How can we make our cities less lonely?

London is ranked as one of the loneliest cities in the world. Britain has over 9 million lonely people, and the problem is growing. Loneliness is bad for our communities, bad for our health and wellbeing and bad for business. It can even be as harmful to our health as smoking.

It’s clear more needs to be done to tackle this growing issue. But what?

Of course, we can all be better neighbours, citizens and friends, and smile at strangers in the street. But that alone is not enough.

The Loneliness Lab has been created to bring together business, government and civil society to explore how we can reshape and reimagine our cities to design out loneliness and isolation. To reimagine the places in which we live and work, in ways that help us to make connections more easily, to get to know our neighbours, and to feel part of a community. Most importantly of all, to reimagine the city so that the most vulnerable and isolated are included.


The Story So Far

The Lab started by bringing together businesses, policy makers, experts, and NGOs together with people experiencing loneliness for a one day kick-off event in London.

Throughout the day we explored what’s making all of us lonely and identified opportunities to reimagine the places and spaces in our cities with loneliness and isolation in mind.

We then tested the emerging ideas through a week-long design sprint. 32 participants formed 10 teams prototyping ideas in real communities and places over 6 days.   These projects are now being developed into pilots that will be rolled out through 2019.


Read the Playbook

We’ve produced a playbook of all the things we’ve learned, brought to life and planned for the future. It’s full of insights from our research on loneliness and the work of the Sprint teams, information about our process, and what we’re doing next.


Get Involved with the Lab

Whether you've got an idea to help tackle loneliness, or you want to take part in building solutions, we need your help.

Have an idea of how we can tackle loneliness? Working to make London less lonely through the way we design places and spaces? Interested in being a collaborator or partner? Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.


The Loneliness Lab is powered by


Together want to know what it takes to create places and spaces that give the people who live, work and play in our cities the connection they need to lead a happy and healthy life.

More About the Lab >

We're also grateful for the support of the organisations who have helped shape the Lab:

Get Support with Loneliness

If you or someone you know has been feeling lonely, or want to know more information about the support available for lonely or isolated people, we'd suggest getting in touch with Mind or the British Red Cross.


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