Research and Reports
The LSDC has written and commissioned research on issues that are critical to London. You can find our recent publications below. Please contact us if you can't find what you're looking for.
London's Quality of Life Indicators Report
The LSDC’s fourth Quality of Life Indicators report, launched at City Hall on 30th January 2013, provides a snapshot of London’s quality of life and identifies the sustainability issues London faces. The indicator set encompasses 33 headline indicators across the environmental, social and economic spheres. It provides baseline data that will inform the Commission’s future work programme and advice to the Mayor.
The Mayor wants London to be the best big city in the world. The London Sustainable Development Commission supports this aspiration and believes that as part of being ‘best’ we should work to make London the benchmark for sustainable cities by 2020. To improve our chances of achieving this we need first to know what this would mean in economic, environmental and social terms; where we currently stand; and then measure progress against these issues.
The LSDC produced the first Quality of Life Indicators Report in 2004 and subsequent reports were produced in 2005 and 2009. The previous reports can be found below.
LSDC QoL Indicators 2012 Part 1 Summary [PDF 2.96Mb]
LSDC QoL Indicators 2012 Part 2 Evidence [PDF 11.7Mb]
LSDC QoL Indicators 2012 Part 1 Summary [RTF 194Kb]
LSDC QoL Indicators 2012 Part 2 Evidence [RTF 595Kb]
Sowing the Seeds - Reconnecting London's Children with Nature
London is known as a green city - approximately two-thirds of its area is defined as green space and many sites are rich in wildlife. Much work is underway to protect and develop this, most notably through the Mayor's Great Outdoors Strategy, the London Plan which seeks to address deficiencies in line with the Mayor's Biodiversity Strategy, and through partnerships such as the Green Grid, that seek to increase green space provision, and quality, at a local level. Through these, the provision of the resource has been the primary focus. More recently, for example through the Health Inequalities Strategy, the focus has shifted to the benefits of increasing the level and type of use.
The purposes of the research, commissioned from writer and researcher Tim Gill, were to summarise the benefits experienced by society from increasing the opportunity for children under the age of 12 to experience nature; identify the most successful interventions to encourage regular access to nature amongst children under the age of 12, and make policy recommendations to facilitate this in the mainstream.
The Report was launched at City Hall on 17 November 2011. The Recommendations in the Report are being taken forward by a Steering Group made up of representatives from relevant sectors. If you would like to know more about the Steering Group please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sowing the Seeds - Full report [PDF 2.17MB]
Sowing the Seeds - Summary [PDF 1.18MB]
Children and Nature - Literature Review [PDF 1.22MB]
In 2010 the London Sustainable Development Commission (LSDC) commissioned a piece of research by Professors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett to further debate around the multifaceted and long-term issue of income inequalities.
Based on a similar methodology to their book, 'The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better', the work examines the cause and potential effects of income inequalities in London and implications for sustainable development. It argues that income inequality is bad not just for those at the bottom of the income scale, but also for society as a whole. The work opened up the debate on the cause and potential effects of income inequalities in London and the LSDC has been keen to hear all sides before drawing its own conclusions.
It is now clear from recent academic debate that there are differing opinions on the link between income inequalities and the social problems as set out within the Spirit Level. A summary of the debate can be found here. This documents the RSA event which brought together Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson with Peter Saunders (author of the Policy Exchange report Beware False Prophets: Equality, the Good Society and The Spirit Level) and Christopher Snowden (author of The Spirit Level Delusion) to debate the methodology and conclusions of The Spirit Level.
Notwithstanding the ongoing debate about the link between income inequality and social problems, the LSDC feels that the underlying issues affecting London's most poor remain an issue. The LSDC will therefore continue to advocate for action in support of tackling these issues and improving quality of life for all Londoners.
The impact of income inequalities on sustainable development in London [PDF 3.6MB]
The impact of income inequalities on sustainable development in London [RTF 247KB]
Correction to figure 24
Sustainable development at the strategic level
Capital Consumption: the transition to sustainable consumption and production in London - December, 2009
This timely report from the LSDC and BioRegional, published in the run up to climate negotiations in Copenhagen, examines the full extent of London's carbon dioxide emissions when including those from imported goods consumed in London. The report also illustrates how adopting measures to reduce consumption based carbon emissions could also help create jobs, build a more resilient economy and benefit the health and social well-being of Londoners.
Capital Consumption [PDF 5.5MB]
Capital Consumption [RTF 240KB]
London's Quality of Life Indicators Report
This is the LSDC's third Quality of Life Indicators report. The report monitors a suite of indicators chosen to provide a cross cutting snapshot of London's sustainability performance and provides baseline data that will inform the Commission's future work programme.
Launch tool in a new window
LSDC QOL Indicators 2008-09 - Full report [PDF 6.71Mb]
LSDC QOL Indicators 2008-09 - Full report [RTF 804Kb]
LSDC QOL Indicators 2008-09 - Executive summary [PDF 1.77Mb]
LSDC QOL Indicators 2008-09 - Executive summary [RTF 156Kb]
Sustainable development in action and the London Leaders programme
Another Year in the Life of the London Leaders 2009-10
The LSDC's second annual report of the London Leaders programme showcases the continuing success of the programme. The summary document contains case studies and real life examples of London Leaders in action.
Another Year in the Life of the London Leaders 2009-10 [PDF 1Mb]
London Leaders 2009-10 Project Summary [PDF 2Mb]
Older research and reports can be found below and on the Timeline
Capital Consumption: the transition to sustainable consumption and production in London 2009
London’s Quality of Life Indicators 2008-09 Report
Virtuous Cycles: demonstrating the benefits of a sustainable development approach 2008
A Greater London: Making It Happen 2007
A Greater London: what are you doing? 2007
Gaps and opportunities in implementing the UK Sustainable Development Strategy: Securing the Future 2007
A Year in the Life of the London Leaders 2007-08
Embedding Sustainable Development into Local Area Agreements 2006
London Sustainable Development Commission Business Plan 2006-2008
SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGE LONDON: SUSTAINBLE CITY INITATIVES FINAL REPORT 2006
2005 report on London’s Quality of Life indicators
A Sustainable Development Framework for London 2005
Making your plans sustainable: A London Guide 2004
2004 report on London’s Quality of Life indicators
The impacts of air transport on London 2004
Review of the Impact of Aviation within the Greater London Area 2003