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Discover how our capital city will change and grow over the next twenty years

London: Knowledge for the Future

London, as capital city of the UK, is a constantly changing place, shaped by its people and its property in equal measure. 

Its prosperity to date has been based on its diversity, its scale and its talented population, all of which seem likely to remain as defining characteristics of the city going forward. But as we look ahead to 2040, what are the factors that will most impact the capital’s capacity to evolve and adapt?

On Tuesday 30 October over 200 clients and home team attended the London Market Insight Breakfast held at The May Fair Hotel.

The theme for the event was ‘London: Knowledge for the Future’ tying in with the Our Cities campaign. Kevin McCauley, Head of London Research explored the latest trends in the property market and our forecasts for the future in the face of political and economic uncertainty. Our guest speaker Noreena Hertz discussed the influences of technology, economics, social change and Generation K, and what the implications of these influences were for London and real estate.

presntation slide

Please click above or here to download all the slides from the presentation.

London; Our Cities

This collection of articles suggest that it will be a myriad web of influences that shape London and its success in the coming years; factors as diverse as major infrastructure projects, such as Crossrail, changes to its economic base, such as the growth of the Life Sciences sector, and social changes, driven by the rise of technology in the lives of its people. 

Explore the suggested articles below to discover what we think will be the biggest drivers of change, and examine our view of the future of London.

Social housing

By 2040 councils will have a bigger role in providing city social housing, but (barring a radical change of policy) housing associations and PRS landlords will still be in the lead in 2040.

Legal services

Law firms under pressure from technology and globalisation will force further change in their city real estate footprints. The court estate will shrink, providing conversion opportunities.

Financial services

Technology (and a resulting ‘Big Bang 2.0’) could cause further de-clustering of financial services, but continued concentration has advantages and is still very likely to dominate the industry in 2040.


Tourism will accelerate as a major economic force in our big cities over the next 20 years.

City branding

All major UK cities will have attempted a city branding exercise by 2040 – but will it work?

Higher education, graduate retention and talent

Graduate brain drain to London will increasingly be mitigated by growing house price differentials.

Privatisation of public space

An inevitable rise in privately owned public spaces within our cities by 2040.


Today’s tall buildings will be tomorrow’s city heritage. Plausible that the ‘Cheesegrater’ will be listed by 2040.

Over station development

Over station development could be providing significant housing in London by 2040 – but not in other cities.

Housing tenure choices in 2040

By 2040, the majority of those living in a major city will be renting their home.

Institutionally owned private rented housing

By 2040 investment will have completely transformed the private rented sector, with around half a million households in institutionally-owned rented homes.

Smart cities – UK city officials survey

New survey findings show UK city officials focus on people-centric technologies to deliver smart cities, not on tech for tech’s sake.

Urban logistics

E-commerce will represent over third of all retail sales by 2040 – which means bigger, higher boxes in cities.

Cities Cultural Offer

City industry used to drive city culture – by 2040 it will be the other way around.

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Contact Us

Adam Hetherington
Managing Director
+4420 7182 2000
Kevin McCauley
Executive Director, Head of London Research
+44 20 7182 3620

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