Multinational engineering firm, Aecom has released a new study showing that brownfield sites in London alone could yield 400,000 new homes.
Previously developed Brownfield land would need to be repurposed with careful consideration to ‘key’ highstreets and town centres in order for the capital to grow in a more ‘balanced and resilient way’, says the report.
With new homes being built in walking distance of amenities and multiple transport systems, the report states that such redevelopment would not only provide much-needed housing, but also help strengthen local communities and result in more sustainable living.
Almost half a million homes could be built in London across 2,000ha, with all sites identified in the report being no further than 1.5km from town centres.
But Aecom stresses that successful planning should not focus on individual regions in isolation. Rather, it should encompass anywhere within a 60-minute commute from the capital. With a more joined-up approach, redevelopment could benefit the wider ‘London City Region’ and the UK as a whole.
“The challenges of redefining the London City Region post-pandemic and proactively addressing climate change are not being looked at holistically,” says Aecom’s city programme director, Andrew Jones. “We need to make bold moves that focus on compact growth in the city and embrace the interconnected future of the wider metropolitan region.”
With that in mind, the proposed move away from the city’s ‘retail dominated’ composition could also protect the metropolitan green belt, claims Aecom. Whereas currently, the construction consultation giant deems greenbelt land to be ‘undervalued and poorly used’, brownfield redevelopment could prevent unsustainable urban growth, protect viable farmland and reduce long-distance commuting.
If you’re interested to learn more, you can download The London 2070 report in its entirety here.