Health and wellbeing at Kings Cross
The King’s Cross Central regeneration project is one of the largest in Europe at 67 acres.
The development is opening up a part of the city which may be well known to locals but, until recently, was largely hidden to the millions of people who pass through King’s Cross and St Pancras stations every week. With new homes, jobs, restaurants and public spaces, this development offers a number of ways of improving health and wellbeing in the local community.
People living around this formerly industrial urban site have significant levels of deprivation in relation to health, crime, unemployment, housing and environmental conditions. Working in partnership with Islington, Camden council’s vision for the site is to be ‘stronger, healthier, safer, more economically successful and very sustainable, with excellent services.’
Elements of healthy communities came across strongly in the consultation with the local community asking for ‘cleaner, safer streets, jobs, homes including those that are affordable, green spaces, shopping, community, leisure and better healthcare and leisure facilities again including those that are affordable.’
The King’s Cross Opportunity Area Planning and Development Brief sets out a clear vision for tackling health inequalities and regenerating the area to provide health and wellbeing benefits for new residents and visitors.
The brief explains how the council expects the project to address health and minimise impacts throughout the design and construction process. This has resulted, for example, in the £2m purpose-built Construction Skills Centre which provides training, apprenticeships and employment advice for jobs in the construction sector.
- Connectivity within and beyond the site.
- Streets designed for people.
- Mixed uses and active frontages.
- Integration of uses across the site.
- Cultural and leisure activities which promote and respond to local culture, youth, sports, media and art.
- Open space and public realm (in various forms) which integrates multiple activities and ages.
- Environmental sustainability.
- Affordable housing.
- High-quality design throughout.
- Integrated transport.
- Appropriate provision of facilities and services (crèche, schools, play areas, community meeting spaces, and healthcare facilities).
The King’s Cross Central site construction continues throughout 2016, but early phases demonstrate that these principles have been carried into the design and construction, resulting in a place will benefit local communities and visitors.
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