London City Portrait and Call to Action

The London Doughnut Coalition (LDEC) has published its first City Portrait

Eighteen months after we first met, The London Doughnut Coalition has produced its first City Portrait. Taking Amsterdam as our inspiration, we have pulled together a range of different sources of evidence to provoke discussion and action in our neighborhoods and the city as a whole. We attach both the document and the data behind it for consideration and discussion!

We used the four lenses to form our City Portrait which told us the following: 

  • The Local Social lens tells us that food security is increasingly an issue for Londoners; it tells us that mobility is challenged; and engagement in civic life is persistently low.

  • The Local Ecological lens tells us that whilst London is making great progress as a National Park City, it will still face a water deficit in the next 25 years and net loss of biodiversity has accelerated in recent years.

  • The Global Ecological lens shows that London has a negative ecological footprint and is a significant contributor to global climate change and ocean acidification. it shows that whilst carbon emissions have declined by 25% in the last 30 years, 4000 deaths a year can be attributed to air quality

  • The Global Social London clearly has an impact on countries and communities around the world as a result of the mining activity influenced by the city; consumer choice and the decisions of the financial services sector casts a long shadow and limits the ability of populations globally to thrive.

 We are now inviting all Londoners and London institutions to engage in a positive discussion about the future of the city

All Londoners – We want all Londoners to think about their relationship with the Doughnut, the choices that they make and the way they engage. We want all Londoners to be inspired to engage with positive activism supporting regenerative practices in their communities as well as hold politicians and companies to account.

Community Groups and Civil Society – Community groups and civil society organisations can form the glue which turns individual activism into a dynamic commons. We want groups to embrace the ideas of the doughnut within their activities and do great irresistible things in their areas of focus.

Local Politicians – The evidence reviewed (see appendix) and our conversations to date, show the difference in social and environmental performance in London’s places.  We invite every borough in London to consider Doughnut Economics as the basis for their economic strategies, and we want every local councillor to think about how they can help and deliver more for their local constituents. Most boroughs have been encouraged to produce growth focussed economic strategies, without considering the long term social and ecological impacts of this. We invite all boroughs to become changemakers, by reconsidering their economic strategies in light of the defining challenges of the 21st Century.

City Hall – As we set out above, we want City Hall to adapt and evolve its strategies and policies to create a new economic strategy for London. We believe that the Mayor’s role as a changemaker is as a steward for the next stage of London’s role as the most influential global city; this is an excellent opportunity for Sadiq to demonstrate what this looks like in action

Businesses – London has over one million businesses, each with their own mission and impact. We want businesses to be supported to make choices about how they can live within the doughnut and support their suppliers and customers to do the same. Adopting new circular practices, supporting their workforce and celebrating their role in a new type of city economy is what we envision for businesses. In due course, we believe that this will require deeper systems change, where business pivots from a force that focuses on extracting maximum financial value to one that generates maximum benefits – a change where London can clearly be a leader.

Finance – London’s financial sector is probably where decisions have the most significant global social and global ecological impacts. This is not to underestimate the impact of institutional finance on local outcomes (construction, housing, social Investment), but London’s role as a global financial centre casts a long shadow across the world.  

We are now planning events, and discussions as well as thinking about how we can do more to amplify the amazing things that are happening in our city.  

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