For most of recorded history, the city has served as the beating heart of civilisation, and the engine room of human advancement. Our economies, our infrastructure, our communities and our real estate are all built on the foundation of our cities; so much so that it is difficult to conceive otherwise. However, the past couple of years has laid bare undercurrents
OUR FUTURE VISION OF BRISTOL
BRISTOL WILL CEMENT ITSELF AS THE MOST
CARS WILL BE ELIMINATED FROM THE CITY CENTRE 01
LIVABLE CITY IN THE UK 07
Multi-modal transit system consisting of an overground tram network, improved rail and bus services, and water-based travel will be implemented. The overground tram network will also operate within a 3km radius of the city centre. Cycling, scooters and e-bikes will become even more prevalent.
It will continue to attract a diverse population through its rich culture, thriving economy, attractive architecture and proximity to superb countryside and coastal landscapes.
that threaten this foundation and offer new opportunities. These could have significant implications for society and for real estate in the future.
SURPLUS AND REDUNDANT PUBLIC SECTOR ESTATE WILL BE REPURPOSED TO END HOMELESSNESS 08
MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENTS WILL TRANSFORM THE CITY CENTRE 02
An early intervention campaign using free accommodation will place the estimated 3,000 homeless in the city into homes.
By mapping out the certainties of automation, economy, population, virtualisation, and environmental changes, we are able to analyse their impacts on our cities. This process has enabled us to develop four distinct scenarios that delve into the potential outcomes of urbanisation and de-urbanisation. MyCity considers how these global megatrends will drive change at the local level; and creates a vision for what it means for our real estate and our communities, with deep consideration for the past of these cities. MyCity unpacks Cushman & Wakefield’s vision for the future of six UK cities: LONDON, BIRMINGHAM, BRISTOL, MANCHESTER, LEEDS and EDINBURGH, and analyses how they are positioned to manage the challenges and opportunities ahead. Our local experts and research leads have teamed up to present a clear vision for each city in 2040, as well as outline series of call to actions for investors, developers, occupiers and local authorities in order to maximise the success of each city. WELCOME TO BRISTOL 2040
Placemaking developments with a mixture of housing types, together with engaging commercial spaces and public realm will reduce the need for long commutes and create vibrant communities.
ETHICAL URBAN FARMING 09
By 2040, Bristol will lead the way as an exemplar for ethical, locally grown urban farming on a level seen only in progressive European countries.
DEVELOPMENT IN THE CITY CENTRE WILL BE HIGHER DENSITY TO SUPPORT GROWTH 03
BRISTOL’S ECOLOGICAL EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN WILL DEVELOP MORE AMBITIOUS TARGETS 10
Bristol will finally embrace a tall buildings policy to drive vibrancy and economic growth, delivering less piecemeal and more clustered buildings to protect the city’s heritage and skyline.
There will be strong natural capital within public spaces that will be vital to ensuring that the livability of the city is maintained as density increases.
UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL TO ESTABLISH ITSELF AMONG THE WORLD’S TOP 50 GREAT RESEARCH-INTENSIVE UNIVERSITIES 11
LAST MILE LOGISTICS – NET ZERO HUB 04
A consolidation zone will house the first net zero last mile handling hub.
The Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus focusing on creative, digital and innovation industries, will provide a catalyst for this growth, along with further expansion of the university footprint as well as the University of the West of England and other institutions which provide a critical clustering benefit.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING WILL BE DELIVERED
IN EVERY NEW DEVELOPMENT 05
This will encourage interaction among people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, providing improved social cohesion and addressing inequality. It will improve opportunities for access to education, healthcare and employment.
BRISTOL WILL BE THE MOST PRODUCTIVE TECH ECONOMY OUTSIDE OF LONDON 12
The city’s universities will drive advanced research in key growth sectors, while numerous incubators and accelerators will support startups and their rapid development. Private sector investment will continue, particularly in Bristol’s heritage industries like engineering, aeronautics, robotics, AI and Life Sciences. Bristol & Bath Science Park, University of Bristol, Brabazon and Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus will provide space for the expansion of these industries.
NEW HOUSING WILL BE REQUIRED
TO BE PASSIVHAUS CERTIFIED 06
Following a pilot project, Passivhaus will be adopted across the city delivering the highest quantum of highly sustainable urban living in the UK.
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03 RECENT DEVELOPMENTS SHAPING BRISTOL p14
MYCITY: BRISTOL p06
HISTORY OF BRISTOL p10
04 BRISTOL TODAY p18
05 DIRECTION OF THE CITY TO 2040 p22
06 MEGA TRENDS SHAPING THE FUTURE OF CITIES p30
07 FUTURE OF CITIES: OUR VISION p40
08 FUTURE OF BRISTOL: OUR VISION p54
09 CALLS TO ACTION p66
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01 MYCITY: BRISTOL
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Recognising the social and demographic shifts and leveraging its waterfront location, wide ranging and entrepreneurial economic strengths, world renowned universities and its progressive ESG credentials, Bristol is a now a sustainable city embracing change. Its young, dynamic and diverse workforce lead the way in aviation, media, life sciences, AI, university led research and advanced manufacturing and is recognised worldwide as a city of innovation and sustainable commitment to growth. Bristol’s extensive green credentials have been created by its green spaces, car free city centre, quality public realm, cycle routes and waterways, along with the catalysing effect of an integrated and affordable public transport system, including its new tram system. This means the city attracts more inward investment and relocations than any other city in the UK, which in turn has helped in the re-generation of the key area’s, particularly Temple Quarter/St Philip’s, Broadmead, Western Harbour, Brabazon, Frome Gateway together with Bedminster Green and the wider historically deprived areas of South Bristol. ITS MULTI-CULTURAL SOCIETY HAS CONTINUED TO WORK TOGETHER TO STRENGTHEN THE CITY’S SENSE OF IDENTITY, CONTRIBUTING TO THE PROSPEROUS AND THRIVING LOCAL ECONOMY.” “ 20 years ago, WECA and the four Unitary Authorities set out their 2040 vision, working collaboratively and tirelessly to make it happen in close partnership with the private sector. A NOTE FROM 2040
TIME WILL BEAR WITNESS TO THE ACCURACY OF THE VISION, BUT HERE’S MY PRE MORTEM FOR BRISTOL. The next 20 years will see challenges and opportunities as the pace and demands of change accelerate, far faster than over the past two decades. The key drivers for this are well known – technological advancement, environmental priorities and population change – but how well are they understood and what does this mean for Bristol and for real estate in the city? AS A BRISTOLIAN AND PROPERTY CONSULTANT, I HAVE WITNESSED FIRST-HAND THE CONSIDERABLE CHANGES TO THE URBAN LANDSCAPE OF BRISTOL AND HOW THE CITY HAS “MOVED WITH THE TIMES”.
REGIONAL MANAGING PARTNER SOUTH WEST AND SOUTH WALES
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02 HISTORY OF BRISTOL The town of Bristol dates back to the 11th century, towards the end of the Saxon era, around which time Bristol Castle was first constructed. Acting as a port for the trade of a variety of goods, and later heavily involved in the slave trade, Bristol became a well-established and wealthy city.
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BRISTOL FLOATING HARBOUR WAS COMPLETED IN 1809, AIMING TO INCREASE TRADE BY PROVIDING A CONSTANT WATER LEVEL TO AVOID THE TIDAL VARIATIONS OF THE RIVER AVON. TRADE HELPED INDUSTRY AROUND THE CITY DEVELOP, AS WELL AS ACROSS THE WIDER AVON VALLEY AREA, WHICH SUPPORTED SIGNIFICANT POPULATION GROWTH IN THE 19TH CENTURY. OF PARTICULAR NOTE WAS THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY, WHICH WAS
Unite Students opened the first new student accommodation in converted city centre offices in central Bristol – the first of its kind in the UK – in 1991, aiding the expansion of the university and introducing student living into the city centre. There is a significant cultural component to Bristol, played out in the music scene, multiple creative festivals, Balloon Fiesta, restaurants, independent stores and art (including being the home of famed graffiti artist, Banksy). The considerable cultural capital in the city has been recognised repeatedly, being named European of the Year, Britain’s most musical city and being named as Britain’s best place to live multiple times. Bristolian innovation is also frequently highlighted, earning the crown of the UK’s smartest city in 2017, while SETSquared/ Engine Shed was the No.1 University Business Incubator globally for the third time in 2019.
Advanced manufacturing and computing companies, including IBM and Hewlett-Packard, took root in Bristol in the 1980s, alongside rapid growth in the financial services sector. Although the Bristol Blitz of WWII demolished significant parts of the city (including Broadmead, which has since been replaced with the Broadmead Shopping Centre and Cabot Circus), many older buildings and streets remain across the city, contributing to some modern-day traffic congestion through the winding alleys. Post-war development in Bristol was focused on tower blocks, some of which have since been torn down and redeveloped, and roads, with the M4 and M5 being built in 1961 and 1962, respectively. Bristol’s boundaries were moved out to incorporate some of these new schemes, expanding the city. The Royal Portbury Dock container port was opened in 1977 in Avonmouth, enabling modern shipping trade to be carried through and from the area.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a considerable influence on the development of the city, designing the Bristol to London Great Western Railway, Bristol Temple Meads Station and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. In addition, Brunel is also credited with the SS Great Western and SS Great Britain steamships, both of which were designed and built in Bristol. This legacy continues today, with the strength of research and innovation derived from the University of Bristol (opened in 1876), a world-leading institution in engineering and aeronautics. Bristol Aeroplane Company, which would later become BAE Systems, was founded at Filton Airfield in 1910, with their military aircraft being deployed in WWI and WWII. Engineering in Bristol continued to develop, producing Concorde and components of Airbus planes as well as cars, engines, weaponry and even satellites.
FED THROUGH IMPORTS AND AN EMERGING ENGINEERING PEDIGREE.
BRISTOL POPULATION 1801 - 2021
CONCORDE’S MAIDEN FIGHT (1969)
Population booms as tobacco, paper and engineering industries grow and the link with London strengthens
THE GALLERIES OPENS (1991)
BRISTOL (LULSGATE) AIRPORT OPENS (1957)
EUROPEAN GREEN CAPITAL 2015
Import & export economy continues to flourish around the floating harbour
BRISTOL TRAM NETWORK (1875)
CABOT CIRCUS OPENS (2008)
BROADMEAD OPENS (1955)
CRIBBS CAUSEWAY OPENS (1998)
CLIFTON SUSPENSION BRIDGE OPENS (1864)
M4 & M5 OPENS
FILTON AIRFIELD IS LARGEST AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURING FACILITY GLOBALLY (1930-1940’ S )
BRISTOL FLOATING HARBOUR OPENS (1809)
COMPANY FOUNDED (1910)
Expansion of tech and creative industries across the city. Bristol witnesses the redevelopment of the old CBD and areas around the Floating Harbour, Broadmead, and Temple Quarter.
DOCKS OPENS (1977)
UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL OPENS (1876)
Manufacturing boom continues through the aircraft industry
Significant post-war development of infrastructure and real estate changes Bristol's landscape
BRISTOL TEMPLE MEADS STATION & LINE TO LONDON COMPLETED (1840)
SOURCE: GB HISTORICAL GIS / UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH, A VISION OF BRITAIN THROUGH TIME
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Over the last 20 years, Bristol’s physical change has lagged behind other cities, particularly where height is concerned, but the need for development is now greater than ever if we are to support the city’s growing popularity as a destination for work, living and education. 03 RECENT DEVELOPMENTS SHAPING BRISTOL
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THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS HAD A PROFOUND IMPACT ON DEVELOPMENT IN BRISTOL, PUTTING THE BRAKES ON VARIOUS PROJECTS, INCLUDING THE CITY’S FLAGSHIP MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT, FINZELS REACH. Finzels Reach is now one of the most popular business and living locations in the city due to its truly mixed-use nature and blend of new and historical buildings. The site is steeped in history, including use as a sugar refinery and later a brewery, and is home to the Grade II* Generator Building which formerly powered the tram system and is now a coworking facility operated by Clockwise. Bristol’s most significant office development in terms of scale, Temple Quay, started in 1998 after it was eventually handed over to English Partnership. The scheme predominantly consists of corporate office accommodation with a large public sector and professional services presence, including HMRC, Burges Salmon, PwC, and OVO Energy. Development continues to this day, with the final plot of land delivering a new 200,000 sq ft speculative build, ‘The Welcome Building’, due to be completed in 2024.In 2013, the introduction of Permitted Development Rights (PDR) resulted in around 1.5m sq ft of office buildings being redeveloped for alternative uses, including residential, build to rent and student accommodation. This was also a significant catalyst for change in the city centre office market, shifting the location and supply dynamic back in favour of landlords.
The most significant addition to Bristol’s retail offering in the last 20 years is Cabot Circus; which opened in 2008 following a 10-year planning and building project costing £500m. The 1m sq ft shopping centre achieved a BREEAM award on completion and is best known for its unique domed glass panel roof. At a similar time, the Harbourside development, a brownfield site of former docks and gasworks on the edge of the city’s floating harbour was regenerated into a mixed-use development led by residential, office and leisure uses, with significant public realm including new streetscapes, waterfront walks and open spaces. The Harbourside also landed some significant office occupiers and is still home to Hargreaves Lansdown, Lloyds Banking Group and CMS. In more recent years, Bristol’s thriving food and independent retail scene has been successfully integrated at the heart of schemes such as the mixed-use Wapping Wharf development, which utilises former shipping containers to create a unique user experience. The opening of Box Park’s first venture outside of London – Box Hall – will also help to satisfy the considerable demand for this type of amenity in 2024.
BRISTOL AREA HOUSING COMPLETIONS
1996 - 1997
2021 - 2022
2015 - 2016
2010 - 2011
2005 - 2006
2000 - 2001
BRISTOL AREA (inc North Somerset and South Gloucestershire
BRISTOL COMMERCIAL FLOORSPACE INDEX (2001 = 100)
BRISTOL COMMERCIAL FLOORSPACE, 2022
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04 BRISTOL TODAY
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WHERE DOES BRISTOL SIT IN THE CONTEXT OF THE UK TO PLACE BRISTOL IN A UK CONTEXT, WE HAVE BENCHMARKED ITS PERFORMANCE USING A NUMBER OF DATA SOURCES.
WE HAVE USED DATA FROM ONS, THE VOA, DLUHC AND THE UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH TO LOOK AT POPULATION CHANGE, EMPLOYMENT SECTORS, INDICATORS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SUSTAINABILITY.
The lack of a mass transit system in Bristol has ensured a reliance on cars, particularly outside of the city centre, likely contributing to the above average levels of CO2 emissions per capita, ranking 7th of 10 cities studied. The professional, scientific & technical sector is expected to be within the top five growth sectors for Bristol between 2020 and 2040, far exceeding the UK average growth anticipated in this sector. Construction, admin & support services, and information & communication are also expected to be in the top five growth sectors in the Bristol market over the coming 20 years. Bristol’s innovative heritage continues today, driven through the universities as well as in the aerospace industry in particular, ranking top out of the 10 cities for the number of patent applications. Achieving the strong growth that is expected of Bristol will require it to become more accessible, in terms of transport through mass transit systems, housing will need to increase in supply and ensuring that the growth sectors have the commercial space they need to expand.
Bristol’s working age population (including the wider North Somerset and South Gloucestershire areas) was 1.17 million in 2020, having increased by 17% from 2000. Looking forward, growth is expected to slow slightly over the coming 20 years, reaching 1.32 million by 2040, an increase of 13% from 2020. GVA per capita across Bristol achieved £30K in 2020, having risen by 13% between 2000 and 2020 – a growth rate that matches the UK average. Over the coming 20 years, GVA per capita is expected to grow by 29% in Bristol to £39K, also equalling the growth rate anticipated across the UK. Across the 10 cities in our study, housing in Bristol was the second least affordable, with the average house price being 11.6 times average earnings, with only London exceeding this level of unaffordability in 2021. This reflects the close proximity of the city to London, producing an inflationary factor, along with a shortage of supply. On average, the wider Bristol area has reported 2,652 housing completions per year on average over the 10 years to 2022. This equates to one home completed per 548 residents per year, under the England average of one completion per 441 residents. Despite the increased level of housing activity over the past five years, it is likely the market will remain under supplied for at least the medium term.
BRISTOL VALUES AND UK AVERAGE BY KPI
SOURCE: CENTRE FOR CITIES; ONS
CO2 PER CAPITA
DAYS OF POOR AIR QUALITY
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05 DIRECTION OF THE CITY TO 2040
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IN FRAMING OUR VISION FOR BRISTOL IN 2040, WE HAVE CONSIDERED THE PRE-EXISTING STRATEGIES AND INVESTMENT COMMITMENTS THAT ARE ALREADY ‘BAKED IN’ TO THE CITY’S FUTURE.
The following infrastructure schemes are proposed:
The following regulatory changes that will impact Bristol are:
• Implementing Bristol’s essential flood defence requirements from St Philip’s Marsh through to Western Harbour • Mass Transit Route (MTR) which currently include ideas around a combination of an over and underground rail network, new bus lanes and new metro bus routes. The long-term ambition is to provide rapid mass transit links out to Hengrove, Keynsham, Kingswood, Cribbs Causeway and Portishead along with Park & Ride facilities at the A32, A38, A4018 and Hicks Gate • Improvement and expansion to Bristol Temple Meads railway station, including a new north, south and eastern entrances together with expanded and improved leisure, ticket office and passenger facilities • The creation of three new railway stations known as the Henbury Spur will include railway stations with at Ashley Down, Henbury and North Filton (Brabazon) • The creation of three additional railway stations, Portway Park & Ride, Pill and Portishead • Expansion of Bristol Airport, including increasing the passenger cap from 10 to 12 million per annum, an increase in car parking together with new walkway to the eastern aircraft stands
• Bristol City Council’s target for the city to be carbon neutral by 2030
• Changing of Mayoral system to a committee-based structure from May 2024 • Future Homes Standard requiring additional standards of sustainable construction of homes by 2025 • MEES – Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) will require all commercial buildings to have an EPC rating of at least “B” by 2030
• Greater focus on operational efficiency for commercial buildings
• Ban on combustible cladding to buildings over 11m and the Building Safety Act will require aspects such as two means of escape on buildings over 18m
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KEY DEVELOPMENTS THAT WILL SHAPE THE CITY BY 2040
SIZE 400 APARTMENTS (BTR) 800 BEDS (PBSA) 300,000 SQ FT (OFFICES) 250 KEY (HOTEL) 60,000 SQ FT (RETAIL AND LEISURE)
SIZE COVERING AROUND 3.25
HECTARES CAPACITY FOR OVER
SIZE 1,000+ HOMES 500 PBSA BEDS
SIZE 17,000 SEAT ARENA NEW RAILWAY STATION 6,500 HOMES 2,800,000 SQ FT (OFFICE) 600,000 SQ FT (R&D/LOGISTICS) 500,000 SQ FT UNIVERSITY CAMPUS 400,000 SQ FT RETAIL/LEISURE
1.5M SQ FT OF DEVELOPMENT TO INCLUDE BTR, PBSA, OFFICES, HOTEL AND RETAIL / LEISURE SPACE
SIZE HOUSING AND EMPLOYMENT SPACE
BRISTOL FRUIT MARKET
1,900 PBSA BEDS 1,200 KEY HOTELS
SIZE 1,500 HOMES
SIZE 300,000 SQ FT OFFICES WITH ANCILLARY RETAIL / LEISURE USES
ST MARY LE PORT
SIZE VARIOUS STRATEGIC SITES WHICH WILL DELIVER AROUND 2,500 HOMES, OFFICES, HOTEL, APART HOTEL AND ANCILLARY RETAIL / LEISURE. SIZE NEW INFRASTRUCTURE, REOPENING OF BRUNEL’S STATION, NEW NORTH, SOUTH & EASTERN ENTRANCES AND
SIZE 2,500 HOMES 500 BEDS (PBSA) SIGNIFICANT INFRASTRUCTURE REMODELLING
SIZE 600,000 SQ FT OF ACADEMIA 1,200,000 SQ FT OF RESEARCH, ACADEMIA AND EDUCATION SPACE 953 BEDS PBSA
UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL TEMPLE QUARTER ENTERPRISE CAMPUS’ I & II
7 5 11
HENGROVE PARK & HARTCLIFFE CAMPUS
SIZE 1,400 HOMES
TEMPLE MEADS STATION
SIGNIFICANT RETAIL AND AMENITY PROVISIONS, PLUS MSCP.
SIZE 4,000 SEAT
SIZE 2,000+ APARTMENTS
SPORTS AND CONVENTION CENTRE 125 APARTMENTS 232 KEY HOTEL 536 MSCP 28,000 SQ FT OFFICE ACCOMMODATION
ASHTON GATE SPORTING QUARTER
SIZE 500 BTR
SIZE 10,000 HOMES COMBINED WITH TEMPLE QUARTER
APARTMENTS 200,000 SQ FT (OFFICES) 350 KEY (HOTEL)
SIZE 1,500 APARTMENTS 1,600 BEDS (PBSA)
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SIGNIFICANT MILESTONES ON THE PATH TO 2040
UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL TQEC I YTL ARENA BRISTOL PORTWAY, PILL AND PORTISHEAD RAILWAY
BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL TO BE CARBON NEUTRAL BEDMINSTER GREEN UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL TQEC II 2030
CABOT YARD TEMPLE QUARTER 2036
ASHTON GATE SPORTING QUARTER 2027
STATIONS OPEN HENBURY SPUR
ST MARY LE PORT 2028
MEAD STREET 2033
BRABAZON ST PHILIP’S
BRISTOL FRUIT MARKET TEMPLE ISLAND THE GALLERIES
WESTERN HARBOUR FROME GATEWAY WHITEHOUSE STREET 2038
TEMPLE MEADS STATION REGENERATION PHASE I 2029
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06 MEGA TRENDS SHAPING THE FUTURE OF CITIES
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OUR FUTURE OF CITIES INSIGHT HAS IDENTIFIED THE FOLLOWING MEGA TRENDS THAT WILL COMBINE TO RESHAPE CITIES IN 2040:
• Transportation is perhaps the biggest determinant of the shape of our cities today • There is a sharp differential on public transport adoption and reliance across UK cities • Conventional infrastructure can take easily 20 years to deliver; we are well sighted on the pipeline to 2040, but not on technological innovations which may change the game • Increased capacity on existing lines will increase densification and public transport use. New last mile modes and decentralised work have the potential to disperse congestion away from city centres and towards suburban areas • Changes in ways of working and an increased environment pressure on some transport modes mean we are all likely to travel less by 2040
• With the UK already highly urbanised, there is unlikely to be further room for significant additional urbanisation, whereas new work models and housing costs could in fact lead to deurbanisation. This remains an uncertainty – with a number of other possible scenarios • Pull factors of city centres – towards culture and employment - may weaken as distance becomes less relevant due to technological improvements • Affordability, quality of life and youth unemployment are likely to continue to be issues, with, at present, no clear direction of travel to alleviate these problems • The push-pull equation for cities varies by demographic group, which will skew cities towards younger people
• Natural population growth will slow, then potentially reverse during the course of the period to 2040. The UK remains attractive for international migrant workers, which will be the primary driver of population growth and continue to have a bearing on demographics • Gradual ageing of population and an increase in the elderly • Economic obsolescence principal will overtake population growth as the driver of development • Growth will impact density more than footprint of UK cities
• Sluggish growth won’t last forever, but its impact on development will carry a legacy • A pensions crisis created by post-GFC sustained low interest rates will have an enduring impact on a growing elderly population • Lagging economic growth will mean that younger generations are comparatively less well-off than their parents • Technology, particularly the growth of AI will continue to reshape our economy. • Role automation will be a feature of the next 20 years and will change workforce composition and create more attractive conditions for re-shoring • New forms of real estate will be needed to respond to new economic activities and other forms to become obsolete
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• Significant public health improvements in the last number of decades will continue • Zoonotic threats will increase the role of healthcare and create social and physical change • Greater focus on health and wellbeing will play through to leisure pursuits and more active lifestyles • There will be a huge focus on improving air quality and environmental standards ranging from car use to increased biodiversity and biophilia • Technology will play a central role in the early prediction and treatment of disease, further extending average lifespans
• Digitisation has not run its course, and will continue to influence how we work, shop and live • Virtual environments will be improved by processor power, wearables - and ultimately implanted chips • People are increasingly seeking out virtual worlds for leisure and the experience is improving • Increased virtualisation may lead to growth in virtual city equivalents, including metaverse environment, for commercial and social use cases
• Waves of automation have triggered radical changes to society over the course of history • A new wave of automation, now supported by AI - will drive significant change to the nature and focus of existing work • Automation will impact primarily process driven roles, and this includes many office workers
• There has been rapid technological advancements driven by significant reduction in the cost of core technologies • Internet / communication-led technologies and infrastructure will enable automation and digitisation • AI will provide personalisation, experience and a refocussing of work • 3D printing and new construction materials will deliver significant improvements to speed and cost of construction
• Humans will increasingly work alongside machines in the coming decades
• A significant minority of UK residents are likely to become left behind by this change; solutions are needed
• The city of 2040 will be augmented with visual data, enhancing experience
• New buildings are needed to respond to new forms of work that will emerge
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THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY
SOCIAL CHANGE AND INEQUALITY
GLOBALISATION AND POLITICS
• Delays to life’s milestones (e.g. having children, purchasing first home) - means people have an extra decade of early adulthood • Renting for at least a decade will be the social norm, with a difference between London and elsewhere in the UK • Cities need to provide infrastructure for new leisure trends to remain culturally relevant • Cities must maintain community diversity and cohesion to thrive
• China and India will continue to see sustained economic growth • As a result of Brexit, the UK needs to secure many new trade deals and memberships to remain a valued trade partner and significant on a global stage • Political fragmentation will resume, and new or splinter political parties may form • The political divide between cities and rural populations will widen • High levels of government debt and damaged public finances will constrain future governments
• The UK still suffers from an acute North-South divide, and some minority groups experience generational disadvantage • Social pressure, enabled by social media, is likely to be a continuing force for change and greater equality • Public sector focus will drive cities to become more equitable in the future • The pace of change will be hampered by systemic barriers • The real estate industry of the future must modernise to keep pace with society
• The mitigation and creation of resilience towards climate change are some of the most significant factors for cities in 2023 - this will continue to be the case to 2040 • The challenge of moving away from gas will disproportionately impact tall existing buildings • Increased use of heat pumps, solar – and potential for growing food - will mean competition for valuable roof space on tall buildings • Energy storage will become a necessity for large scale developments • Changing environmental standards will be a significant cost to landlords, developers and occupiers – including residents – of all real estate • Air quality in cities should improve as emissions are brought under control, but this is not taken for granted and give rise to an increase in local heat networks, and on-site energy generation
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12 FORCES SHAPING CITIES OF THE FUTURE
The following 12 forces will to different degrees impact on the city of 2040. This table assesses the trend, and relevant factors, and then makes an assessment of the potential impact to status quo and the certainty with which we can judge the outcome. We bake in ‘high impact certainties’ of environment, automation and social change into our hypothesis, and then use the ‘critical uncertainties’ of urbanisation and virtualisation to explore scenarios.
MULTIPLE CYCLES / LOW RATES / SKEW TO THE OLD / STRUCTURAL SHIFT
GROWTH SLOWING OR NEGATIVE / AGEING / INORGANIC
SLOWING OR NEGATIVE FOR LARGE CITIES - INCREASINGLY YOUNG
PT GAIN SHARE / LONG LEAD FOR INFRA / FINE-GRAIN INNOV / MAAS
TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT / NEW ROLES / PRODUCTIVITY
E-COMM / WFH / LEISURE EXPERIENCES / AUGMENTED
5G / IoT / CLOUD COMPUTING / BIOMETRIC
COVID / NEXT COVID? / ANTIBIOTICS / LATER LIFE CARE / OBESITY
WARMING / FLOODING / SOCIAL RESPONSE / NEW ENERGY
YOUNGER FOR LONGER / RENTING VS BUYING / DIVERSITY
ACTIVISM / CORPORATE ETHICS / MINORITY REPRESENTATION / EQUITY
EASTERN SHIFT / BREXIT / POPULAR POLARISATION / PROTECTIONISM
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07 FUTURE OF CITIES: OUR VISION
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The period to 2040 spans economic cycles. The recent period of volatility will have receded to history, but its legacy will remain in persisting societal change and attitudes to work and where we spend our time. A period of slow growth and austerity will also leave its mark on the physical fabric of our cities. The slow-moving nature of real estate means that changes take time to set in, while its longevity often causes it to outlast the people and circumstances under which it was built, remaining as a manifestation of the past that continues to shape the present - and real estate in this current cycle is no exception. While weaker near-term growth and a shift towards decarbonisation may impact the near-term development pipeline, it may also help to stoke a critical reframing toward retrofitting and refurbishment rather than redevelopment. This will not only deliver a more equitable use of embodied carbon in the built environment, but will also pave the way for a more adaptable and resilient city. Meanwhile, a softening of real income and automation will shift wealth towards the retired and the asset rich, exacerbating existing inequalities. This will sit against the prevailing mood for change, and likely lead to increased public interventions in our cities and in our society. Significant waves of technological adoption, particularly in the areas of automation, virtualisation and artificial intelligence will significantly change the focus and nature of working, shopping and playing. The ability to perform many of our day-to-day activities using these technologies will put pressure on the historic role, form and function of real estate. At its most extreme, this could start to change the nature of reality, blurring the lines between virtual and physical environments and triggering the need for new forms of real estate. Our cities of the future will be run more efficiently through deeper integration of urban design and internet connected devices. LOOKING THROUGH THE CHALLENGES OF OUR PRESENT TIMES, WE HOLD AN EXCITING VISION FOR OUR CITIES OF 2040; ONE WHICH WILL BE PART OF A PATH OF SIGNIFICANT CHANGE DRIVEN BY NEW TECHNOLOGIES, AND ONE WHICH WILL DELIVER A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE TO URBANITES.
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INCREASE HOME WORKING
BIG INCREASE IN AR USAGE
DISPERSAL OF POPULATION CENTRES
SUPER INTENSE CITY EXPERIENCE
BIGGER DIVIDE BETWEEN CBS AND EXURBS
CBD ROLE SHIFTS TO EXPERIENCE CENTRE AND HUB
RAPID NORMALISATION OF ACTIVITY
BIGGER AND DENSER CITIES
MAIN CENTRES THRIVE RELATIVE TO SMALLER CITIES
REOCCURRENCE / NEW VIRUS
PEOPLE MOVE ‘OFF-GRID’
FOCUS ON WELLNESS AND COMMUNITY
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Sustainability and cost of time pressures will be matched by solutions in new work models, virtualisation, and a focus on the ability to connect with local communities. The days of long commutes, frequent international travel and fossil-fuel reliant car usage will have peaked. This could trigger significant changes to our cities. THE SHAPE OF OUR CITIES IS SIGNIFICANTLY DETERMINED BY HOW WE TRAVEL. IN GENERAL TERMS, WE FORESEE EACH OF US TRAVELLING LESS IN 2040.
Primarily the shift will be in where we choose to live. The option to work at distance from the marketplace for the first time becomes a reality, and some (those with the privilege of such choice) will make that shift. This will move higher value demand to areas of higher amenity and lower social pressure. Over time it has the potential to reweight the economic balance of our cities, rather than the high pressure currently felt by our major cities. Population growth will be delivered through increased density, repurposing of existing real estate, and the growth of smaller towns, rather than continued urban sprawl. Our city centres will play a more focused role in housing activities that require or benefit from close personal interaction. We will no longer go to a city centre office to sit at a desk in silence, or to a shopping centre to collect a pre-purchased item. These venues will become stimulating, exciting places, with a strong focus on cultural pursuits, business engagement and personal fulfilment. Those assets that cannot deliver against these new criteria will become irrelevant and subject to reinvention. The size of the typical city core may reduce as activities are reallocated, creating a tighter more clearly defined central zone. Meanwhile, amenity and neighbourhood uses will be redistributed to match where people are spending their time.
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Mass adoption of digital technology
Carbon negative becomes the norm
Better quality of life for all
Automation shift the nature of ‘work’
Less distance travelled
Flexible reuse of real estate
Rebalancing of city hierarchy
OUR 2040 VISION
Wealth continues to shift to the rich
Focus on managing obsolescence
Increased public interventions
New construction materials
New hybrid real estate concepts
Augmented reality becomes the norm
Heightened social tensions
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UNPACKING THE CITY OF 2040
FLOWING FROM OUR VISION, WE SET OUT A VIEW BELOW ON HOW ELEMENTS AND CONCEPT CONCERNING OUR CITIES MIGHT CHANGE OVER THE NEXT 20 YEARS.
VISION More focused on interactions. Blurring of retail, leisure and work.
Quality over quantity, Greening, Commercialised, Reuse of roads / rooftops, 24 hours.
Flexible use, unique personalised experience, Interface of virtual and physical.
Rejuvenation due to WFH, Co-working activities, increased investment, 15 min villages.
Digital communities rise in importance. Daytime communities due to WFH. Local shops.
Fewer long journeys. Repurpose redundant roads. Walkable green citites.
Fewer-larger authorities. New forms of service
financing. Increased digital participation.
VISION Increased CITY BRAND
CITY AT NIGHT
More renters. More single-person households. Polarity with exurbs.
Modular / prefab. Increase in non-demised space and amenity. Demand for home office space.
Increase in virtual and augmented experiences. CBD doubles down on culture.
Focus on infrastructure. Sustainability,
24/7 cities. More mid-week stayovers. Professional night shifts. Re-use space day-night.
competition at city level. International brands. Tie-ups with local businesses.
wellness, efficiency and public service delivery.
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The current drumbeat for social justice in all walks of life will become more persistent, fuelled by social media. Ethics and equity will become defining business and investment strategies. At the core of this will be sustainable practices. This in turn will elicit paradigm shifts in how we design our real estate. The role of Government in the provision of social housing will increase and building codes and commercial practices will tighten around environment sustainability. Carbon neutral or negative will be the norm, and lifecycle energy costs and emissions will be substantially mitigated through the use of batteries, local grids and the ubiquitous use of renewables. Building will be designed with wellbeing in mind. Reliance on steel will soften, in favour of demountable modular timber and biophilic design will become as common as desks in fit out. NAVIGATING SOCIAL JUSTICE, SUSTAINABILITY, AND URBAN TRANSFORMATION IN THE CITY OF 2040
As the tempo of change increases, the big challenge for our cities of 2040 will be the disconnect between that which is demanded and that which exists. As industrial change drives new needs, it will not be matched by the rate at which the real estate industry can deliver it. On this basis we anticipate a heightened level of prolonged obsolescence by 2040. As seen in deindustrialised areas of our cities in years gone by, the legacy of disused factories can stymie city quarters until new uses can be found. Strong government support for change including active participation in change programmes will be needed. The city of 2040 will continue to be on a journey of change that is more people-centric than the cities of today. It will give back wasted time and create increased flexibility in
how we wish to lead our lives; it will create exciting, stimulating environments in which to circulate and connect, and it will have social and environmental sustainability at its core.
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OF BRISTOL: OUR VISION
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USING THE FUTURE OF CITIES FRAMEWORK AND OUR ON-THE-GROUND KNOWLEDGE OF BRISTOL, WE SEE THE FOLLOWING CHANGES AND DEVELOPMENTS TAKING PLACE IN THE CITY BY 2040.
By 2040 Bristol will have embraced sustainable modes of transport and eliminate the use of private cars in the city centre. The proposed underground rail network will have been deemed inviable and instead a multi-modal transit system consisting of an overground tram network, improved rail and bus services, and water-based travel will be implemented. The overground tram network will also operate within a 3km radius of the city centre and will be complemented by an improved light rail network to allow for better connections to the suburbs. Cycling will become even more prevalent, as will the use of electric bikes and scooters with private versions also legal to use. The city’s public transport will be free or low cost across all platforms and fully integrated. The central area of the city will become car-free to allow for safe movement of pedestrians, bikes and public transport.
Genuine mixed-use developments will transform the city centre. A trend towards major mixed used developments with key placemaking components at the heart of these projects will drive the delivery of major schemes in the future. Placemaking developments with a mixture of housing types together with engaging commercial spaces and public realm will reduce the need for long commutes and create vibrant urban communities. The integration of different uses and access to parks, gyms, sports clubs and healthcare facilities will promote a healthy, active lifestyle. This will be seen particularly in Broadmead, Temple Quarter and St Philip’s in central Bristol and Brabazon in the north, where both residential and employment-led developments will contribute strong placemaking components, benefiting their surroundings and future tenants. Broadmead will finally provide Bristol with a true city centre in a high quality mixed-use environment which will attract a much wider demographic throughout the day and into the evening.
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Development in the city centre will be higher density to support growth. Bristol will finally embrace a tall buildings policy to drive vibrancy and economic growth delivering less piecemeal and more clustered buildings to protect the city’s heritage and skyline. These will be principally clustered around certain areas of the city; Broadmead, Temple Quarter, St Philip’s and Brabazon. We will witness c.30 storey developments on The Galleries, Cabot Yard, Bearpit amongst others within the Broadmead area. Whilst in Temple Quarter and St Philip’s, these will be clustered around similar tall buildings on the likes of Temple Island. Although these developments will push up the skyline of Bristol, the main impact will be the increased residential population in the city centre, bringing more economic activity and culture on which the city thrives.
Affordable housing will be delivered in every new development. The release of a tall building strategy and success of the city centres regeneration has driven values to a point where all new schemes are able to meet policy compliant affordable content for the first time. To encourage interaction among people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, providing social cohesion and addressing inequality. This will provide better opportunities for access to education, healthcare and employment. Following a successful pilot scheme, all new housing will be required under local planning regulations to be Passivhaus Certified. A pilot project will lead to adoption of Passivhaus by 2030 across the city core delivering the highest quantum of highly sustainable urban living in the UK. Aligned to other initiatives, including a new net zero urban school situated in a repurposed office building. Bristol will become one of the most walkable, legible, liveable and sustainable cities in Europe. The growth of urban living extends to families and all age groups driving diverse communities. 06
Last Mile Logistics - Net Zero Hub. A consolidation zone will house the first net zero last mile handling hub. All deliveries to the central traffic free zone will come into the hub and be delivered by the most appropriate means - being a combination of e-cargo bike, autonomous bots, drones and driverless lightweight vehicles. This will ensure that the entire city centre core remains almost traffic free for the majority of the time.
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Bristol will cement its position as the most liveable city in the UK. After already being named in the region of 20 different times for such an accolade in the last 15 years. It will continue to attract a diverse population through its rich culture, thriving economy, attractive architecture and proximity to the countryside and coast. Bristol will be recognised as a world leading city for inclusivity, celebrating and embracing different cultures.
Ethical Urban Farming. Sky Farms, Community Growing, Urban Allotments - by 2040 Bristol will lead the way as an exemplar for ethical, locally grown urban farming on a level seen only in advanced European countries. It’s progressive young population with climate resilience at the heart of their motivation will form the first ethical urban farming cooperative providing full time employment opportunities across the city and increasing graduate retention further.
Surplus and redundant public sector estate will be repurposed to end homelessness in the city. An early intervention campaign using free accommodation will get the estimated 3,000 homeless in the city into homes. Subsequent employment training programmes, vocational rehabilitation and access to education will be led by an organisation partnering with the local authority, utilising surplus accommodation across the government and public sector estate. Underutilised buildings around Filton will be the first to be converted into residential uses for those in need, with employment opportunities supported through partnerships with local businesses and manufacturers as local industry continues to develop.
Bristol’s Ecological Emergency Action Plan will develop more ambitious targets and will be complete by 2040. The initial goals by 2030, which include: 30% of land in Bristol to be managed for the benefit of wildlife; reduce the use of pesticides by at least 50%; 100% of Bristol’s waterways to have water quality that supports healthy wildlife; and people and businesses to reduce consumption of products that undermine the health of wildlife and ecosystems around the world. In addition to these targets, Bristol City Council will address the urban heat island effect by planting trees and foliage along pedestrianised streets. This includes providing strong natural capital within public spaces that will be vital to ensuring that the liveability of the city is maintained as density increases.
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