A strategic review of London’s Knowledge Clusters.

Client: British Land, Cushman & Wakefield, Derwent London, London Property Alliance. 

Date: 2018 

Services: Research 

Future Places Studio were commissioned by British Land, Cushman & Wakefield, Derwent London and the London Property Alliance to produce a report which explores London’s Knowledge Clusters.

For many, London is a city of clusters. In Soho you have a clustering around media, advertising and digital marketing. The City and Canary Wharf are financial clusters. East London is a technology cluster. Agglomerations of a sector in a specific location are not new, but there are a number of features which are common to the Knowledge Clusters identified in the Knowledge Clusters report:

  1. Knowledge Clusters are geographical locations which attract organisations from the knowledge economy: a sector based on knowledge intensive activities, creating a greater reliance on intellectual capital rather than physical inputs. It is normally centred around education, science, healthcare, technology and creative services.
  2. Knowledge Clusters tend to initially form around a specific anchor such as a university or hospital.
  3. As the cluster develops there is strategic intent from members (anchors and tenants) of the Knowledge Cluster to support its growth and develop an eco-system of activity which includes start-ups, scale-ups and anchor corporates.
  4. Creating opportunities for knowledge exchange between members of the clusters is encouraged. This can include shared learnings, collaborations, partnerships and joint ventures.
  5. The local authority plays an active role in the growth and development of a Knowledge Cluster.
  6. A positive impact on the local community is a key measure of success for a Knowledge Cluster.

London has a number of geographical locations which are established or emerging Knowledge Clusters. The report we produced explored four such clusters, each at a different stage in their evolution and each with their own opportunities and challenges.

  1. King’s Cross and Euston: Established Knowledge Cluster
  2. White City: Emerging Knowledge Cluster
  3. Whitechapel: Potential Knowledge Cluster
  4. Sutton: Future Knowledge Cluster