Opportunity Areas and Brownfields
Opportunity areas
London lacks available land for large new developments. To ensure the implementation of Objective 1 of the London Plan and its aim to build a significant amount of new housing, brownfields for prospective development were allocated. 39 areas of opportunity were defined. The areas are diverse in size and opportunities. Each of them can accommodate about 5,000 jobs and 2,500 new homes.

The biggest opportunity area, Upper Lea Valley, has an area of 3,900 hectares and should accommodate at least 20,100 new homes by 2031. Having such ambitious targets in mind, a data-driven approach towards development could be applied. If we open IAT© and zoom to the Upper Lea Valley, we see that there are 197 IAT cells with the total index ranging from 1 to 60. To prioritise the development of the Upper Lea Valley, 66 cells with IAT© scores of more than 30 could be selected for the first stages, then digging into the areas with lower infrastructure provision. Besides selecting the areas with higher infrastructure accessibility, IAT© will provide an insight into which types of supplementary infrastructure should be built. There's a significant lack of social and necessary infrastructure: schools, daycare, grocery shops, cultural and leisure facilities, restaurants, etc.
IAT© for suitable brownfield selection
There are currently over 3,000 brownfields in the Brownfield Land Register led by the Greater London Authority, their summarised area being over 2,800 hectares. The majority of them are not large (the mean brownfield area in London is under 1 ha).
IAT© data can help in the process of choosing a brownfield for development. We analysed the brownfield locations, area and the infrastructure provision level around them. Further from the centre, brownfield areas are larger, and there are also more of them. There are 1,303 brownfields in Inner London with a mean area of 0.72 ha and 1,712 in Outer London with a mean area of 1.1 ha. Almost a third of the total brownfield area is located in three boroughs - Barnet, Barking and Dagenham, and Wandsworth.
The highest IAT© values around brownfields are located in Inner London; the mean brownfield index in Inner London is 47 while the mean brownfield index in Outer London is 32, corresponding with the overall IAT© distribution.

Through our research, we can compare different brownfields, identify their challenges and benefits in terms of different infrastructure types, clarify the requirements for development and choose the best options for specific conditions.
Explore the map
IAT© can be integrated into existing urban planning systems in order to assess urban policy implementation and formulate place specific development programs. Explore the map with IAT© index layers corresponding to London Plan town centres, opportunity areas, brownfields and more.