Could London be a 24-hour city?


Have you ever been to New York, Buenos Aires or Tokyo? If you have then you already know how a 24-hour city looks and functions. From 24-hour cafés to 24-hour supermarkets, giving residents and visitors a freedom to use their day unhindered by the rules that steer a nine-to-five town, but could London be a 24-hour city?

An all-night London is not as far-fetched as it sounds … or is it?


A New Vision

In July 2017 Khan launched a plan to make London a 24-hour city. Created with the Night-Time Commission (a body designed to examine the growth of the night time economy) – promised to help London “compete with the likes of Berlin, Tokyo, and New York”. It lays out 10 principles such as “promoting night time activities other than clubs and attracting investment and tourism to an industry already worth £26.3bn”.

The 2003 Licensing Act has already given local councils the ability to approve 24-hour licenses for venue however barely any councils in London have approved those requests. “A 2013 review of the licencing act then found that 7,672 such licenses had been granted to venues around the UK. Only 12 per cent of those licenses were to pubs and clubs: 45 per cent of them had been granted to hotel bars, most of which were only open to guests.”


What are other counties doing?

In Amsterdam, nightlife venues are given a 24-hour license to enable them to be restaurants, installation spaces and cafes by day. These spaces are treated as a valuable asset, as opposed to a strain on the city’s resources.

In Berlin, clubs stay open for the whole weekend and licensing laws let you have a meal whenever you want, leading people to bring backpacks of clothes, a toothbrush and phone chargers on their nights out: many start with a beer at 6 pm and stay out all night, often for days at a time.

The introduction of the Night Tube was definitely a step in the right direction: it meant fewer nights out in central London finished at 11.30pm, as people rushed to get the last tube home. But as is increasingly obvious, there might not be much point in having a 24-hour tube if there’s nowhere open after 2 am.


Other benefits;

Mirik Milan, Amsterdam’s “Night Mayor,” says;

"I think it is culturally determined that the night ... has always been seen as something which is maybe bad or rowdy. But the night gave creativity to mankind”

There have been several studies conducted found that people tend to be more creative at night -Oliver Watts (a lecturer at the National Institute for Dramatic Arts in Sydney), agrees that ‘creativity is best nurtured after dark, and points to the crucial role of cities.’

Also, the increase in shop cafés, supermarkets, cinemas and gyms will lead to an increase in new jobs and new income for the city.


Can you see London as a 24-hour city?

*no longer with the company*

I joined Mattinson Partnership in April 2017 as a Trainee Recruitment Consultant, working alongside Freddie on the Town Planning and Architecture desk. Before joining Mattinson Partnership I was studying Law at the University of Bedfordshire and worked on a part-time basis in an accountancy firm. I was promoted to Consultant in Autumn of 2017 and now I head the Landscape Architecture and Urban Design desk. When I’m not out socialising with my colleagues you’ll find me at home with my beloved black cat, Snowy.



Back to blog
Log In.

Apply now:


Please note: we only accept .doc, .docx and .pdf files

Refer A Friend:


London Wildlife Trust.

We are proud partners of The London Wildlife Trust, a charity dedicated to protecting the wildlife and wild spaces of London by driving environmental projects throughout the city. Our team often get involved at ground level in Wild Workdays by helping to maintain and restore treasured spaces and land… we love to get our hands dirty! We also run multiple interactive workshops, providing their conservation trainees with invaluable career advice and insights into the environmental sector to prepare them for employment. Most recently, we worked with young people taking part in their Keeping it Wild programme, which engages young people from backgrounds currently under-represented in nature conservation.

Royal Town Planning Institute.

The RTPI represents planning professionals in the UK and Ireland and aims to encourage the development of vibrant and prosperous places and communities. Our Senior Consultant Freddie enthusiastically attends the annual Planning Convention, and we host several events throughout the year to show our support, including drinks networking and a literal pub quiz. We also keep in close contact with our friends down under, at the Planning Institute Australia and New Zealand Planning Institute. In addition, we sponsor the London Planning Summit, an event designed to address the biggest challenges facing the industry. This is our opportunity to stay on top of the latest changes in town planning by meeting with other key professionals in the sector, while celebrating our achievements.

Land Securities Group Plc.

One of our clients, LandSec, are the clever people behind Girls Can Do It Too, an initiative designed to encourage girls to consider a career in construction. Currently, only 11% of the construction workforce are female, and LandSec are attempting to increase this number by providing education and engagement projects and workshops for girls aged 11-13. Featuring workshops on demolition and tower building, as well as challenging the girls to design a planning project of their own (with a focus on budgeting and environmental considerations), LandSec have proven their dedication to addressing the need for diversity in this very male dominated industry. Ruth assists the project by sharing her fascinating insights into the industry and is even on the project judging panel!

Urban Land Institute.

In partnership with Urban Land Institute we are able to play an imperative role in creating a larger and more diverse pool of candidates within the planning & property professions. Working in schools we take part in the Urban Plan Educational workshops programme, which has now reached more than 2,500 pupils in 100 schools since its launch. Alongside more than 200 industry volunteers engaged across the country, we provide invaluable industry & careers advice to students while guiding them through their workshops and helping judge their presentations.

Carbon Footprint.

Carbon FootprintTM works to help organisations offset their CO2 through tree planting and community projects worldwide. By partnering with Carbon FootprintTM, we have planted native trees and shrubs such as Whitebeam, Hazel, Field Maple, Silver Birch, Rowan, Beech, Blackthorn, Holly and Dog Rose to create a Mattinson Forest that spreads across South East England. Carbon FootprintTM work in conjunction with the Florestal Santa Maria Project (FSM-Redd Project), designed to reduce deforestation in the Amazonian Rainforest. So, for every tree we plant in the UK we guarantee a tonne of CO₂ offset in Brazil too. Carbon FootprintTM have allowed us to not only do our bit for the environment but also commemorate moments of growth for our clients and candidates.