Thank you to all who took part in our Annual London Survey in November.
More than 4,000 Londoners took the time to share their views on what makes London a great place to live, and which aspects of life in the capital could do with some improvement. This blog sums up the headline results, but you can view all of the results over on the London Datastore too.
London: a unique city
Despite clear concerns about house prices and issues like air quality and traffic congestion, the survey shows that London continues to deliver as an attractive place for people to live and work. Satisfaction with the city as a whole and with local areas remains at around three-quarters.
The survey results show that the high levels of satisfaction with the city is driven by London’s attractive, well-designed public realm (43% satisfied), its unique and famous visual identity (57% satisfied), the vast range of opportunities to experience the best of culture and sport (73% satisfied), and fast connections of the world-class transport networks (52% satisfied). It is these aspects of the city that create an extraordinary experience for residents – these are the things make London a unique destination for leisure and work.
In our quest to address problem areas, such as the availability of housing, it is clear that we must not overlook these things that make London such an appealing place to live.
Housing, the environment and urban development are central to life in cities and make up the realities of everyday life for people. Despite overall satisfaction with life in the capital being high, these are the areas which residents clearly identify as areas for improvement. The highest level of dissatisfaction is seen with housing, with 76% of Londoners dissatisfied and only 8% satisfied with the housing offer. In particular, Londoners are worried about the affordability and availability of housing for rent and purchase (9% and 8% satisfied respectively).
While people are more positive about the environment and the built environment, the survey identifies certain issues that Londoners think are important priorities to address, in particular, air quality (57% dissatisfied), making sure that new developments meet the needs of London’s existing residents (41% dissatisfied) and that infrastructure has the capacity to support development (43% dissatisfied). These issues were also cited in participants’ responses to the worst thing about life in London and the biggest challenge for London going into the future.
Presently, levels of satisfaction with London and its localities are high, principally because many Londoners enjoy and take advantage of the extra-ordinary, unique-to-London elements of life they can access. It is clear that people remain anxious about housing. The Mayor has taken steps to stimulate house building, setting an objective of building 49,000 new homes a year, and the flagship Housing Zones programmes in partnership with London boroughs will accelerate house building and help more Londoners into home ownership. Over 99% of the developable public land transferred to the Mayor’s ownership in 2012 has been released for development - and we are on course to meet his target of 100,000 affordable home completions by 2016.
Housing in London will need our continued attention. We need to deliver homes and communities that meet the needs of residents, while providing the space for culture and business to flourish, and building on London’s unique identity.
The London Survey is just a starting point and has raised fresh questions as well as giving us new insights. We’d love to know what you think about these results, and what we should do to address some of the points you raised. We’ve started discussions across the site to keep the conversation going with you. Please feel free to start your own too.