Gravity Meaningful Engagement

Barriers to moving to London: Urban Isolation and Loneliness

Moving to London is an exciting opportunity, whether you’re moving for a new job or just for a new adventure. But what most people don’t think about is the lonely side of moving to England’s capital.

by The Gravity Team

You might think with 8.136 million people (and growing) it would be easy to meet people in London, but it’s not as simple as that.

Urban isolation and loneliness is a growing problem in the UK, and London is one of the worst offenders. The problem is so pressing that Theresa May even set up a new position, the Minister for Loneliness, filled by the lucky Tracey Crouch (sounds pretty dismal, doesn’t it?).

What’s more, a report by the commission states that around nine million people in Britain, both young and old, often or always feel isolated or lonely. According to Dr. Vivek Murthy, former United States Surgeon General, loneliness can lead to increased risks of a whole host of mental and physical diseases and is as damaging as smoking fifteen cigarettes a day. 

The difficulty of moving to London is that most people already have a circle of friends which they’re not eager to expand for a stranger. As the centre of UK business, most post-university or highschool friends will move to the big city together, and find a house between them, and co-workers who have formed bonds over several years will most often decide to live with each other instead of with strangers. But what happens if your school friends are elsewhere and your co-workers aren’t your cup of tea? 

Most of the time, people turn to flat-sharing and subletting websites. But more and more, the descriptions of the flatmates will state that they ‘keep to themselves’ and ‘are always out’, meaning that these houses aren’t actually offering anything in the way of a community. 

That’s where coliving comes in: a new phenomenon where flatmates live together in a social community, where we run regular events, including moving nights and communal dinners, but also give members their own space when they need it. We even work together in our coliving space and do outside activities together like morning runs. 

At Gravity, we’re breaking down the barriers to moving to London. We give our members a ready-made community, saving you from the perils of urban isolation, loneliness and cold baked bean dinners in empty studio flats. It’s a new way to live and we love it.