London’s growth over the past decade has been astonishing and with the population expected to rise by around 100,000 each year to 2024, the pace is set to increase even further(1).

In part, this growth has been driven by the city’s ability to create jobs, attracting workers from all over the globe. This growth has been across a wider range of industries than ever before including creative, tech and life sciences. Over the next 30 years the growth in these sectors will also impact on people’s place of work.

Population and economic growth

According to Oxford Economics, overall employment rose by 19.9% over the decade to 2014. Office employment increased by an even more remarkable 29.3% .

Over the next five years alone, the number of people employed in office-orientated sectors is set to increase by a further 250,000, or 11% (2).

This is primarily being driven by companies that thrive in urban locations, knowledge-intensive industries such as professional and business services and the burgeoning tech scene(3).

Source: GLA 2015 Round Demographic Projections

Lessons from past expansion

The volume of office space required cannot solely be provided within the existing boundaries of the City and West End. Areas now considered on the fringe will become mainstream destinations, and new hubs will be developed within London.

This is nothing new for London. The West End was originally built as a residential extension of the City, but for a century or more has been a key office market.

In the 1980s, Canary Wharf provided space for the City’s financial industries to expand, providing them with the floor plates they required in the buildings that suited their image.

More recently, Shoreditch and Clerkenwell have evolved from fringe areas dominated by light industry and residential, to being at the forefront of London’s tech and creative economy.

Kings Cross is also supporting the growth of life sciences with an array of medical research institutions such as the Wellcome Trust and the £500m Francis Crick Institute, due to open in late 2015.

The regeneration of areas such as Kings Cross and Paddington, have provided world-class environments that are offering vibrant retail and other amenities from the outset.

So, where next?

This process will continue over the coming years, as Stratford, Nine Elms, Whitechapel and White City become established office markets.

They will be joined by reinvigorated or emerging outer London hubs such as Croydon and Old Oak Common.

These emerging markets will be key in providing the workplaces and business neighbourhoods of the future.