Our work

Where we work

We work on urban health problems in the inner-city London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark, to make them healthier places to live.

Lambeth and Southwark, London

The inner-city London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark are our home. They are central London boroughs south of the Thames, only two miles from the City of London.

The two areas are densely populated – twice the average in London – and on a par with Cairo or New Delhi. They have a rich social and ethnic mix, including large Black and LGBT+ communities.

We see a large amount of population churn and the boroughs currently have a population of around 600,000. This makes them roughly the same size as Athens, Stuttgart, or Boston.

Inequality in our boroughs

1 in 4

A quarter of the population of Lambeth live in poverty

1 in 3

Over a third living in Southwark live in areas with the highest levels of deprivation in England

Health inequalities in Lambeth and Southwark

In London, like in many other cities, affluence and poverty live side-by-side. This map shows levels of deprivation according to the Index of Multiple Deprivation.

We’ve seen big improvements in health outcomes in our place over the last 50 years. Life expectancy has increased, while child mortality and teenage pregnancy have declined.
But despite positive changes, some local people are worse off. One in four people in Lambeth live in poverty. Over a third in Southwark live in areas with the highest levels of deprivation in England.
These inequalities contribute to extreme health outcomes. The gap in healthy life expectancy is 19 years between the least and most deprived areas of England.

Sharing our learning with other cities

We’re working to find solutions to complex urban health problems in our place. But we don’t just want change in London.

Where we work is like so many other places around the world. Using data from the UN-Habitat’s City Prosperity Initiative alongside diversity data, we’ve started identifying cities with similar characteristics to London and our boroughs.

New York, Paris, Melbourne, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Mexico all hold similarities to London. Glasgow, Detroit and Birmingham hold similarities specific to Lambeth and Southwark.

We share our insights and practical learning to help others working on urban health. Working together, we can better understand how people in other cities are addressing inequalities and the health impact of living in urban environments.

Resources to further explore health inequalities