London is made up of diverse communities. Its neighbourhoods, schools, workplaces, parks, community centres and all the other times and places Londoners come together give the city its cultural character and create its future. Planning for Good Growth means planning for these communities – both existing and new - helping them to flourish and making new connections between them.
London is one of the most diverse cities in the world, a place where everyone is welcome. 40 per cent of Londoners were born outside of the UK, and over 300 languages are spoken here. 40 per cent of Londoners are from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, and the city is home to a million EU citizens and 1.2 million disabled people. The success of London’s communities relies upon this diversity. To keep them strong, London must remain open and inclusive, allowing everyone to share in and contribute towards the city’s success
This will not be easy. London is one of the richest cities in the world, but it is also home to some of the poorest communities in the country, with wealth unevenly distributed across the population and through different parts of the city. It is home to an ageing population, with more and more people facing the barriers that already prevent many from participating fully in their communities. Traffic dominates too many streets across the city, dividing communities and limiting the interactions that take place in neighbourhoods and town centres.
Delivering good quality, affordable homes, better public transport connectivity, accessible and welcoming public space, a range of workspace in accessible locations, and social, physical and environmental infrastructure that meets London’s diverse needs is essential if London is to maintain and develop strong and inclusive communities.
Early engagement with local people leads to better planning proposals, with Neighbourhood Plans providing a particularly good opportunity for communities to shape growth in their areas. Taking advantage of the knowledge and experience of local people will help to shape London’s growth, creating a thriving city that works better for the full diversity of its inhabitants.
To build on the city’s tradition of openness, diversity and equality, and help deliver strong and inclusive communities, those involved in planning and development must:
- seek to ensure that London continues to generate a wide range of economic and other opportunities, and that everyone is able to benefit from these to ensure that London is a fairer and more equal city.
- provide access to good quality services and amenities that accommodate, encourage and strengthen communities, increasing active participation and social integration, and addressing social isolation.
- ensure that streets and public spaces are planned for people to move around and spend time in comfort and safety, creating places where everyone is welcome, which foster a sense of belonging and community ownership, and where communities can develop and flourish.
- promote the crucial role town centres have in the social, civic, cultural and economic lives of Londoners, and plan for places that provide important opportunities for face-to-face contact and social interaction during the daytime, evening and night time.
- ensure that new buildings and the spaces they create are designed to reinforce or enhance the legibility, permeability, and inclusivity of neighbourhoods, and are resilient and adaptable to changing community requirements.
- support the creation of a London where all Londoners, including older people, disabled people and people with young children can move around with ease and enjoy the opportunities the city provides, creating a welcoming environment that everyone can use confidently, independently, and with choice and dignity, avoiding separation or segregation.