London Mayor Sadiq Khan and the London Recovery Board announced a GBP 1.5 billion Infrastructure Investment Package on July 29, 2020, that aims to recover the local economy, creating jobs and reducing London’s carbon and water footprints. The specific projects and corresponding budget allocations are yet to be defined. Projects will be implemented together with shortlisted utility companies and delivered with the support of the recently established Infrastructure Coordination Service.
Among other tasks, the package will be used to refurbish and improve the city’s water infrastructure to decrease leakage by 20%, installing solutions to reduce water pollution incidents by 30% and expanding the city’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Moreover, the stimulus package will be used to upgrade Greater London’s gas network to enhance the security of supply. The latter component cannot be considered in line with a green recovery strategy, as it locks in a fossil fuel-based utility system. However, since the London Recovery Board has announced the start of a mass public engagement exercise using the Talk London platform, citizens might have the opportunity to co-define the next phase of London’s recovery efforts and ensure that all public spending is channelled to green and sustainable purposes.