08 Feb 2021

City cycles

The accountancy firm PwC said the number of people living in the capital could fall by more than 300,000 this year, from a record level of about 9 million in 2020, to as low as 8.7 million. This would end decades of growth with the first annual drop since 1988.

This number feels light to me. I'd expect something closer to a million. Even in the outer villages of North London a lot of lights are off in the evening. It could be a long time until they are turned on again.

Cities are hard organisms to kill - geography is a greater master of destiny than we like to admit. What the city adapts into is the crossroads it stands on. A fairer, cleaner, greener London. Or the Neo-Victorian Gotham of poor-doors, food banks and funeral pyres of a blocks residents.