"Centre for London will promote wider understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing London and develop rigorous and radical policy ideas for the capital."

After a successful incubation period with Demos, Centre for London has now gone independent.

The Centre began life as a project within Demos pursuing rigorous and innovative policy solutions for the capital, and with Demos' support has been able to work with groups and organisations from across the city and establish itself as a critical friend to its leadership. The Centre continues to grow, and 2013 marked full independence from Demos.

Details of the full range of research programmes and events led by Centre for London can be found at


London is a hugely successful world-class city and for many peoples a wonderful place to live. London is a global centre of economic, social and intellectual innovation, a seat of government and a city of business generating around 21.5% of the UK’s GVA. But the capital faces enormous challenges.

Housing is in desperately short supply and our roads increasingly congested. Economic growth has faltered, and public services face enormous pressures. Even in the good times, London had the highest rates of child poverty, in-work poverty and pensioner poverty in the country. Despite being the economic engine of the nation, too many people are denied the opportunities the city has to offer. 

Given these challenges, it's surprising that London hasn't previously had a think tank of its own. Centre for London has been established to fill that gap.

Through its research and events, the Centre works to promote a wider understanding of the challenges facing London, and to develop long term, rigorous and radical policy solutions for the capital. Centre for London is being grown by Demos and will become independent in time. It looks for support from a mixture of private, voluntary and public sector funders and works collaboratively with its supporters, drawing on their experience and expertise.

The centre is being led by Ben Rogers, and has its own board, chaired by Liz Meek, CBE.  



The Centre launched its first report, London's Calling, in November 2011, looking at London’s record in widening access to higher education among its school leavers.  The Centre's second report A Tale of Tech City, was an-depth investigation into what London's tech entreprenuers say supports their growth.   

The Centre has held a series of highly successful events, including a seminar series on the Thames, a debate forecasting the key issues in the Mayoral campaign, lectures with Edward Glaeser and on Jane Jacobs, and the inaugural London Conference with Boris Johnson, Ken Livingstone, Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe, Dr Joan Clos (former Mayor of Barcelona) and Janette Sadik-Khan (Commissioner , Department of Transportation, New York City) among many others.


London's Calling
Stephen Evans, Rob Whitehead
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Centre for London looks at higher education and social mobility in the capital.

A Tale of Tech City
Rob Whitehead, Emma Vandore, Max Nathan
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This report looks at the future of digital innovation in Inner East London.

Home-work: Helping London's social tenants into employment
James Gregory, Jonathan Todd
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This report looks at in-to-work programmes run by London's social housing landlords and asks how they could be redesigned to help more of their tenants into employment.

Dec 18

The case of London’s disappearing traffic: the plot thickens

Scott Le Vine explores the reasons for the drop in London's traffic levels.

Aug 30

Oops they did it again...

Giulia Macgarr lambasts the representation of women in the Olympic and Paralympic ceremonies.

Jul 17

Focus on the five boroughs

Ben Rogers says the Census reveals the uniqueness of the five Olympic boroughs.

Jul 16

A street without cars

Rob Whitehead draws wider lessons on traffic-free streets from a recent Hackney street party.

May 2

Ten proposals for the mayor

Ben Rogers outlines ten proposals for the mayor's next term. 

Apr 24

Give cyclists more freedoms on London's roads

Ben Rogers says let cyclists turn left at red lights, idea #5 in Centre for London's 10 proposals for the Mayor.

Apr 20

Give the Mayor control over JobcentrePlus and the Work Programme

Rob Whitehead proposes idea #3 in Centre for London's 10 proposals for the Mayor.

Apr 19

Pop-up Parishes for London

Ben Rogers proposes idea #2 in the Centre for London's 10 proposals for the Mayor.

Apr 18

Let London employers decide on transport

Ben Rogers proposes idea #1 in Centre for London's 10 proposals for the Mayor.

Apr 11

London and English city mayors

Ben Rogers on what the referendums for directly elected mayors in English cities means for London.

Mar 19

Greater London authority?

Ben Rogers argues that devolution for London should be higher on the mayoral candidates' agendas.

Feb 24

London World City: will the next decade be different?

Global Cities expert Greg Clark considers how the challenges London faces today have changed over 20 years.

Feb 21

Turnaround or turn over

Roland Chanin-Morris argues that elected mayors have brought stability to London.

Feb 16

Trouble with the tickets

Rob Whitehead asks how far problems with ticketing could damage the London 2012 Olympic legacy.

Nov 22

London: World City, then and now

Ben Rogers argues that there is much to celebrate 20 years after London: World City was published.

Nov 21

London Schools level playing field for poorer children

Rob Whitehead introduces Centre for London's latest paper.

Nov 7

Is this Olympics good for London?

Rob Whitehead looks at the fundamental issues facing the Olympic Park Legacy Company.

Oct 27

An Urban Legacy

Ben Rogers takes stock of changes to England's built environment.

Oct 3

Consensus after the riots?

Ben Rogers previews the Singh report, out next month.

Sep 12

What should the New Met Commissioner Do?

Why fairness is more important than toughness in securing people's compliance with the law.

Sep 5

In London, it's jobs, stupid

Ben Rogers on the London riots and the need to tackle unemployment, not fecklessness, amongst London's young people.

Apr 19

On The Road

Ben Rogers says re-designing the streets and taxing large cars would help reduce accidents.

Feb 10

Have London boroughs had their day?

Ben Rogers asks what the Localism Bill will mean for London.

May 3

An idea for the new mayor: pay-as-you-go roads

Ben Rogers writes for the New Statesman on one proposal among the 10 ideas for Mayor.

Dec 9

Change here for a new book to read on the train

The Evening Standard comments on the winner of #ideas4mayor

Nov 8

Bright Ideas for London?

The Evening Standard launches Centre for London's twitter campaign, #ideas4mayor



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Jun 29

The Triumph of the City: How our Greatest Innovation Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier

A review of the first mainstream book from Edward L Glaeser, professor of economics at Harvard and widely acclaimed genius.

Jun 29

The Life and Death of American Cities

Ben Rogers looks back on Jane Jacobs seminal book. Her classic book on urban living is 50 this year. Our leaders would do well to read it.

Jun 27

Moving the Poor Out of Town Doesn't Solve Poverty

London is set to become more like Paris, with a rich inner and poor outer.  Is it this or overall poverty in London that should worry us most? ask Ben Rogers in the Evening Standard.

May 22

The Social Animal by David Brooks

A review of the Social Animal by David Brooks.  The New York columnist adds some intellectual heft to the life manual genre.