London is coming back to life. 18 months since the pandemic fundamentally changed the way we live and work, more people are returning to the capital and there is a growing buzz in the streets, in the restaurants and cafés, on the trains and buses, and in the buildings again.
At Montagu Evans we’re looking at London in a new light, building up for a sustainable economic recovery post-pandemic and post-Brexit and addressing the challenges that have accelerated as a result of these seismic changes.
We all have an obligation to make tomorrow better than today. This city, as a national and global space, has always had a very important role to play, but part of its enduring success is its ability to evolve.
For us this means fresh thinking, creativity and, crucially, partnership. Much more than our governance, we look for common ground and relationships that are founded in co-creation, risk-sharing and joint problem solving. It’s also our job, in property, to reflect the needs of every part of London’s demographic by providing a built environment that allows society to flourish collectively.
Our purpose, then, must be to devise the strategies and deliver on the actions that will make it happen, so over the next year our team will be exploring three key themes as we focus on a City of Tomorrow.
The driver of our economy and reason for our place as a global financial capital, London’s workplaces have always evolved, but are they changing fast enough and with the right focus? Buildings that were once accepted as part of the scenery now seem wildly unsuitable and defunct, so how do we redefine, repurpose and improve these spaces to create something better that will last?
There has never been a time where the community has held such importance. It’s clearer than ever that new public and private spaces must offer a wider purpose, helping to tackle inequalities, improving inclusion and making a positive contribution to society and the planet. The potential to do more here is enormous but how we address this in our planning and development needs greater interrogation. We can make a difference at every level – from encouraging wellness and diversity in the way we design and curate spaces, through to the design and management of the tallest towers and reconsidering the role of transport and infrastructure.
How we deliver change across real estate is always evolving, but the pace and nature of change in response to current shifts in our markets means that we must revalidate our approaches. How should public and private sector investors, developers and landowners be reconsidering their role in the development process in order to bring about the change needed, and how are new ideas working in practice across the wide range of projects that contribute to our built environment?
Over the next year, our team will be exploring the City of Tomorrow with our clients, discussing these challenges, and working together to offer new solutions. We will be joining together in thought pieces, events, online sessions and – at last – in-person events and meetings.
Please do get involved and contribute – the more we can collaborate, the better this city can be.