Read More
We design bold, transformative place and asset strategies

Now hiring: Consultant

We are looking for a consultant with excellent data analysis skills to support our wide-ranging projects throughout the UK
→ Continue reading this in
VacanciesJournalJournal

Breaking free from the comfort of carbon tunnel vision

Carbon reduction is critical, but adopting a singular focus on carbon can lead to a carbon tunnel vision. Read about the implications of carbon tunnel vision and some solutions in our latest journal entry.
→ Continue reading this in
VacanciesJournalJournal

A better approach to sustainable places

Our latest publication with REDO sets out a better approach to sustainable places, with a focus on retrofit and local carbon offset funds
→ Continue reading this in
VacanciesJournalJournal

A selection of our previous work...

  • Sheffield metroisation

    We assessed social and economic outcomes associated with potential Supertram extensions in the Sheffield city-region

    Project overview

    Sheffield City Council, with support from the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA), commissioned PRD to assess social and economic benefits of proposed extensions to its Supertram network for the city centre and city-region. The first extension would involve repurposing underused and disused railway infrastructure to connect Stocksbridge and Chesterfield to Sheffield city centre, covering a distance of 40 km and incorporating 17 stops. The other extensions would involve new track to extend existing tram infrastructure in the city centre, connecting Royal Hallamshire Hospital and the southern edge of the city centre through six new stops.

    We started by developing a tram extension atlas which reviewed data relating to the communities and land uses falling within an 800m radius of each proposed stop. Data included house sale and rent prices, employment and income deprivation, risk of food poverty, land use, site allocations, local amenities, population density, and population characteristics. The atlas allowed us to identify development opportunities along the proposed routes and estimate what the tram extensions could bring in terms of new businesses, jobs, housing, and amenities. We also developed an individual one-page ‘spotlight’ report for each proposed tram stop to highlight local development opportunities and outcomes.

    Our analysis estimated that the tram extensions, taken together, could spur 22,000 homes—almost 2/3 of Sheffield’s housing target—71 hectares of employment space for 22,000 jobs, around 100,000 additional residents having access to Sheffield’s Supertram network, and £171m in council tax and business rates revenue.

    As a follow-up, SYMCA commissioned PRD to apply the same methodology to a potential tram extension from Rotherham to Killamarsh, which would pass through the region’s important Advanced Manufacturing Park.

    an excerpt from the Sheffield tram atlas showing 800m radii around the proposed tram stops. within each 800m radii is a map showing site allocations by use type e.g. office, housing, industrial.

    Excerpt from our Sheffield tram extensions atlas

    Project details

    • Client
      Sheffield City Council
    • Project Lead
      Amanda Robinson
    • Type
      Data & Evidence
  • Waltham Forest Affordable Housing Commission

    We evidenced the impact of development and change on Waltham Forest’s housing market and communities across a 10-year period

    Project overview

    PRD is working with the London Borough of Waltham Forest to support the findings of an independent Affordable Housing Commission. The council wanted external expert scrutiny to understand what it can do to accelerate the delivery of more genuinely affordable homes. PRD provided a wealth of contemporary evidence tracking the impact of development over the last decade to support the recommendations of the Commission. This combined a mix of granular data, which was then tested and validated through resident engagement.

    Waltham Forest is one of the most rapidly changing boroughs in London, having the fastest house price growth since 2012. Using the London Planning Datahub, PRD identified the neighbourhoods within the borough that had seen the highest housing development over the last ten years. From this, we used the 2021 Census to compare differences between 2011 and 2021, showing how the borough’s demographics have changed and the contribution of new housing development towards these changes. The granularity of the Census enabled a detailed understanding of changes at development level in areas of highest housing growth. This provided deep insight into who had moved into new homes and the role that tenure (affordable vs market housing) played in these changes.

    We supplemented this with a programme of in-depth engagement through focus groups in the areas that had seen the highest development, which helped to test the quantitative data and understand how local people were experiencing area change. Marrying good data with rich qualitative evidence provided a deep understanding of the role of development in the borough’s growth story over the last ten years combined with communities’ experience of rapid change.

    Project details

    • Client
      LB Waltham Forest
    • Project Lead
      Will Temple
    • Type
      Data & Evidence
  • London High Streets Data Service

    We are working with the Greater London Authority to provide data and research for the capital’s high streets and town centres

    Project overview

    The GLA’s high streets data service brings together dynamic datasets to build a detailed picture of activity across the city’s 600+ high streets, 300+ designated town centres, and 60 Business Improvement Districts. It is intended to help people understand how activity on high streets is changing, initially in light of Covid-19 but also throughout ongoing recovery and the current cost of living and doing business crisis.

    In 2020, PRD advised the GLA on relevant data to consider for the service and developed an outline structure for a London-wide, multi-stakeholder Data Partnership to guide the new data service. The GLA commissioned PRD for ongoing work with the data service. Throughout 2021 and 2022, this involved training new users, running group sessions for users on new data and analysis techniques, and promoting the data service. We also added capacity to the GLA for data analysis and insight. For example, we analysed and visualised seven years of vacancy data and trends for high street/town centre premises across London; performed cluster analysis on spending trendlines to identify different typologies of Covid-19 recovery and how those typologies link to high street characteristics; and provided fortnightly reports with maps and graphs showing Central London footfall and spending to support the Let’s Do London marketing campaign throughout 2021/2022.

    In 2023, we are using the high streets data to research the foundational economy across London’s high streets and town centres to identify places where the foundational economy is or is not meeting the needs of local residents.

    Project details

    • Client
      Greater London Authority
    • Project Lead
      Amanda Robinson
    • Type
      Data & Evidence
  • Thames Estuary Growth Board Success Framework

    We created a bespoke framework to define and measure successful growth throughout the Thames Estuary Production Corridor

    Project overview

    The Thames Estuary Growth Board was established by central government to provide a coherent approach to development and growth throughout the Thames Estuary, one of the most important regions in the world for creative and cultural production and innovation. The Growth Board comprises representatives from estuary local authorities and businesses.

    Building on PRD team members’ track record of work in the Thames Estuary, we have been working with the board via the dedicated Thames Estuary envoy to help them define what successful change and growth looks like throughout the region. We have defined what ‘levelling up’ means for the Thames Estuary and created a bespoke measurement framework based on region-specific data analysis and engagement with the board.

    Project details

    • Client
      Thames Estuary Growth Board
    • Project Lead
      Barney Cringle
    • Type
      Monitoring & Evaluation
  • Newham Green Economy

    We are developing a robust strategic and economic case for investment in the green economy in North Woolwich and Beckton

    Project overview

    As part of the London Borough of Newham’s successful application to the government’s UK Community Renewal Fund, PRD and Useful Projects were commissioned to develop an overarching business case and delivery strategy for green economy initiatives in North Woolwich and Beckton.

    Our work is underpinned by a strong evidence base, where we identify the existing social, economic and environmental challenges of the area. We used innovative concepts, such as the Doughnut Economics framework, and tools such as a high-level material flow analysis (MFA) to determine opportunities for green economic growth.

    Our approach also included extensive stakeholder and community engagement. We conducted a series of 1-2-1 sessions with people in strategic and delivery organisations such as the GLA, ReLondon, Royal Docks, Albert Island and local education institutions. We also took a citizen-led approach for our community engagement to ensure we built on local capacity and that the people living, working, and studying in Beckton and North Woolwich informed the way forward.

    The work has identified a clear vision for Beckton and North Woolwich as Newham’s pioneer for building a future economy that delivers for people and the planet, as well as a set of ‘catalytic’ and ‘enabling’ interventions which will support this evolution. The work will ultimately inform corporate decision making regarding future policy and investment across the borough.

    Project details

    • Client
      LB Newham
    • Project Lead
      Carolina Eboli
    • Type
      Green & Circular Economy
  • PRD x Redo

    We work with Redo to help local authorities rejuvenate underused assets and monitor impact of innovative asset strategies

    Project overview

    Our ongoing partnership with Redo is a platform to help local authorities create asset value strategies by using redundant buildings for social good, particularly to support co-working, start-up and scale-up businesses, and local enterprise.

    Redo is the consulting arm of 3space, an affordable/flexible workspace provider. Their model for every space let at an affordable rate, another is given at peppercorn rent, while PRD brings expertise on innovative asset strategies and monitoring success once a space is under operation.

    Together, we have delivered and monitored ongoing impact of projects in Brixton, Lancaster, Kensal, and Old Oak & Park Royal.

    Project details

    • Client
      Various local authorities
    • Project Lead
      Daniel Partridge
    • Type
      Asset Strategy
  • Homes for Lambeth

    We developed a governance structure, financial options, and a business plan for Homes for Lambeth

    Project overview

    The London Borough of Lambeth sought to establish a council-owned housing company to reach ambitious targets for building new social rented housing. PRD initially advised on organisational structuring, delivery strategy and programme management options; undertook extensive engagement and education with councillors, officers, and other stakeholders; liaised with tax, accounting, and legal advisors to test the robustness of the proposed structure against Homes for Lambeth’s (HfL) development goals; helped establish a company Board; and supported the Board to consider messaging and opportunities to meet wider council objectives.

    Since Cabinet approved PRD’s recommendation to establish HfL as a wholly-owned company with a group structure and the detailed governance proposals, we have continued to support HfL at the Board, executive and wider stakeholder levels. With partners , PRD has carried out business and resource planning, co-ordinated legal advice on loans and financing, prepared documents for the Regulator of Social Housing, and developed agreements between the council and HfL.

    Project details

    • Client
      LB Lambeth
    • Project Lead
      Daniel Partridge
    • Type
      Delivery Strategy, Partnership Structure