Research & Reports

Research and Reports

The LSDC has written and commissioned research on issues that are critical to London. You can find our publications below. Please contact us if you can't find what you're looking for or to send us comments or responses to any of our reports. 


Employment and the circular economy - job creation through resource efficiency in London

The Commission has launched a report looking at the potential for job creation in London based on three scenarios - the most desirable being a re-using, remanufacturing, repair and rental revolution, which the report finds could create up to 40,000 new jobs in London by 2030. 


The report has been authored by Peter Mitchell, Head of Economics at WRAP and in partnership with the London Waste and Recycling Board and the Greater London Authority. 

Read the report in full here: 

Employment and the circular economy - job creation through resource efficiency in London 

Green Means Business report

The Commission has been exploring the amazing potential of green entrepreneurs. We want to show the world that green business means great business and make London the green capital. We already have form. London's green economy is growing at a much faster rate than the overall economy. We want to raise our collective ambitions and help accelerate the pace of that growth.

Click on the report title of icon to read more about London's green economy and how it can help meet the challenges of creating an exemplary sustainable world city.  


London's Quality of Life Indicators Report - Summary 

London's Quality of Life Indicators Report - Evidence

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. 

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

Additional documents: 
Sowing the Seeds - Summary [PDF 1.18MB] / Children and Nature - Literature Review [PDF 1.22MB] 

Income Inequalities

Income Inequalities

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

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. 

Quality of Life Indicator Reports

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 - Executive summary [PDF 1.77Mb]
LSDC QOL Indicators 2008-09 - Executive summary [RTF 156Kb] 



Older research and reports can be found below and on the Timeline 

Another Year in the Life of the London Leaders 2009-10

London Leaders 2009-10 Project Summary

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


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