OPDC-train infrastructure

Progress Update

We are taking action on the Growth and Infrastructure issues facing London, from improvements to our mapping application, to setting up a new team to coordinate infrastructure projects. Explore our progress below.

GLA to establish new Infrastructure and Development Resource

In April 2018, the Mayor’s Infrastructure High Level Group approved a business case to establish new resources at the GLA to support improved coordination of infrastructure and property development in London, focusing on planning and delivery. 

The Business Case was produced alongside utilities providers, local authorities, TfL, property developers and central government. 

Organisations responsible for delivering infrastructure often operate in corporate or institutional silos. Opportunities for coordinating between, and even within, providers are therefore missed. This creates huge inefficiencies, such as repeat street works or delays to development, and ends up representing a cost to the public and to taxpayers. 

Our analysis and feedback from stakeholders suggests that improving coordination can result in significant benefits, even if small improvements are made, due to the huge impacts poor coordination has in London  As such coordination is an important priority for the Mayor, particularly in order to realise his ambitions for good growth in the Capital. 

The business case proposes to establish a new team at the GLA, who would provide a range of services across London focused on facilitating the coordination of infrastructure and development planning and delivery. This new unit would deliver services at two levels. A pan-London team will analyse growth across the city, using the Infrastructure Mapping Application and other corporate resources to understand and predict hotspots of activity, and also communicate best practice. Area-based teams will mobilise this information to facilitate coordination in key growth areas of London. These area-specific services would be tailored to local requirements, and agreed through appropriate governance arrangements. 

The proposals include a two-year work programme, with pilot projects in three key London growth areas:

  • The Isle of Dogs and South Poplar
  • Croydon Growth Zone
  • The Royal Docks

The Croydon pilot is already underway. The London Borough of Croydon is working with utilities providers to coordinate joint street works delivery. Using a data-driven approach, the pilot has identified 6.5km of potential collaborative schemes. Leading partners SGN and Thames Water are currently exploring opportunities for joint-procurement of street works on Epsom Road, and have completed site investigations and design. 

Further pilots in the Royal Docks and Isle of Dogs and South Poplar are in development 

An application for funding has been submitted to the TfL Lane Rental Scheme, with confirmation expected in August 2018. We expect the unit to launch in January 2019. 

We will keep you updated on our progress. For more information, please get in touch here.

Development of Infrastructure Mapping Application 3.0 begins

The London Infrastructure Mapping Application (IMA) is a webtool that visualises data on expected future investment in development and infrastructure, alongside relevant context and capacity layers. We are currently finalising plans to further develop the tool, adding ‘smart’ features to help users coordinate infrastructure delivery and plan proactively for coming development.

We welcome your feedback and suggestions for IMA Version 3.0.

New project to improve planning data

We have launched a London-Wide Planning and Development Data Collaboration, working with City Hall’s Planning team and our Chief Digital Officer. The objective is to streamline how local authorities provide data on coming development to City Hall, increasing the quantity and quality of information on planning applications and approved schemes available to the public, while also reducing the administrative burden on borough staff. This should help us provide a more comprehensive picture of where growth is likely to occur across London. 

We have completed the initial research phase of the project.

Read what we learned here.

London Simulator makes case for investment in Crossrail 2

The GLA has developed an innovative new tool called the London Simulator, in partnership with Greenwood Strategic Advisors. The tool improves our understanding of how London responds to major investments, and helps us to evaluate the impacts of policy. The London Simulator has been developed based on system dynamics technology and is the first of its kind for a city such as London.

The London Simulator was commissioned to simulate the social, economic and fiscal impacts of a range of investments and policy choices on London as an urban system, including:

  • Three extensions of existing public transport lines: Sutton Tram, the Elizabeth Line and Bakerloo Line;
  • Crossrail 2;
  • Royal Docks redevelopment;
  • Roll out of high speed fibre-based digital access to every building in London; and
  • Accelerated housing development

Findings from the London Simulator analysis are provided in the report Mind the Gap: Funding and Financing City Investments in the 21st Century.

NIC makes recommendations for London

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) published its first National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA) on the 10th July. The NIC was set up in 2015 to provide independent, impartial advice to Government on the long-term infrastructure challenges and priorities for the UK.  

The headline recommendations set out by the Commission were:

  • Digital – nationwide full fibre by 2033 and a national broadband plan.
  • Energy - half of the UK’s power provided by renewables by 2030. 
  • Waste - three quarters of plastic packaging recycled by 2030 and 65 per cent of all municipal waste. 
  • Water – better resilience to extreme drought, and a national standard of flood resilience for all communities by 2050.
  • Electric Vehicles - preparing for 100 per cent electric vehicle sales by 2030, including a core network of charging points subsidised where the market won’t provide.
  • Design – a design champion and design panels for nationally significant infrastructure; National infrastructure design group.

There was significant emphasis on the importance of cities as both the engines of UK economic growth and for the quality of life they offer citizens.  London received special mention for its international competitiveness and the wider benefits of London’s growth to the nation as a whole.

The report advocates “investment in regional cities which is in addition to, rather than instead of, investment in London”. London’s transport networks were recognised as being more congested and overcrowded than anywhere else in the country. The NIC therefore continued to support the proposal for Crossrail 2 and continued investment in London’s transport network.