©Nick Lowndes

The future of the city

With the capital’s population predicted to soar to 10m by 2031 and challenges from rival cities abroad, is London ready?

Capital faces up to growing demand

Regeneration and housebuilding are happening – but can they accommodate a soaring population and overseas investment?


The controversial plans for a 25km ‘super sewer’ beneath London
Nine Elms
The groundbreaking – and controversial – funding of a landmark London regeneration project
A wave of new research institutions looks set to raise London’s scientific profile

A commanding position

London is rare in combining political and economic power – but it comes at a price

Science: Building on a tradition of discovery

Could a wave of new institutions help make the capital ‘the leading scientific city on the planet’?

Old Street roundabout
©Charlie Bibby

Start-ups: Beyond the ‘Silicon Roundabout’

Improvements and growing demand led to rents more than doubling in less than two years

Architecture: Creative tension

Architects must engage with differences in scale, style and era, from medieval streets to steel skyscrapers

Advertising: The capital’s unique selling point

A concentration of skills has made the city a one-stop shop – but it risks cutting off its own supply of talent

Lord Mayor Fiona Woolf photographed at her flat in Mansion House. Photo Rick Pushinsky
©Rick Pushinsky

Comment: We must take the lead

The Lord Mayor of London, Fiona Woolf, argues that the capital can help to change the world

London lives: Marks of a notable past

The stories behind the blue plaques commemorating famous Londoners

Part three

Capital takes the strain in times of austerity

London has fared better than much of the UK, but it is not immune to the impact of cutbacks – and also faces unique challenges

Migration: An open or shut case

Is the push to restrict immigration keeping out the very people the capital needs?

Housing: Foreign players in the property game

Do buyers from overseas snap up homes destined for Londoners – or help to ensure that new developments get built in the first place?

Affordable housing: Local residents are priced out

‘You need either a significant wage to buy or you need to be able to access social housing’

Beware children: schools face new baby boom

The capital needs the equivalent of nearly 200 new primaries by 2017 if it is to meet the soaring demand for places

Free thinking: Can Michael Gove’s pet policy plug the gap?

Of 93 free schools that opened this month, none was in the most affected boroughs

Tax: Trouble abroad for the City?

London’s relationship with Britain’s offshore financial centres is under scrutiny amid calls for greater transparency

Natalie Bennett: The Green Party leader re-imagines the city

Political life has given me many new angles on the city, its past and present, and how this city is becoming riven with faultlines

Video: High flyers flock to London

UK capital’s open labour markets and international outlook lure workers from EU and beyond

Video: London’s housing shortage

What can be done to ensure more affordable homes are built?

Video: London Gateway

The vast port and logistics park is under way in the Thames estuary


Tomorrow’s city: London or São Paulo?

If the views of the young and ambitious offer an accurate guide, the British capital has the edge

A global city with a gift for reinvention

London’s ability to adapt has kept it at the centre of international trade and finance for many centuries – and it is still changing

London and the UK: Of capital and revenue

Does the city’s contribution to the national coffers justify a bid for financial freedom?

Financial Services: City confidence ebbs amid EU exit fears

Uncertainty over the UK’s future in Europe, anti-bank sentiment and reforms are making the Square Mile nervous

Regulation: Will short-term pain mean long-term gain?

Regulators and some analysts argue that the change will make London more competitive in the long run

New challenges for ‘lawyer of the world’

Historic influence and a liberalised market put the capital in a powerful position – but threats are mounting from overseas

How insurance went from ‘laughing stock’ to premium business

Underwriters warn the market must avoid complacency if it is to stay relevant in a changing global market

Britain’s other Olympic legacy

London 2012 was a shop window for the companies that staged it. Now those businesses are taking their expertise abroad

Opinion: The challenges facing the capital

London’s ever-changing population is both a strength and a strain, says Simon Hughes MP

Video: London’s skyscraper boom

Part one

Introduction: Capital plots course to protect its global status

After a golden Olympic year, London faces stern tests at home and increasing challenges from abroad if it is to maintain its international position. By James Pickford

International affairs: Rising with the tide

Future policy must ensure the capital continues to benefit from globalisation

Politics: Running the ‘ungovernable’ city

Powers divided between Westminster, City Hall and the boroughs mean political tensions are inevitable

Model mayors: The role around the world

James Pickford compares Boris Johnson’s powers with those of mayors in other global cities

Transport: Light at the end of the tunnels

Crossrail and massive upgrades of the underground and overground networks are pulling rail infrastructure into the 21st century

Unprepared for take-off: The airport dilemma

Government procrastination on new runways highlights how politics and practical policy making can clash

The highs and lows of a cultural capital

A daring mix of traditional and popular art, and public and private funding, puts London at the cutting edge

Reform is needed to restore confidence

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna says change is vital to protect London’s reputation