City Challenges

London City Challenges 2016

During a series of conversations with Londoners talking about the challenges and opportunities that the city offers, we have identified three core challenges that can inspire impactful experiments: mobility, air quality and connecting communities. Here we offer some insight into the citizens experience and their opinions.

Urban mobility

Londoners are in love with the city and want to explore its diversity and feel a part of it. Over time, they have established a personal connection… even with the tube lines! During the conversations we were told that “Today was a Victoria line day, especially because I’m really into my book and I want a seat to read on my way. I have many options so every day I choose my transport according to my mood.”

With such a vast city it’s difficult to connect all the areas in their head so “people aren’t aware of how close things are: they use their car or public transport unnecessarily.” However, they might want to avoid the public transport during certain hours because “it’s eternal to get home at night.” Your experiment can help them choose more sustainable, active or social ways to get around the city.

London map full of fences and barriers

Londoner sketch about mobility in the city

Air quality

Londoners are aware of the growing problem of air pollution in the city. They say “We have a low quality of life because of air pollution. Walk, cycle, run, tube… everywhere: you just need to blow your nose to see it!” They wish “to have a consistently happy cycling commute: clear roads, fair weather and clean air.” Your experiment can help to improve air quality or reduce public exposure to dangerous pollutants with measurement, behaviour change, creating awareness or technology intervention.

Fumes and smoke surround Londoner on their daily life

Londoner sketch on pollution

Connecting communities

The scale of the city gives Londoners the impression that “anything could be happening anywhere.” People decide to move here for opportunities, but they also acknowledge that “it’s difficult to know where to start.” The citizens can see the obvious advantages and many say their favourite thing “is to get lost in the city and explore.”

The intention to connect and belong in the city is challenged by the general living situation: “It’s hard to set up a community if people are living in situations that they don’t see as a long term solution.” Londoners feel that disconnection with their neighbours and with the institutions, because they feel “you loose the direct person to person touch with institutions.” This creates a feeling of distrust and a lack of representation of their opinions.

Your experiment could improve the connection between people and their surrounding community, or the facilities that are available for more social, more healthy, or more cultural interactions. Guide Londoners to connect to one another, nurture communities and discover the hidden gems awaiting in their local area.

Post-it notes capturing experiences on community

Notes taken during OrganiCity Conversation: ‘Let’s talk London’

These challenges are uncovered to help you think of experiments that will impact the life quality of Londoners. You can define other challenges for your experiment as long as they are based around the needs of the citizens. The challenges are out there, now it’s your turn to get involved in improving the city.

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