Mind the Gap
Measuring the cost to London and UK of under-investment in public infrastructure
‘Mind the Gap’ looks at how London responds to public investments, and the long-term socio-economic cost of not making such investments.
Greenwood’s Greater London Simulator, created in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the Mayor of London, uses our unique whole-city simulation approach to give the GLA previously-unavailable intelligence to help prioritise, fund, and finance public investments.
Our analysis highlights the substantial gap between London’s infrastructure needs and public funding available.
It shows that five major London infrastructure projects – Crossrail 2, extensions to Crossrail 1, the Bakerloo Line and Sutton Tram, and redevelopment of the Royal Docks – would create 365,000 additional homes and 379,000 new London jobs by 2050, adding £33.8bn to the UK economy and £9.8bn to tax revenues – enough to pay for all of them.
By demonstrating that these investments can be self-funding through resulting economic growth and increased tax receipts, whole-city analysis creates new opportunities for private financing of public investments using innovative financial instruments.
This can help cities break free of the ‘vicious cycle’ of under-funding to create a ‘virtuous circle’ where new infrastructure brings socio-economic benefits and increased tax revenues for local authorities and the nation.
The GLA's press release can be accessed here.
Greenwood featured in Major Hurricane Report
The report “Houston and Hurricane Harvey: a call to action” published in late June 2018 features Greenwood in the recommendations section.
This report is the result of the post-event study of Hurricane Harvey, conducted by ISET-International, the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance, and the American Red Cross Global Disaster Preparedness Center. The report looks in detail at the Houston floods that resulted from Hurricane Harvey and provides recommendations for enhancing flood resilience.
Greenwood’s contribution (on pages 41-42) addresses a new reality for many cities around the world: the certainty of increasingly frequent serial flood-level events, and resulting urgent need to measure long-term social, economic, environmental, and fiscal impacts of such flooding on communities and governments at all levels.
Greenwood’s unique simulation technology can be quickly applied for this purpose in any city, and reliably quantifies the ‘cost of not’ investing in flood protection infrastructure and the long-term socioeconomic value of such investments.
The Global Situation and Challenge
The connective complexity of our systems has grown far faster than the human capability to anticipate and cope with its consequences. Greenwood Strategic Advisors creates solutions that enhance management and organizational performance in complex and dynamic environments.
Members of the firm are leading experts with a proven track record of generating superior outcomes in a wide range of social, economic, industry, market, and business settings. Our uncompromising emphasis on integrity of character is essential to Greenwood's performance. Through collaborative partnerships we strengthen the ability of business, government, and other organizations to effectively manage systemic complexity.
The word originates in the Latin quinta essentia "fifth element", the core, the key source, the most important. It has also come to mean the key point, end result or the essence of reasoning. Out of this spirit the presented papers were created. They reflect key concepts that we believe are integral in understanding systemic connectivity.
SUSTAINABLE URBAN FINANCING FRAMEWORK
The Sustainable Urban Financing Framework is a technology-enabled platform that connects cities, towns and institutional investors to secure sustainable financing for and investment in sustainable (i) development, (ii) economic and fiscal performance and (iii) environmental social, and life quality.
Greenwood is partnering with the Greater London Authority (GLA), the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) and is discussing partnerships with other international cities located in the U.S. and Europe. These cities are addressing three common challenges as they seek expanded investment and development:
Integrated Strategic PlanningLaying the ground work for greater control of their futures, more and more cities have launched integrated strategic planning initiatives. Most of these look ahead to 2030 whereas the GLA's plan runs to 2050. Investment costs associated with London's plan are expected to total £1.45 thousand billion (trillion) or about £40 billion annually, most of which is likely to come from the private sector. Cities are challenged by the current lack of a framework for integrating and balancing needed investments and controlling development implementation to ensure positive returns for the city after financing costs. Establishing that integrative steering platform is one objective of the Sustainable Urban Financing Framework.
Governmental Powers & Fiscal AutonomyAll of these cities face a common problem: higher levels of government that dictate and restrict local revenues (and hence financing ability) and simultaneously underfund local investment and development. Based on their strategic planning, managers in these cities know that needed investment substantially exceeds what higher levels of government can provide. The GLA sees the platform and technology of the Sustainable Urban Financing Framework as key aids in demonstrating to central government that devolution is a win-win solution essential for sustainable economic growth. The framework will support and ensure sufficient investment funding for this natural evolution of governance and economic management from national and state levels back to municipalities.
Local Communities in the Larger WholeThe multi-community metropolitan areas of the above cities have been so sub-optimized for so long that major gains will come with every forward step in integrative management, justifying and sustaining a great deal more investment than has been historically feasible. The Sustainable Urban Financing Framework uniquely demonstrates cross-community synergies, helping to overcome local political barriers and enabling local communities to collaborate in securing investment and managing collective development.
Addressing all these challenges in a more integrated way will increase the attractiveness, the Quality of Life and the competitiveness of these Metropolitan Areas in a global economy. These needs provide a unique opportunity for sustainable impact investments – integrating social, environmental and infrastructure investments and making them work.