Driving towards urban recovery in London: Future scenarios for Lambeth and Southwark post Covid-19

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. This report suggests that relatively small changes could deliver vastly improved outcomes. 2021 will provide an opportunity to re-set public policy for the better.

This report analyses the existing social and demographic characteristics of the boroughs, looks at a number of factors likely to influence them in the short to-medium term and then evolves a series of ‘scenarios’ designed to help shape future policy. The scenarios have been developed in such a way as to take account of the lived experience of the 650,000 residents of this section of inner city. Interviews were undertaken with community researchers and senior public service providers, including the executives of the London Boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark, and Guys’ & St Thomas NHS Trust.

Based on the stats, lived experience data and scenario mapping in this research, key recommendations include:

  • Public sector organisations work closely with local experts to monitor short and medium-term social and economic change in London. This includes better coordination of research and statistical development, to gain a more granular and sensitive understanding of the range of those who live and work in the two boroughs. Our Urban Health Index is a good place to start
  • Issues of mistrust towards government, health and social care providers are taken more seriously, and addressed by prioritising the voices of people with lived experience – those often excluded from research and decision making
  • Local, city-wide and national politicians leave behind the ‘wait and see’ approach, and have the confidence to deliver future-focused policies  with health equity at their centre
  • Policymakers learn from international experience of post-pandemic recovery – as we did in our emerging lessons from COVID-19 report – to inform public sector policy in Lambeth and Southwark

RecoveryFuture Scenarios for Lambeth and Southwark: A cautious recovery


This report is the outcome of a collaboration between Impact on Urban Health and LSE Cities about the future of Lambeth and Southwark. Download the full report below or explore the key takeaways via the Impact on Urban Health - Future Scenarios for Lambeth and Southwark webpage here.

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Publication date
June 2021

Tony Travers, LSE London and School of Public Policy

Ricky Burdett, LSE Cities

Alexandra Zisser, LSE Cities