London’s Central Activities Zone faces a ‘perfect storm’: a reduction in office workers, a sharp slowdown in tourism and changes to how Londoners spend their leisure time. This has had a devastating effect on businesses and cultural institutions.
I am commissioning a major piece of research into the future of central London and the Canary Wharf area, which have both suffered a sudden and rapid reduction in footfall due to the pandemic. No one can be certain what the new normal for global city centres will be and this will provide evidence to plan for future scenarios and best protect London’s economy and global competitiveness.
The London Transition Board continues to discuss the challenges facing the CAZ. I have repeatedly lobbied that the CAZ needs targeted support from Government. City Hall research shows the biggest barrier to economic recovery is fear of infection, meaning no amount of work will quickly return pre-pandemic levels of footfall and this is likely to remain the case for some time.