Place

Infrastructure can improve the economic prospects of local areas and help to enhance the distinct identities of the places where we live, work, and enjoy life.

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Summary

The Commission adopts a place based approach to its thinking, reflecting the results of social research which showed 8 in 10 people believe good infrastructure is necessary to support a good quality of life.

The Commission adopts a place-based approach to its thinking, reflecting the results of social research which showed 8 in 10 people believe good infrastructure is necessary to support a good quality of life.
Infrastructure helps form the identity of places as well as creating efficient links between them. Better transport infrastructure can alleviate bottlenecks to growth in congested areas and improve connectivity, while infrastructure improvements also have the potential, alongside other policies such as skills training, to increase growth in lower productivity areas and help efforts to level up the economy.
Our towns study, for example, found that transport and digital infrastructure in particularly have an important role in supporting economic growth & better quality of life in towns and cities; while our 2022 Getting cities moving report identified the need to get more people making more trips into and around city centres to boost growth in English cities outside of London, without adding to congestion or undermining existing net zero objectives.
These reports informed many of the recommendations in the Second National Infrastructure Assessment on supporting growth in all regions of the country. These include:

  • cities adopting flexible strategic transport plans that can adapt to a range of future transport demand scenarios – backed up by £22 billion in long term funding for major transport projects between 2028 and 2045 – to get more people making more trips into and around city centres
  • to support this, government should make this long term funding for major projects conditional on the introduction of demand management schemes, to be designed to work best in a city’s local context
  • devolving power to local authorities responsible for strategic transport, to allow them to plan for the long term
  • ensuring gigabit capable connectivity is available nationwide by 2030, along with accelerating the deployment of 5G technology.

While the Commission’s remit does not include housing provision, we have advised government on how utility services can better support proposed housing developments and help enable the scale of house building needed to accommodate a growing population.

Data on place

A range of data sets relating to the theme of place is available to review on our Data pages. This includes data sets used in Commission reports, as well as historic data sets. Each can be reviewed online or downloaded. 

Review data

Latest Updates

Infrastructure Progress Review 2024
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Infrastructure Progress Review 2024

Our latest annual review of government progress in delivering its major infrastructure objectives.

16 May 2024
Window closing on infrastructure catch up, warn government advisers
Cover graphic for IPR24

Window closing on infrastructure catch up, warn government advisers

Failure to go further, faster over the next five years on plans for infrastructure delivery could constrain economic growth and threaten climate targets, according to the government’s official infrastructure advisers. Noting the UK has faced several years of disruption from Covid and the cost-of-living crisis, the National Infrastructure Commission’s annual review charts a mixed picture...

16 May 2024 By
James Heath: urgent planning reform needed to remove “binding constraint” on UK’s economic future
A modern bridge over a dual carriageway cutting through British farmland

James Heath: urgent planning reform needed to remove “binding constraint” on UK’s economic future

James Heath, chief executive of the National Infrastructure Commission, spoke at the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects Forum in London yesterday (6 March). James offered the Commission’s view on the vital importance of speeding up the planning regime for major projects, given the need for pace in delivering tens of billions of pounds’ worth of schemes...

7 Mar 2024 By
Views sought on project level design principles
Pedestrians crossing an unusual shaped footbridge over rail tracks

Views sought on project level design principles

Infrastructure professionals are being invited to share their views and experiences of working with project-specific design principles to help inform new national guidance. The National Infrastructure Commission’s Design Group, chaired by Sadie Morgan, is seeking input on how such principles can work in practice and examples of the difference they can make at different stages...

31 Jan 2024 By
Long term review sets out pressing need to modernise infrastructure to support economic growth and climate action
Scout Moor windarm and the Naden Reservoirs near Rochdale

Long term review sets out pressing need to modernise infrastructure to support economic growth and climate action

Improved infrastructure to boost economic growth across the UK and meet climate goals is both achievable and affordable if the right policy steps are taken now, according to the government’s independent advisers on infrastructure strategy. The Second National Infrastructure Assessment – a five yearly review conducted by the National Infrastructure Commission – sets out a...

18 Oct 2023 By
Second National Infrastructure Assessment
Scout Moor windarm and the Naden Reservoirs near Rochdale

Second National Infrastructure Assessment

The Commission's thirty year plan for a low carbon and resilient UK economy that supports economic growth and protects the natural environment

18 Oct 2023
National Infrastructure Assessment
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National Infrastructure Assessment

An analysis of the UK’s long term economic infrastructure needs, outlining a strategic vision over the next thirty years.

18 Oct 2023
James Heath: The future of transport in UK cities
Leeds urban transport

James Heath: The future of transport in UK cities

The Commission’s chief executive James Heath gave a speech to the Move 2023 conference in London today (21 June 2023) exploring the questions and emerging themes which are shaping our work on urban transport ahead of the publication of the UK’s second National Infrastructure Assessment later this autumn. Our job at the National Infrastructure Commission...

21 Jun 2023 By
Stronger coordination of environment and community benefit needed to get planning timescales back on track
T-pylons under construction

Stronger coordination of environment and community benefit needed to get planning timescales back on track

A new data platform to share environmental information and effective ways of addressing the impact of proposed infrastructure projects will enable stronger protection for natural habitats and speed up schemes crucial to the net zero transition, according to a new report by the National Infrastructure Commission. The review by the government’s official infrastructure advisers also...

18 Apr 2023 By
Infrastructure planning system
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Infrastructure planning system

A short study reviewing the current processes for reviewing national policy statements for key infrastructure sectors

18 Apr 2023
Go big where it counts to hit economic and climate goals, says Commission
Front cover image from IPR

Go big where it counts to hit economic and climate goals, says Commission

Government must develop stronger staying power and focus on fewer, bigger, better targeted initiatives to deliver the infrastructure needed to meet its long term goals for economic growth and a lower carbon economy, the UK’s independent advisers on infrastructure have said. The last year has seen progress towards major infrastructure objectives “stutter further just as...

27 Mar 2023 By
Infrastructure Progress Review 2023
IPR 2023 front cover montage

Infrastructure Progress Review 2023

Our annual monitoring report on government progress towards major infrastructure objectives.

27 Mar 2023
Commission to review major projects planning policy
A solar farm in a field

Commission to review major projects planning policy

The National Infrastructure Commission has been asked to review the current approach to National Policy Statements (NPSs) and identify how the planning system could create greater certainty for infrastructure investors, developers and local communities. The independent advisory body has been commissioned to undertake the review as government prepares to publish an Action Plan on Nationally...

10 Feb 2023 By
Reducing planning delays requires update to national policy statements, says Commission
Commissioners in high vis clothing visiting an infrastructure site

Reducing planning delays requires update to national policy statements, says Commission

The government has today (30 August 2022) published a policy paper outlining steps which seek to speed up the planning process for major national infrastructure projects (NSIPs). Through amendments to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, government intends to enable ministers to set a shorter statutory timeframe for Development Consent Order examinations and to speed...

30 Aug 2022 By

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