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About Our Cities

The best way to understand the future of the British city is to look at what it was like 20 years ago.

CaMKOx: The Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor

The Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor will be the UK’s newest ‘city region’ by 2040.


Our cities have known terrorism and will continue to do so over coming decades. But they can help reduce its threat and impact through careful placemaking.

International students

UK cities will benefit from an increasing cohort of international talent in 2040 – with real estate to match.

Will flexible working policies drive cities to be fully 24/7?

Rise of the 24/7 city will hampered by city dwellers’ preference for their beds.

City branding

All major UK cities will have attempted a city branding exercise by 2040 – but will it work?


Dealing with city sewage is likely to get more expensive and sophisticated.

Real estate investment and liquidity

Real estate investment per capita in our cities implies smaller cities will outperform over the next 20 years – but city policy makers can affect the outcome.

Over station development

Over station development could be providing significant housing in London by 2040 – but not in other cities.


Both shopping and shops will still be vital to city centres in 2040. But what, and who, is in those shops will be very different.

Airport expansion

At least two new city airport runways by 2040, with extensive expansion elsewhere to meet strong demand – and the surface connections to match.

What makes a successful city?

Culture, innovation and governance have always been, and still will be, the drivers of the successful city in 2040.

The new city adventure playground

Expect the city of 2040 to be a tough, energetic, virtual-reality enhanced adventure playground.

All the other things we didn’t write about

Was there a topic missing from CBRE’s cities campaign? Get in touch and let us know.