Related Articles

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.

Underground basements

Over ten thousand more underground private spas, gyms and cinemas in our well-heeled city neighbourhoods by 2040, at depths of over 20m.

Social housing

By 2040 councils will have a bigger role in providing city social housing, but (barring a radical change of policy) housing associations and PRS landlords will still be in the lead in 2040.

International students

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

The role of green space in cities

Urban greenspaces will be under bigger pressure by 2040, and their development will be more controversial. CBRE predicts a loss of up to 6,700 playing fields by 2040.


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

Communications and broadband

UK cities have their work cut out to stay ahead of the pack on broadband speeds.

Water consumption

City water consumption in 2040 – the same as today, unless you take fewer baths.


Placemaking attracts talented citizens, but talented citizens will make placemaking more challenging in 2040.

Multi-generational housing

Multigenerational housing could have tripled by 2040.

Over station development

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

Housing tenure choices in 2040

By 2040, the majority of those living in a major city will be renting their home.

Institutionally owned private rented housing

By 2040 investment will have completely transformed the private rented sector, with around half a million households in institutionally-owned rented homes.


Drones won’t overfly our cities with parcels until formidable regulatory concerns are overcome. Even in 2040, surface-based logistics will be more important.

City commuting by rail

More city rail users, travelling further, but less predictably, by 2040.

Polycentricity and polarisation

By 2040, cities will become more polycentric, with sharper distinctions between bustling district centres and sleepy suburbs.

Garden cities

The UK will have a new city by 2040.

Revitalised suburbs

The costs of the inner city will drive the revitalisation of suburban districts in big cities.

Density in cities

Rising densities in all our cities will create new social and economic opportunities by 2040.

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.