The last two years have brought a significant rethink into the fabric of urban life. The shift to online retail and home working has opened up exciting conversations about the potential for the 15-minute city: areas in which residents can meet most of their daily needs, from work and school to healthcare and retail, while travelling mainly by foot, bike or public transport.

KPMG’s analysis suggests that while the increasing trend for working from home has encouraged growth in these localised neighbourhoods, in the longer-term this trend towards hybrid working will make employers want to consolidate their remaining workplaces into fewer larger sites and to base these in locations accessible for large numbers of part-time commuters. Inevitably these places will generally be the largest and strongest towns and cities in the UK.

The combination of these diverse effects illustrates that local authorities can no longer take a one-size-fits-all approach to their planning for the future as the impact of these trends, pulling in different directions, will vary enormously across different urban and suburban areas.

Instead, each locality needs to take a long hard look at its unique strengths– to consider where they need to focus on in order to create a place of well-defined purpose. A thorough diagnostic can help to establish each place’s unique identity and can help local authorities to tailor the range of interventions needed for it to attract the people and partnerships that fit with the opportunities it offers.

The additional opportunities, set out in the Government’s Levelling Up missions, for place based devolution, redistribution of grant funding and encouragement of local dynamism mean there’s never been a better time to act. 

KPMG does not have all the answers for each area. But as the leading advisor on devolution, local government reorganisation and development of innovation districts, we can offer a process in which each location can best assess what makes it unique within the context of its wider area and network. Only by embracing its distinctiveness as an integral part of its planning can every town and city work to attract the residents, businesses and visitors needed to help each place achieve its purpose and potential. 

Connect with us

Our Solutions

Customer centric design

We can help you exploit new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to improve your citizens’ experience of using your services.

Powered Enterprise

Cloud-based organisation transformation to make sure your core functions support your strategy and citizens’ needs.

Infrastructure investment

We can help you explore options, articulate the business case and secure investment for new infrastructure projects.

Data analytics and insight

Making future-proof decisions based on reliable data, targeted analysis and visualisations which help you understand the problem to be solved.

Cost Optimisation

With budgets continually under pressure, the need to continue to drive efficiency savings and good procurement/contract management is always important.

Cyber security

Our Cyber team can help you build the digital resilience to transform your business in a safe and sustainable way.

Regeneration, reorganisation and refinancing

Our deal advisory team can help you get the best value out of the deals you make.