Centre for London


Helping plan for healthier, greener and less car-reliant ways of living in London

As the population of London continues to grow, our streets and roads come under increasing pressure. Air pollution, road safety and cost of travel are already huge concerns. There’s an urgent need to change the way we plan and get around the Capital.

“Traffic congestion and its effects are problems we face every day in London – going to work, school or running errands,” says Soma, our Executive Trustee. “We want our city to be a healthier place for our children, so we have to find practical solutions to the pollution generated by motor vehicles, without compromising the mobility of people and goods.”

That’s why we gave £30,000 match funding to the Centre for London to fund research and guidance that will help prepare for the future. Aimed at developers, planners and architects, the project reported on the challenges of planning and designing large scale new developments for healthier, greener ways of living and getting around.

  • Annual legal air pollution limits have been reached in London within one month.
  • The Mayor’s new Transport Strategy, aims to increase the proportion of journeys made by foot, bike or public transport from 63% today to 80% by 2041.
  • We gave a grant of £30,000 to fund research into planning healthier, greener ways of living and getting around London.

Aims of the research

The research tackled some vital questions, including:

  • How can road design encourage smooth traffic flow while minimising air pollution?
  • What approaches should developers, planners and designers adopt to manage the often-conflicting demands placed on roads and streets?
  • How should developers balance the needs of different road users, such as car owners, cab drivers, freight and service drivers, bikers, cyclists and pedestrians?
  • What might future technology mean for urban mobility?


Centre for London captured the findings in a policy-focused report which included eight recommendations on how existing policy and practice needs to adapt. The recommendations were targeted at the Mayor of London and mayoral agencies, boroughs, developers, planners and architects.

Building for a New Urban Mobility  was published on 28 January 2020.

  • The report has been shared with policymakers in City Hall, mayoral candidates and the Department for Transport.
  • It was viewed 500 times within the first two days of launching, an additional 175 stakeholders were given a printed report at the launch event. The research received excellent online engagement, reaching an estimated 45,000 people. 

  • Since the report was published, the government has announced it will review the ‘Manual for Streets’, which guides street design in the UK. The report recommendations will also be incorporated in the Centre for London’s manifesto for the next London Mayoralty.


“Sustainable transport is key to cleaner, greener neighbourhoods in London. The grant from Kusuma Trust supported a research project on how we can harness innovation to make this happen in the city’s new developments.”

Silviya Barrett, Research Manager at Centre for London

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