Bets, hedges, affordable loss and economic appraisal

In a week where the government has cut huge swathes of HS2, economic appraisal is in the spotlight again. Cost benefit analysis is the widespread tool used to assess the economic impact of public investment projects across government. It compares the benefits of a decision to its costs to understand whether it provides value for […]

An uncertain past

A significant part of our work at Volterra involves dealing with an uncertain future. Questions such as how many jobs a development will create, what strategy should an area adopt given we cannot predict how the economy will evolve, or how a new rail link will impact land use patterns around stations all require some […]

Alex O’Byrne promoted to Partner at Volterra

It is with great pleasure that we announce the promotion of Alex O’Byrne to Partner at Volterra. Alex has been with Volterra for over eight years and during that time he has cemented himself as an invaluable member of our team. We are absolutely delighted to recognise his hard work and dedication to Volterra with […]

The Mayor’s Young Professional Panel

Mayor's Young Professional Panel

As part of his ongoing involvement as a member of the Mayor’s Young Professional Panel, Volterra Associate Alex O’Byrne took part in a recent Infrastructure High-Level Group meeting, discussing future infrastructure in London, including plans to improve diversity and inclusion in the sector. The Panel, established by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan two years ago, was […]

Alex to sit on the Mayor’s Infrastructure Young Professional Panel

London at Night

We are delighted to announce Volterra Associate, Alex O’Byrne, has been chosen as one of just 13 members to sit on the recently established Panel. The Infrastructure Young Professionals Panel (YPP) brings together specialists from a variety of backgrounds to contribute to the Mayor’s programme, serving as a foundation to The London Infrastructure Plan 2050, […]

Alex O’Byrne promoted to Associate

We’re delighted to announce a promotion within the Volterra team. Alex O’Byrne has been promoted to Associate. Alex has contributed to and led many complex projects whilst at Volterra. These include the socio-economic assessment of Battersea Power Station, a pre-opening evaluation of Crossrail, the wider economic benefits of specific rails schemes in England, Ireland, Toronto […]

Surplus is necessary for resilience in an unpredictable world

Our flood management systems are under increasing pressure. In recent years the UK has been hit by several extreme floods which have ruined homes and businesses, and taken lives. Population growth and climate change are expected to make flooding worse: analysis for the 2017 Climate Change Risk Assessment estimated that flood risk will increase by […]

Volterra’s Lucy Dean and Alex O’Byrne present at Annual Transport Practitioners Meeting

Lucy Dean and Alex O'Byrne at TPM

  Lucy Dean and Alex O’Byrne were recently invited to speak at the 15th Annual Transport Practitioners Meeting (TPM) in Nottingham. TPM is the annual meeting place for all transport planners, highway engineers and urban transport designers. Practitioners, policy makers and academics are invited to present topical papers over the two days. Lucy’s presentation ‘What might the […]

A planning crisis


Partly due to its success in attracting jobs and talent, demand for housing in London has outstripped supply and now home ownership is unaffordable for many households. In a well-functioning market, increases in house prices should incentivise large scale housing development. But this simply has not happened. So what is constraining housing development in the […]

Do short-term governments affect the UK’s productivity?

Since the economic crisis labour productivity growth in the UK has been very poor. The Bank of England estimate that output per hour (productivity) is 16% lower than it should be given pre recession trends. With output recovering and high levels of employment, many argue that the so-called ‘productivity puzzle’ is the reason behind lagging […]