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Ying Jin, Steven Denman, Li Wan: Abstract and background reading

The UK2070 Futures Study aims to investigate distinct scenarios regarding spatial rebalancing and development in the UK, with a focus on the growth and change in jobs, supply and demand of housing and provision of transport infrastructure and services.  The distinct scenarios are designed to explore a wide range of potential economic and demographic development trajectories that are cogent for policy purposes, both pre- and post-Pandemic. The modelling work is to examine the effectiveness of existing and potential options for intervention in a long term policy programme in the next 50 years – to 2070.

The study is intended to fill a persistent gap in the available evidence for making decisions on future developments across the UK.  Policy makers, business leaders, community activists and academic researchers all aspire to coordinated interventions on jobs, housing and transport.  However, the theories and data regarding the interactions among those sectors are complex, and there are few current studies available examining how these sectors actually connect and interact.

This study builds on the research work from a wide range of institutions and individuals taking part in the UK2070 Commission research, and connects the insights from those distinct disciplines through a theory of spatial equilibrium that articulates the interactions among the sectors of economy and society that are key to spatial development decisions.  In particular, a computer simulation model is used to understand and represent the multiple interactions which shape choices on jobs, housing and transport. This computer simulation model is first checked for fidelity in its predictions of business and consumer choices, and then used as a digital laboratory to test a wider range of policy and community interventions than what could be possible through thought experiments or single-sector analyses.  The findings from the model are reported for comment by both specialists and non-specialists in an interdisciplinary context.  

The model findings have thus far supported the UK2070 Commission in its deliberations on the options of policy interventions and prioritisation against a broad, strategic understanding of the major opportunities and challenges facing the UK.


Further reading/video:

For the wider policy reports produced by a distinguished group of academics and practitioners on the UK’s future options for spatial development, explore at

For a summary of the UK2070 Commission’s work, watch the Sir Peter Hall Memorial Lecture 2020 by Lord Robert Kerslake, which was delivered on 4 June during the Lockdown: