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Sustainable communities can be perceived as those which are able to adapt to changing dynamics whether imposed externally (e.g. global inequalities, economic cycles) or arising internally (e.g. demographic churn, degree of social cohesion). A key to sustainability is the quality of services and opportunities afforded by the social infrastructure. Where the needs of residents rapidly change due to (im)migration, social and economic mobility and transience, there needs to be robust mechanisms for compiling and updating the evidence base on which policy and planning changes must necessarily be founded.

Thames Gateway will bring new-build and regeneration to Boroughs currently experiencing high population churn, uncertainty in their demographic composition and issues in matching service delivery. ONS estimates (to right) show stark contrasts by neighbourhood but tend not to match on-the-ground experience of Local Authorities.

Project EASY is supported by HEFCE and DTI through the UrbanBuzz programme to work in partnership with the London Boroughs of Newham, Barking & Dagenham and Greenwich. The project has four broad aims:
  • to use a wide range of available administrative and other data sets to construct for each Borough an integrated evidence base of demographic, social and cultural change by small area geography;
  • to develop micro-simulation models for the Boroughs that will produce demographic projections by small area geography, but also managing the uncertainties in the base data;
  • to promote the use of the evidence base and the demographic projections in support of social infrastructure planning in the Boroughs;
  • to deliver the necessary knowledge transfer through capacity building and skills enhancement in the Boroughs in order to make these sustainable activities so that Local Authorities can continue to monitor change and adapt their social infrastructure arrangements to meet those changes.

Local Authorities have already been taking steps in this direction. Our input to partnership working is designed to achieve a step-change towards evidencing churn and the implications this has for overall finances and competitive grant applications.

Download project documents
Workshop presentations - Population Modelling:
Workshop presentations - Social Infrastructure Planning

Reports