Infrastructure

London Infrastructure: Current Focus Areas

Our work delivering the London Infrastructure Plan 2050 cuts across multiple policy areas within City Hall. Below is an overview of some of the highlights of each focus area.

Effective energy infrastructure planning

Meeting demand and ensuring secure and efficient supply of energy to homes and businesses is crucial to the functioning of our city, daily activities and economy. The LIP 2050 highlights a number of priorities for energy in London, including developing the London Energy Plan (released in 2016) and further demand and supply side measures.

The London Energy Plan 

The London Energy Plan has been developed based on recommendations from the London Infrastructure Plan. The initial outputs of the London Energy Plan are a spatial map of London’s energy supply and demand to 2050 and options for the required supporting infrastructure. It includes projections of heat and electricity infrastructure, retrofitting of the built environment to reduce demand, and electrically-powered transport. For more information on the London Energy Plan and to explore the interactive map see our scenarios to 2050 page.

Reducing Londoner's demands for energy

A number of demand-side measures are being progressed by the Mayor in order to ensure sustainable energy use. Focus areas include improving our existing building stock and improving the energy performance of new buildings.

Ensuring reliable, secure and affordable supply, when it is needed

We want London to have secure, affordable and low carbon energy, generated locally, and a number of initiatives are currently underway to support these priorities, currently being led by the Mayor's Environment team.

Another major focus area is ensuring investment ahead of need in electricity infrastructure at certain locations in order to support development and the provision of new housing. We are working with Ofgem and the wider UK Regulator's Network to address key issues.

Driving London’s transition to a Circular Economy

The Mayor and the London Waste and Recycling Board are taking action to help London accelerate its transition to a circular economy, away from the linear economy that dominates today. A move to a circular economy can both help London reduce its environmental impact as a city, and provide financial opportunities for businesses, Londoners and public organisations, and was listed as a priority area for London in the LIP 2050.

We recently released the report 'Towards a Circular Economy' which sets out the context and opportunities for London's transition to a circular economy. It aims to inform the thinking about future policy, raise awareness within both the private and public sectors of what a circular economy is, and enage stakeholders. 

Further details and the report itself can be found here.

Integrated Water Management

A number of initiatives are underway addressing London's water infrastructure priorities.

The Mayor convened a Water Advisory Group (WAG), made up of representatives from London’s four water companies, water regulators, consumer champions and other water sector experts to advise him on the water challenges and opportunities of London’s growth. This group meets on a regular basis.

The WAG has developed an action plan, which focuses on four key areas:

Focus Area   

 Initiatives

 Regulation

  • Looking at who pays, how and when for new water infrastructure on major development sites
  • Ensuring we value water differently – if we only value water when we have plenty of it, we won’t plan sufficiently for when we don’t have enough of it

 Integration     

  • Looking at how to better manage water supply, drainage, flood risk and water quality in an integrated way to achieve better outcomes at lower costs
  • Identifying opportunities to deliver water infrastructure at the same time as other infrastructure – for example, so we only have to dig up the road up once.

 Innovation

  • Supporting consumers to use the water they have wisely - and helping them manage their water and energy bills
  • Reducing the cost of fixing leaks, so more can be done
  • Generating energy from water and wastewater, and recovering valuable resources from sewage sludge.

 Legislation

  • Promoting the benefits of creating a National Planning Statement on integrated water management to ensure we can plan and build the water infrastructure we need to support growth in London and the wider South East.

Further information on water issues in London can be found here.

Supporting Green Infrastructure

In recent years cities across the world have started to recognise that green infrastructure is an asset that should be considered as being as important as other infrastructure such as rail, roads, pipes and cables.

Green infrastructure is defined as:

A network of green spaces - and features such as street trees and green roofs - that is planned, designed and managed to deliver a range of benefits, including:  recreation and amenity, healthy living, mitigating flooding, improving air quality, cooling the urban environment, encouraging walking and cycling, and enhancing biodiversity and ecological resilience.

The Mayor established a Green Infrastructure Task Force to bring together a wide range of interests and expertise to identify how to encourage a more strategic and long-term approach to investment in and delivery of green infrastructure.

The Task Force has published a report, Natural Capital, with recommendations on the strategic issues that need to be addressed in relation to the design, management and operation of London’s green infrastructure. In particular it argues that the benefits of green infrastructure need to be better described, understood and valued so as to accelerate delivery through demonstrating the case for investment.

Developing Digital Connectivity

Connectivity is growing in importance across all areas of the economy, and everyday life. The Mayor wants every Londoner and London business to be able to access the connectivity they need.

London’s level of connectivity is mixed, with issues varying across the capital. There are patches of poor next generation access (NGA) or superfast broadband coverage in central and inner London, compensated by relatively new and competitive wireless services. Some areas like Rotherhithe suffer from an industrial legacy of little investment in telecommunications at all.

We are taking action to address these varied issues:

  • The Mayor’s connection Voucher scheme, which gives businesses up to £3,000 to pay for the installation of superfast connectivity, has helped 12,500 businesses (as at March 2015). This represents an investment of over £19m in connectivity for London’s SMEs.
  • The Mayor has funded free public Wi-Fi for over 80 public buildings in London including the British Museum, and many art galleries.
  • We have introduced Boroughs to a wide range of providers through focussed seminars. Last year the Mayor launched the Connectivity Rating Scheme. This scheme rates and promotes the connectivity of commercial property, incentivising the delivery of high quality services.
  • We have also identified locations on GLA group property that could be suitable for wireless infrastructure.
  • The Mayor has published a connectivity toolkit for London boroughs, which includes a publically available map displaying levels of connectivity across the capital using Ofcom postcode data, and best practice guide for boroughs and providers.
  • In addition, we have a number of projects that will help to stimulate demand in the long term by encouraging take up of superfast services, including the Digital Skills programme, and the Digital Inclusion Strategy.

 

Transport

Transport investment and planning is at the heart of the Mayor's infrastructure agenda, and has flow on effects for the other infrastructure sectors, as well as housing.

More information on the Mayor’s priorities can be found by visiting the City Hall Transport page or the Transport for London website.