What will London look like in the next ten years, and what does that mean for our health?



LSE Cities latest research with Impact on Urban Health maps future scenarios for London, and in particular Lambeth and Southwark, as we begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. These scenarios outline potential policy change that could shape health in inner-city London over the next decade.

The study analysed the current social and demographic characteristics of the boroughs and looked at several factors likely to influence them in the short-to-medium term. Alongside a traditional literature survey and analysis of published data, community researchers who live and work in the boroughs were interviewed to truly capture the social realities of the local communities.

 It is clear that each scenario has markedly different implications for health equity, and that policy makers have great agency in shaping which are most likely. Relatively small changes could deliver vastly improved outcomes. 


RecoveryScenario Five: Cautious Recovery

As well as a model for the way decision-makers might plan, monitor and evaluate policies around health equity, the research also led to three other practical recommendations: 

  • The public sector would benefit from more granular and sensitive understanding of the links between people’s health and their social circumstances 
  • Issues of mistrust in communities must be addressed by ensuring the process of building health equity is equitable itself  
  • Policy makers should learn from the experiences of other cities around the world, particularly in the context of COVID-19 recovery   

The report concludes that Lambeth and Southwark have the assets they need to address health inequality, and develop policies, services and infrastructures that are economically beneficial for far more of their residents. It suggests that relatively small changes could deliver vastly improved outcomes and that 2021 will provide an opportunity to re-set public policy for the better.

Download the full report here

Explore the key takeaways via the Impact on Urban Health, Future Scenarios for Lambeth and Southwark webpage here