Neighbourhood platforms

2 min readMay 12, 2021

I’ve written about what infrastructure we need for the future and what a 15-minute neighbourhood could look like, and how we work at the pace of our neighbourhoods. I’ve also shared potential future scenarios local government could face, including one where councils become neighbourhood platforms, but how could this work?

While people and workers may feel challenged to adapt, suppliers of public services will be challenged to provide more local employment and give back to the neighbourhood.

Community-based infrastructure can attract other businesses to invest and use it for their needs — be it water, housing, or other utilities — as well as external investors who want to test new products.

Some councils are reinventing themselves and building new models.

Building community wealth

Councils like Preston, Oldham, or Nottingham are focused on getting partners to invest in the local area through localising spend or creating municipal utility companies

Stimulating everyday entrepreneurship

Councils like Barking & Dagenham, Bologna or Barcelona are investing in programmes that help residents become entrepreneurs that help everyday resilience & employment

Developing social contracts

Councils like Newham, Wigan or Leeds are mobilising people around a social contract to get people to do their bit, some with incentives included

What models can you see emerging on the local government horizon? In the UK and beyond?

What models are other place-based organisations developing that local government could learn from? (Like Buurtzoog, Bromford Lab, Civic Square)




Head of Policy Design, Scrutiny & Partnerships @newhamlondon #localgov Co-founder of #systemschange & #servicedesign progs. inspired by @cescaalbanese