Increasing the density of housing is now a key and widely recognised aim for future development in London. Dense new towers, courtyard blocks and riverside homes are popping up across the city, but there has been little research asking residents themselves what works and what doesn’t.
A project led by the London School of Economics and Political Science, with support from the Greater London Authority, has sought to address this research gap. Focusing on a range of case study housing developments, and using multiple qualitative research methods, the project aims to provoke discussion and inform best practice for the future of housing in London.
Density research reports
This ‘mini-report’ summarises some of the key findings from our research.
The full-length report produced with the Greater London Authority, providing in-depth qualitative insights and statistical detail.
The Density Team
Kath Scanlon is Associate Professorial Research Fellow at LSE London. She has a wide range of research interests including comparative housing policy (across all tenures–social and private rented housing as well as owner-occupation), comparative mortgage finance, and migration.
Her research is grounded in economics but also draws on techniques and perspectives from other disciplines including geography and sociology, and aims at improving the evidence base for policy decisions at national or local level.
Since 2015 she has focused on ways of accelerating new housing development in London, looking at a range of solutions from cohousing and other collaborative approaches to the potential of large-scale private rented schemes. She recently edited an authoritative book on Social Housing in Europe (Wiley, 2014).
Kath has worked with a number of national and international institutions including the Council of Europe Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and Denmark’s Realdania foundation. She has lived and worked in the USA, Spain, Denmark, Yugoslavia, Kuwait and Peru, and speaks Spanish, Italian, Serbian, Danish and a bit of French.
Fanny Blanc is a project coordinator at LSE London. She holds a dual MSc in Urban Policy from Sciences Po and the London School of Economics, and a BSc in Physics from Sorbonne University.
She specialises on housing and equality of chances in the city. Fanny’s work has focused on some of the most pressing changes in London’s housing environment, specifically development in the Metropolitan Green Belt.
Tim White joined LSE Cities in 2016 to work on the ‘Experiencing Density’ project, which explores the day-to-day life of residents in London’s new high-density housing.
He is also an ESRC-funded PhD candidate on the Cities Programme at LSE, where he is tracing the proliferation of corporatized ‘co-living’ spaces in urban centres.
Tim’s work examines urban change – focusing particularly on housing, class and community. Tim holds an MPhil in Planning, Growth and Regeneration from Cambridge University, and a Geography degree from King’s College London.
Meghna Mohandas is currently pursuing her postgraduate degree in the MSc. City Design and Social Science program at LSE.
She holds an undergraduate degree in architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, India. She has previously worked with two non-profit organizations (SELCO Foundation and the Indian Housing Federation) in India where she worked on developing housing solutions for low-income communities.
Meghna won the third prize in the Berkeley Essay Writing Competition (by University of Berkeley, California) 2015 for her article “Vermillion of Hope”, and has worked as a contributing author for Vowels India magazine where she wrote about the intersection of architecture and informality. She has also attended various courses on architecture and planning, including a short-term program on Urban Planning at Aalto University, Finland. She is currently working as a part-time Research Assistant on the “Experiencing Density” project at LSE Cities.