My Hood Goes Good

London

Ten years ago, hookers and druggies ran the streets of my neighbourhood, and many buildings were derelict. Now King’s Cross is in the middle of a £2bn redevelopment plan. The area is centred around Pentonville Road, Gray’s Inn Road and Euston Road, overlapping Bloomsbury, Islington and Camden.

Behind the station is a 67-acre former site where there will now be 20 new streets, 10 major public spaces and 50 new buildings. Meanwhile, 20 historic buildings and structures are being restored. Central St Martins College of Art and Design has already moved in, and late Georgian garden squares like Mecklenburgh Square and Wilmington Square are now highly sought-after.

As London’s biggest regeneration project, I hope it retains its quirkiness and avoids the cookie-cutter chainstore effect. The signs are good, with a Spanish quarter appearing, and a returning Italian influx. It’s a good place to set a novel, too…

3 comments on “My Hood Goes Good”

  1. Cid says:

    That’s confused me, I thought it was round the back where the canal is they were doing most of the development. I play snooker in the Hurricane Rooms at the top of Gray’s Inn Road and not a lot seems to be changed or changing around there, though obviously there are fewer tramps and tarts than there used to be.

  2. Terenzio says:

    Unfortunately, gentrification usually = luxury flats (not many can afford to spend at least £1.2 million for a two bedroom flat), so all the working or middle class folks are forced out, which leads me to a question. In this redevelopment scheme, are there any affordable housing factored into the design?

    I shall now retire to my local café for a scrumptious pastry and an espresso to ponder the pros and cons of gentrification and who really (at the end of the day) benefits from these so these mega projects.

    By the way, I am currently reading an excellent mystery called An Uncertain Place by Fred Vargas…without doubt one of the best contemporary mystery writers working today…and for those who might be interest in this novel the Highgate vampire is mentioned.

    à bientôt…

  3. Martha says:

    Now I’m sorry I sold my flat on the lower Caledonian Road.

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