Page last updated at 08:08 GMT, Monday, 16 March 2009

London's recovery lies in suburbs

High street
London's suburbs are home to 60% of the city's population

More investment in London's suburbs is vital to the city's economic recovery, according to a new report.

Ensuring people spend time and money in their suburbs will maintain their image as attractive places for residents and businesses, said London Councils.

Improving suburban high streets, providing more modern office space and improving public transport links would also help, researchers found.

Suburbs are home to 60% of London's population.

Highly skilled residents

They also provide jobs that account for a third of the capital's economic output, researchers said.

Suburban communities in London are being hit particularly hard by the recession
Mike Freer, London Councils

The report said suburbs were home to a highly skilled resident workforce, established industries and some thriving town centres.

"Suburban communities in London are being hit particularly hard by the recession," said Mike Freer from London Councils.

"But investing in their untapped resources, skilled workforce and potential to contribute more to London's economy will be vital in helping the city emerge from the recession and move towards a stronger and more balanced economy."

The report also recommended more investment in hospitals, schools, parks and cultural facilities as well as reducing the suburbs' carbon footprint by reducing people's reliance on cars, cutting air pollution and making buildings more energy efficient.

The proposals are based on making the most of underused resources and future investment in the suburbs, rather than transferring money away from inner London, researchers said.

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