Are City Villages the Answer to London’s Housing Crisis?

24 March by


Lord Adonis, labour peer, has argued the case for creating ‘city villages’ across London to address the acute housing shortage.  He suggests we need “a powerful new reforming zeal, promoting new and better models of home building, urban regeneration, and partnership between public and private sectors and local and national government."

City villages are areas of redevelopment and regeneration within the cities, they would comprise “socially mixed, multi-tenure housing”, planned not just as housing developments, but as entire communities with integral and modern commercial, retail and transport facilities.

Last week a newly formed think tank IPPR’s City Villages: More Homes, Better Communities was launched at the Royal Institute of British Architects.  It’s overarching message was that any regeneration would require vision, patience and real engagement with the communities.

Speaking at the London-focused event, Lord Adonis argued that the demolition and rebuild of London’s housing estates as denser, more mixed communities offered a route to resolving the capital’s housing shortage while also turning large swathes of the city into more pleasant places to live. His research had shown that there could be as many as 3,500 housing estates of a “reasonable size” across London that could benefit from some level of regeneration.

However, residents of existing housing, proposed for demolition, are understandable nervous about inviting in the wrecking ball, even with the promise of new and improved standards of housing.

Read more about city villages