August 6, 2018
The UK government has begun work on its Future of Mobility Grand Challenge. First announced in May, the government believes the initiative has the potential to make the UK a world leader in strategies for moving people and goods. The announcement includes two calls for evidence, the first focused on improving first mile/last mile transportation connections, with a focus on electric vehicles and microtransit. The second addresses the more general issue of new technology and trends for urban transport. The government also claims the move will address changes in working cultures including lower levels of commuting and flexible working.
August 3, 2018
Although news reports about the impact of Brexit on the UK’s financial services sector have focused almost exclusively on London, a new report from the Centre for Cities claims that the decision to leave the EU will have a disproportionately larger impact on the centres in the UK’s other major cities, which employ two thirds of all people in the sector. The report explores the financial and professional services sectors in cities across the UK, and looks at what the relationships are with London-based firms in these industries. The report by the think tank supported by the City of London Corporation London: The geography of financial services in the capital and beyond looks at how much individual cities across the UK export in services, and what proportion of these services exports came from the financial sector.
July 23, 2018
Cities need more powers and resources from Government to address digital divides – but also need to make better use of existing technology to transform public services. This is according to a report published by the think tank Centre for Cities in partnership with Telefónica UK. It examines how digital technology – in terms of both fixed and mobile connections – is transforming urban Britain, and the steps national and local leaders can take to ensure people and places across the country benefit. However, the report also warns that many UK cities are not taking full advantage of existing digital connections, and the benefits it could offer to residents and businesses – as well as the potential it has to improve public services.
July 17, 2018
London, Singapore and Seoul make up the top three smart cities worldwide, according to new research from the Eden Strategy Institute. The 2018-19 study, in partnership with ONG&ONG Experience Design (OXD), involved 140 smart cities ranked across 10 measures; clarity of vision, leadership, budget, provision of financial incentives, support programmes, talent readiness, a people-centric approach, development of an innovation ecosystem, implementation of ‘smart’ policies and, finally, a track record of previous initiatives and projects. New York and Helsinki rounded off the top five cities, with Montreal, Boston, Melbourne, Barcelona and Shanghai finishing in the top 10.
June 26, 2018
The digital era, ageing populations, skills shortages, and unpredictable political and economic contexts are persuading multinationals to focus more on mobile talent, new ways of working and assessing the cost of expatriate packages for international employees that are critical to the future of work. This is according to Mercer’s 24th annual Cost of Living Survey which reveals that factors such as instability of housing markets and fluctuating inflation, currencies and prices for goods and services, are impacting the cost of doing business in various cities around the world. UK cities have significantly risen in the ranking this year. more…
May 29, 2018
Demand for commercial office space in central London has remained above the long-term average, with the amount of space under offer increasing, though the level of supply in the West End has continued to decline, according to the latest figures from Savills. Take-up in April reached 275,473 sq ft across 24 transactions, bringing take-up for the first four months of the year to 1.3m sq ft. The volume of transactions to complete over the month was the lowest for April in five years but overall year-to-date take-up still remained up on the long-term average for this period by 13 percent. more…
May 25, 2018
The rise of coworking and flexible working are affecting the design and layout of central London offices, with many traditional offices being given makeovers to reflect current trends in wellness and connectivity. And according to Cluttons’ Central London Office Market Outlook for Spring 2018, the Central London office market continues to experience a comparatively low vacancy rate – currently standing at 5.9 percent percent well below the 15 year average of just under 8 percent, which is more or less the same following Brexit in mid 2016. In comparison, following the peak of the last cycle at the end of 2007, the overall vacancy rate in Central London moved out from 7 percent to an average of 8.2 percent in the following two years. Landlords have been generally far more responsive to the recent downturn than in previous cycles; not only in relation to rent but also lease flexibility, together with a willingness to cap service charges and dilapidations with older style buildings. Alongside this, the volume of flexible office space in London rose by 20 percent last year as smaller firms move into serviced or managed offices.
May 18, 2018
Central London commercial offices under offers are at the highest point in the last 12 months and take-up is ahead of 2017 levels compared with this point last year, new data from CBRE has shown. Central London office take-up for April 2018 stood at 547,900 sq ft, largely driven by pre-letting activity. Office take-up for the year to the end April 2018 was 4 percent higher than the corresponding period in 2017, standing at 3.4m sq ft. Take-up was boosted by 139,600 sq ft of pre-letting activity. Over the last 12 months, the business services sector has represented the largest proportion of take-up at 32 percent, driven by a large number of deals to flexible office providers. Take-up in April was dominated by the creative industries sector, accounting for 44 percent of take-up. The banking and finance sector (26 percent) and the business services sector (21 percent) also represented notable proportions of take-up in April.
May 14, 2018
Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) has opened its new £2m tech incubator which it hopes will help create up to 2,000 jobs in data science and technology innovation companies over the next decade. Reflecting the ambitions of the updated Greater Manchester strategy to build on the city region’s strengths in technology and digital innovation, the incubator will provide start-ups with a wide package of business support services including: access to finance, talent and markets advice. Manchester is already a European top 20 digital city and this new incubator is designed play a role in strengthening the city’s status as a location for technology businesses over the coming years.
April 25, 2018
There have already been warnings from workplace experts that the legal profession isn’t one to choose for those starting out on their careers as it’s ripe for automation, and a new survey claims these changes are happening fast. According to a survey of over a 100 law firms by CBRE, nearly half (48 percent) are already utilising Artificial Intelligence (AI) and a further 41 percent have imminent plans to do so. Of the firms already employing AI, 63 percent of firms are using it for legal document generation and review, and the same proportion for e-discovery. Due diligence (47 percent) and research (42 percent) were also common applications, along with compliance and administrative legal support (each 32 percent). The use of AI will affect employment levels, with the greatest impact predicted at the junior and support levels, where nearly half (45 percent) of firms believing that there will be a reduction in headcount. In contrast, only 7 percent of firms believe that senior headcount levels will be reduced.
April 24, 2018
The Design Council and Social Change UK has launched its Healthy Placemaking report which highlights the outcomes from their survey of over 600 built environment practitioners across the UK including architects, town planners and urban designers. The aim of the survey was to gain insight and understanding of their experiences across multiple areas on the creation of a healthy built environment. The latest research from Design Council and Social Change UK claims that healthy placemaking can ‘sit outside mainstream UK housing, public health and placemaking policy. It continues to be seen as a cost to local development rather than an investment, and when considered alongside the plethora of local planning priorities and frameworks it often gets overlooked’.
April 19, 2018
Take up of commercial office leases in London’s West End had its strongest start to the year since 2012, with the banking and finance sector continuing to actively seek space, new figures from CBRE have revealed. The amount of office space under offer on in Central London at the end of Q1 2018 stood at 3.2m sq ft, representing an increase of 6 percent on the previous quarter and showing a 3 percent increase on the same point last year. Take-up in Central London reached 2.8m sq ft in Q1 2018, with its largest deal boasting a 65,900 sq ft letting to WS Atkins at Nova North in Victoria. Availability in Central London increased by 7 percent to 14.3m sq ft but that is still below the total 12 months ago. A total of 1.1m sq ft of development and refurbishment space completed in Q1. A further 2.3m sq ft is expected to complete before the end of the year, of which 54 percent has already been committed to be leased. By the end of the quarter, 9.1m sq ft was being actively sought by occupiers, primarily from the banking and finance sector (26 percent) and creative industries sector (24 percent).
Sign up to our newsletter
Join thousands of other workplace professionals to receive regular updates and access premium content