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Conservation Research Institute


Planning for residential ‘value’? Urban densification policies and real estate impacts in London

About the Speakers

  • Dr Nicola Livingstone is Associate Professor in Real Estate at the Bartlett School of Planning (UCL).
  • Dr Michael Short is Associate Professor in Planning and Urban Conservation at the Bartlett School of Planning (UCL).
  • Dr Stefania Fiorentino is Senior Teaching Associate in Planning, Growth and Urban Regeneration at the University of Cambridge.


This paper considers the agency and influence of planning mechanisms and densification policies on urban landscapes in London. Urban transformation through residential densification can bring opportunities for property-led development, combined with longer term investment and financial gains for local authorities through planning gain. However, we argue that the measurements and indicators used to define density and its impacts, could be better understood both objectively and subjectively through the lens of an extended notion of ‘value’. Such experiences of density can be viewed bluntly as positive or negative, and through this research we unpack more of the nuanced dimensions of density. The research adopts a primarily qualitative approach, reflecting on relevant
literature and wider policy context through a discourse analysis relating to densification in London. We then evaluate the idea of ‘value’ by exploring ongoing developments through a detailed case study of Nine Elms and use quantitative data on the residential market to illustrate investment flows. Conclusions consider best practice policy recommendations in relation to understandings of ‘value’.

Meeting ID: 993 7039 1017 Passcode: 011099

Wednesday, 3 March, 2021 - 16:00