australia and the Dutch commercial property sector indicates that there is a positive correlation between rental values and energy efficiency. Perhaps, it is the ‘insular’ and ‘secretive’ nature of the London property market, arguably one of its strengths, that has made obtaining a correlation not possible.

An investigation of the Retrofit Employer Accord Pilot: should sector-focussed employability and skills programmes be developed?

The low carbon economy sector has great potential of becoming one of the main drivers of economic growth and job creation in London. A few sector-related programmes have been initiated in line with the Mayor’s plan to transform London into a low carbon capital. This report investigates why the Retrofit Employer Accord Pilot (REAP),a sector-focussed employment training project initiated by the London Development Agency (LDA), was not capable of building upon opportunities arising from this sector and failed to meet its targets in delivering sustainable employment for London’s long-term, low-skilled unemployed. Based on that analysis, the report aims to draw certain lessons to be considered when developing future similar projects.

Method

This report used qualitative primary research to conduct the analysis. Interviews were carried out with employees at the broker organisations who were directly involved in the implementation of REAP, policy experts at the Greater London Authority (GLA) as well as the Lead Organiser at the Green Jobs Alliance. The report used the Interactive Employability Theory as the framework for analysis, and applied thematic analysis to the interviews conducted. It was also aided by different market reports and useful resources.

Results

The report concludes that the unsatisfactory outcomes of REAP were mainly caused by both a ‘market failure’ and ‘institutional failure’, and acknowledged that it is problematic to assign a weight for each due to significant weaknesses found in both dimensions. Moreover, a better understanding of causes could be aided by further and deeper analysis, including comparisons with similar projects under better economic conditions, which goes beyond the scope and resources available for this report.

Conclusion

The report concludes that sector-specific employability and skills programmes can be beneficial especially in a new and emerging sector. However, implemented under similar conditions, they should include a close cooperation between different stakeholders, guaranteed internship opportunities and a better risk assessment during the development stage.

What is the economic case for ensuring the planning system provides for affordable creative workspace (e.g. in Central Hackney) when entrepreneurs can move further east where land values are lower (helping to regenerate run down areas in greater need of economic activity) and why?

This report responds to a question set by the Greater London Authority (GLA) in the context of its objectives of promoting economic and social development and environmental improvement for London.

The question is multi-faceted and highly complex. It raises a host of sub-questions relating to the role of the planning system, the importance of the creative sector to London’s economy, the benefits of agglomeration, and processes of regeneration and gentrification in East London. Our response touches upon all of these issues but focuses particularly on the emergence of Tech City and the provision of affordable creative workspace in London Borough of Hackney.

The first section of the report discusses the key issues that underpin our approach and outlines a conceptual framework for the analysis. The second section investigates the demand and supply of affordable workspace and assesses the case for market failure. The third section examines evidence of rising land values and improving connectivity and assesses how these changes affect the economic case for providing affordable creative workspace in different locations. The concluding section draws together the wider policy implications and suggests areas for further research.

Does the work of London & Partners in encouraging foreign direct investment improve the competitiveness of London and why?

In recent years the world has begun to witness a transformation of the international competitive landscape, with cities now actively emphasising ‘competitiveness’ as a primary strategy for sustainable growth and development into the future. One such strategy is to grow and develop the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, which is intrinsically linked to innovation and high-value added processes.

This report seeks to understand how the foreign direct investment that London and Partners attracts to the ICT sector is affecting London’s competitiveness. It first examines the services that London and Partners provide clients based on if they are aimed at attracting new firms to London, or helping to foster the growth and expansion of existing foreign firms. Second, the paper then uses Porter’s competitiveness diamond as the framework for understanding the four factors that affect an industry’s productivity and ultimately level of competiveness.

By ultimately linking the two approaches to understand the effects that the attracting and fostering services have on the four diamond forces, the strengths and weaknesses of London and Partners strategy are examined. It is concluded that London and Partners has the opportunity to strengthen its effect on London’s overall competiveness by supporting the formation of more linkages between clusters, with knowledge generating institutions, and facilitating access to investment capital and incentive schemes.

How can planning prevent Enterprise Zones from becoming displacement zones and why?

Enterprise zones were introduced in the 1980s in order to stimulate enterprise in areas that had suffered significant employment loss. In each enterprise zone there was a reduction in bureaucratic legislation and provision of tax incentives aimed at property-led area regeneration.

Based on an introduction of relevant theoretical and empirical background, this report begins with a reinterpretation of displacement, and then charts possible recommendations after detailed analysis of economic and social displacement that occurred in each enterprise zone and draws lessons from the example of Singapore.

In this report, we argue that the coalition government new enterprise zones should learn from experience in policy decisions of the 80s/90s and introduce a new zone-based strategy which focuses on investment in labor, skills and other relevant challenges UK business face today.

This report reflects the inter-relationship between enterprise zones and planning, illustrating how planning has shaped designated zones and how they in turn have influenced planning.

Do Business Improvement Districts Work? If so, why?

Whether or not a light bulb works is simple enough to respond to. However, once a subject’s outputs become more complicated than on / off, less clear in their existence and their affects more subjectively felt the question ‘does it work?’ has become a far more complex question. Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are the subject of much literature though mostly focusing on their incarnation in the United States. Relatively little has been written about those in the United Kingdom much less those of the capital. Do BIDs work then for London? Do they support the Greater London Authority in achieving its objectives for the capital?

Research has been carried out through analysis of:

  • Data within British BIDs’ National BID Surveys 2008-2011 to detail the nature of Central London BIDs
  • Metropolitan Police crime data to measure improvements in crime in the area of Camden Town Unlimited (CTU) against areas of London with similar crime levels
  • Interviews with small business owners within CTU and Ealing Broadway BID and a range of BID stakeholders

We have found that BIDs and councils see BIDs as a powerful tool for engaging businesses and creating a joint vision for an area as well as attracting and harnessing in-vestment. However, interviews with small business owners suggest that the form and ethos of a BID can have dramatically different impacts leading to exclusion in some areas and effective support and inclusion of businesses in others. Analysis of crime data has also called into question whether the claims of BIDs in crime reductions are justifiable.

Our closing recommendations are that the GLA encourage BIDs to increase inclusion through form and ethos decisions, advance small business mentoring and concentrate spending in ways that simultaneously increase competitiveness of the BID area and London rather than exclusively the former. It is further recommended that the GLA seek a leading role in debate around expansion of BIDs’ remits (Portas,2011); and, work with councils to investigate mechanisms to facilitate vision creation and lobbying on behalf of non-BID areas to avoid resulting penalisation in public funding decisions.

Does Mixed-Used Work to Stimulate Local Investments and Why?

Mixed-use is an essential element in cities. It produces healthy, lively places where people, ideas and capital flow in and out. The concept of mixed-use is, however, ambiguous as it can be understood as different things for different people. It is constrained by local planning and development. Therefore, finding a correlation between mixed-use and local investments proves difficult.

This report focuses on the linkages between permeability and local investments to prove that a greater mix of uses has a positive correlation with the generation of employment in a given area. Permeability is defined in this report as the intensity with which people and capital penetrate an area.

To measure permeability at the Borough level across London we have used five variables: (i) non domestic land use, (ii) ratio of trips per resident, (iii) the proportion of tourist/commuter expenditure as a whole, (iii) and a connectivity index to measure the level of connectivity and density of an area.

We have categorised the results for each Borough into five levels of permeability to demonstrate that permeability changes from one place to another depending on these five variables. We have then mapped local investments in each borough, using job density as a proxy, as we considered that the generation of employment is a key element of any investment.

What is clear from the mapping of both variables is that there is a geographical gradient. Areas with higher permeability and job density are located in Central London and as we move outwards to Inner and Outer London these elements reduce, albeit with great variability. A second conclusion that arises is that the correlation between both variables is positive, yet circular since they feed on each other. Where permeability levels are higher –greater mix of uses –job-density –local investment –increases and this in turn attracts greater diversity –mix of uses.

From this analysis it is clear that Outer London stands out as a challenge for planning as the stimulus on local investment and mixed-use remains weak. This, as evidenced in the last sections of this report, results in undesirable development and lifestyle patterns for what we understand should be a sustainable city model. In this section we have focused our attention on the decline of town-centres, perverse transport modes and the potential of small enterprises in Outer London.

If the GLA is to address through policy the creation of sustainable local economies under a polycentric city model then it must focus on endogenous factors of growth as a realistic way of stimulating the local economy, rather than exogenous factors that require greater levels of investment (i.e. Olympics legacy, new Enterprise Zones).

The Thames Gateway Project (pre-2011)   

Thames Gateway Transport and Infrastructure: London City Airport

By Colin Maly, Rubbina Karruna, Yuan Liu and Shiuan Yu Chen

"You won't find any development plan [for City Airport], let me emphasise. It's all about a couple of dinner parties in west London." Practitioner interview with a former LDDC employee.

As the above quote demonstrates the development of London City Airport (LCA) makes for an interesting and unique case study for regeneration. The airport was built within the context of a heavily deprived area of London, which had seen its main source of jobs and GDP decline with the loss of the shipping industry mainly because of containerisation.

It was seen by the local governing body at the time - the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) - as an opportunity to deliver regeneration in the docklands while also providing an opportunity for the private aviation developers – Mowlem – to build the first STOL airport in the UK. This report sets out the unique way this project was both conceived and delivered, identifying what we believe were the implicit strategies and methods of delivery, as we have learnt there was no documented strategy set out for the project.

Furthermore we will state that the most useful way to view the project is as a form of public-private partnership and therefore it was partly a market-led regeneration project. Within the evaluation of these strategies we have been critical of the fact that there was no master plan and that crucially neither partner - public nor private - thought to set out a transport strategy.

However we also highlight some of the interesting ways in particular the private partners sought to deliver their strategies for building local support and proving the project's feasibility. We then go on to give a brief overview of the airport's future in light of both UK transport policy and the economic recession.

Finally in looking at lessons learnt, we acknowledge that upon completion LCA struggled due to its perceived inaccessibility. It was only in the early 1990s when the surrounding transport infrastructure was improved that the success of the airport began to take off in terms of passenger numbers and flights. And it was only through government intervention that those improvements took place.

So perhaps regeneration cannot solely be delivered by the market but needs to be done with local and central government assistance. However we believe that while this was a project, which from conception to delivery wasn’t necessarily as transparent as a PPP should be, it does provide us with a valuable case study of regeneration-led development.