Monday, 9 November 2009

Twenty's Plenty

At our last branch meeting of Living Streets before summer, we discussed (among other things) a campaign for 20mph limits in our neighbourhood.

Living Streets has provided us with some campaigning materials outlining the advantages of 20mph limits for streets – we could say, based on the campaign, that a 20mph default speed limit in our built up areas would;

1 – Put people first, making it easier to cross roads
2 – Improve sociability of neighbourhoods
3 – Encourage healthier travel (like walking and cycling)
4 – Smooth traffic flow
5 – Combat climate change, reducing acceleration and braking by motor vehicles

In advance of our next branch meeting, (planned for 9 December), it would be very valuable for our group to raise awareness of the campaign above and of our Living Streets branch at Camden’s Culture and Environment Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday week the 17th of November. This is rare opportunity to discuss Streets as environments with Council, and other local campaigners may raise the issue too.

Would anyone from our group be to attend at the town hall? If you can attend, please register with Simone Scott-Sawer in the Democratic Services office, via the council switchboard on 0207 974 4444

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Pedestrian Modelling

The Resource for Urban Design Information (RUDI) held a massive Transport Modelling conference at Chelsea Stadium in June, with which there was a session on Pedestrian Modelling.  Our group Living Streets Kings Cross was kindly invited to participate. With our treasurer Lisa T, I attended as chair, and fortunately by bicycle, avoiding the transport chaos on the day. We saw and heard speakers from various agencies involved in this area, including Buchanan's, Atkins, Urban Initiatives, and some interesting academic contributions.

Graham Long from Buchanan's showed some of the techniques of studying pedestrian movement and spatial behaviour, in some ways highlighting the widespread problem of adapting the study of vehicular transport to that of pedestrians  

The Intelligent Space unit at Atkins showcased the now famous adaptation of Oxford Circus (movie) as previously shown in our pages, lower right. (here)

Some software, modes of studying pedestrians and methodologies were introduced by Urban Initatives, apparently a splinter consultancy of Space Syntax, and they aimed to show 'how places work at a range of scales, assessing urban movement and the mix of uses.  Primarily this was aimed at development viability appraisal, which is where the consultancy money is earned.  
Alison Chisholm from Oxford showed a more end-user friendly study of network analysis applied to pedestrian and bicycle journeys, and another academic presenting Bath Uni's "Cityware" opened up the discussion looking at visualisation techniques using urban Bluetooth data.

In all there were some useful ideas, and it was a valuable introduction to the pedestrian modelling discipline. It also clearly demonstrated, I think, why local authorities and community groups are sometimes bamboozled and seduced by consultants - in some cases they are using complicated technology to consider what could make our streets safer and more enjoyable places to live and work.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Actions - what you can do with the city

Our group recently received a copy of the catalogue of "Actions: What You Can Do With the City" which accompanied a recent exhibition at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. This body of work on the city, was powered by diverse activists and so called "human motors of change" including architects, engineers, university professors, students, children, pastors, artists, skateboarders, cyclists, root eaters, pedestrians, municipal employees, and many others - and must be of interest to our nascent group in Kings Cross, which encompasses a few of these.
The catalogue of 99 actions exhibited is arranged by themes and tools which are also effectively accessed via the dedicated website. Of greatest interest and relevance to Living Streets Kings Cross might be categories of interventions including;
Guerilla - Walking - Share

Projects such as Sidewalk Symposium suggest that a group like ours also might engage with people who live and work in our patch, for wider views and involvement in how these streets might be more safe and enjoyable to use.

Recycling, Gardening and Low-Effort are further categories which will resonate with members of our small group.

The exhibition and catalogue document a diverse and lively international culture of urban interventions which should challenge and encourage our group.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Chaos in the Streets

This charicature of shared surfaces from the AJ yesterday was the only part I could understand when reading this Polish urbanism blog by Malgorzata Hanzl today, and I hope it will stimulate debate about Living Streets...

Thursday, 2 July 2009


There will be no 'live' July meeting, with some of us on holiday, and the proposal for our August meeting is Wednesday 12 at 6.30.

Some of the issues for discussion;
Calmer Traffic in the area; Twenty's Plenty campaign for 20mph speed limits.
'Battle Bridge' campaign for pedestrian permeability through Kings Cross Station.
Office bearers for the group - funds raising and recruiting more neighbours.
Results of Area Forums (Great Croft on 7 July) and Big Lunch on 19 July.
Marchmont Street Party and Angel Festival involvement on 5 September.
Other news of living streets and problems in the area.

Please let us know ( your availability on Wednesday August 12 evening and Saturday September 5 during the day.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Lunch and Solstice

Big Lunch - 19 July

"Imagine a summer's day on which millions of us, throughout the UK, sit down to have lunch together, with our neighbours in the middle of our streets, around our tower blocks and on every patch of common ground. The food, entertainment and decorations we will have either grown, cooked, or created ourselves. This will be a day to break bread with our neighbours, to put a smile on Britain's face."

Kings Cross Nearest Big Lunch seems to be Chapel Market or Chenies Street..

Summer Solstice is the 21 of June - next Sunday evening

I propose that our group walk from Kings Cross Station about 11.15pm for midnight in Soho Square or nearby Frith Street. An option would be to walk up Regents Place to Primrose Hill for dawn. rsvp:

View Solstice Walk - Living Streets KX in a larger map

Monday, 8 June 2009

Dangerous intersection - Marchmont St / Tavistock Pl

Marchmont Association wrote to members, supporters & friends, including Living Streets;
You will be aware of our campaign to get Camden Council to take urgent action to improve pedestrian safety at the Marchmont Street/Tavistock Place road junction.

We have so far:
1. Led a deputation to the Culture & Environment Scrutiny Panel, where Councillors were sympathetic to our cause but accepted the lead Officer's claim that there could be no action due to the lack of funds.
2. Held a public meeting, which was attended by around 50 people (not the 30 reported in CNJ), but not attended by the invited Officials from Camden.
3. Staged a demonstration at the junction directly after the public meeting, bringing traffic to a halt, with a photo eventually appearing in CNJ.
4. Organised a petition.
5. Held a site meeting with the Chair of the GLA Transport Committee, Cllr Caroline Pidgeon, who said she would speak to the Mayor (Boris) and raise the matter with TfL.
6. Held a meeting with the Council's Executive Member for Culture & Environment, Cllr Chris Knight, who was sympathetic to our cause and promised to look into ways of bringing the necessary traffic feasibility studies forward in the Council's work plan.
7. Requested a deputation to the Full Council on 15th June, where our petition will be presented to the Mayor of Camden.

It is important that we have a good show of support for our campaign at the Full Camden Council meeting. - MA Members, Supporters & Friends (including Living Streets supporters) should arrive at the Town Hall on Monday 15th June at around 6.50 pm, where you will be guided to the public galleries overlooking the Council Chamber.
The Full Council meeting begins at 7pm and we expect to make our presentation shortly after.
There will then be questions from Council Members, followed by a statement from the Executive Member for Culture & Environment, following which we will leave the building.

If the above campaign has had any effect the Executive Member should announce an urgent programme of measures to address this serious issue, which has caused one loss of life and 4 serious injuries to pedestrians in the last 5 months. I hope you can join us on 15th June.
Please pass this information on to other concerned individuals who might want to show support for our deputation to the Full Council meeting.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Meeting and Walk Thursday 4 June

We met Thursday 4 June at Nido 200 Pentonville Road at 6pm. After the meeting we led a short walk for local students and residents, via the canal, Kings Place, Regents Quarter, and ending in St Chad's Place.

Our ongoing campaigns were discussed;

1. Access through Kings Cross Station (aka Battlebridge) in the medium to long term via Camden Council and Islington Council (Herman T suggests a note is being produced at Islington) Clarifying London Borough and National constituency boundaries ie Kings Cross Station not being in Frank Dobson's constituency (Susanne G) Agreed to raise awareness of the ongoing Battlebridge campaign.

2. Twenty's Plenty, the campaign to introduce a general 20mph speed limit on borough roads, provisionally adopted in Islington, we will ask Camden to follow at a Bloomsbury area forum on 1 July (Greg C) and Hantilowes (Suzanne G).

3. Other activities : Marchmont Street Fair (September) and this weekend's (Sunday afternoon 7 June ) Active Travel Sunday at Regent's Park Broadwalk, for which Alasdair has had flyers printed.

Alasdair also suggested our group might like to make use of open source mapping software to document our walks.

4. Based on the successful work with Nido's Eco-Fair (22 Apr) with Anup P and Sara G, who arranged to hosting the LS meeting at 200 Pentonville Road -Nido, we followed the meeting at 6.30pm with a guided walk and walking audit for local people and students. Living Streets people guided the walk (to Thornhill Bridge and the Regents Canal, via Kings Place, Crinan Street, Railway Street, via Regent Quarter to St Chads Place for a drink) and established a local walk also suitable for future summer school students.

5. Gregory C acted as chair, Lisa T as treasurer - and nominations are sought for a secretary/ administrator - we propose to continue to meet monthly. Funding available from Britannia was discussed. Dan agreed to present his design work from London Metropolitan University (MA architecture of rapid change annd scarce resources) on Living Streets at a future meeting, and Herman T would investigate meeting venues.

ps RUDI has offered members and readers heavily discounted conference fees for "People, Places and Movement" on 10 June, from £50 by contacting Nadia Saeed.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Update 5 May - and 4 June plan..

The South Camden & Kings Cross group met Tuesday 5 May at Kings Place

The agenda was
1. Battlebridge (KX Access KCLE)
2. Twenty's Plenty in Camden and Islington
3. Nido walk (below)

Sara G, Anup P, Gregory C, Lisa T, Mark H (thanks for coming all the way from Kent) and Herman T.
Roberta W was unable, and apologies were sent by Susanne G, Graeme W and Milena N

Please add your name to this blog as a follower, join the Facebook group, or email if you would like to join us monthly.

It was agreed to pursue the campaign to restore access across Kings Cross Station (aka Battlebridge) in the medium to long term via Camden Council and Islington Council (Herman T suggests a note is being produced at Islington) The confusion of Frank Dobson MP about Kings Cross Station (not) being in his constituency (Susanne G) was noted.

Twenty's Plenty, the campaign to introduce a general 20mph speed limit on borough roads, has been provisionally adopted in Islington, and we will ask Camden to follow at an area forum in July.

Based on the successful work with Nido's Eco-Fair (22 Apr) through Anup and Sara, it was agreed to hold the next group meeting at 6pm on Thur 4 June (EU polling day) at 200 Pentonville Road -Nido, and following at 6.30pm to hold a guided walk and walking audit for new students. Living Streets people would guide the walk (to Kings Cross Station, via Kings Place / Regents Canal, via Regent Quarter to St Chads Place for a drink) and to familiarise summer school students with Living Streets and Walking Audits in small groups.

Pending next meeting, Gregory C said he would stand for election as chair, Lisa T as treasurer - and nominations are sought for a secretary/ administrator. It is proposed to meet monthly.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Our streets

The young people's manifesto for London "My City Too", was prepared by 1000 young Londoners for presenting to the mayoral candidates last year. The mayor suggests these be taken up at borough level, and I hope these will be discussed at the State of London debate next week.

My City Too Manifesto
  1. Let us have our say and young people will be fully involved in planning, designing and decision-making in their city
    We can’t vote – yet – but it is our city too! We can help improve places and spaces and we’ll use and respect them more if we’ve been asked
  2. We want every inch of the capital to be used and not left derelict
    Even if unused spaces can’t be redeveloped immediately, we’ll help you find new uses for them; when left derelict they are dangerous and make our area look and feel abandoned
  3. We need sheltered places to sit and to meet people that are better designed and well looked after
    Quality design and materials that are well looked after tell our communities that we are worth investing in
  4. We need broader pavements and car-free streets
    Pedestrian areas need to be planned and designed to be safer for everyone
  5. We want lively streets with better and more creative lighting
    Busy, well-lit areas will help us and everyone else feel safe on our streets
  6. We want every generation to have their own corner in public spaces, acknowledging their needs and making them feel welcome
    Separating activity zones for small children, teenagers, adults and senior citizens through soft zoning (floor markings, tree fences, etc) will ensure everyone feels happy about sharing the same public space
  7. We want play and performance areas for young people that are at the heart of shopping centres, main streets and parks
    Design places where we can meet each other and be seen doing something worthwhile while feeling safe
  8. We want playful signs, bright colour schemes and changing public art
    Give our local areas a stronger identity and make them places that we are proud of
  9. We want trees, pools and fountains everywhere
    Greenery and water features have a calming effect and make places feel more welcoming
If some of these feelings are shared by local residents, it would be great to campaign to extend some of them in our area, along with Kings Cross (Battlebridge) access and 20mph streets.. join us at our next meeting or write to us!

Monday, 27 April 2009


To celebrate 27 April 1759, the birthday of Mary Wollstonecraft, and her life and work, a group walked from Tavistock Square to Wollstonecraft's tombstone in the Church yard of Old St. Pancras. The neighbourhood walk, discovering and discussing history near the now invisible Fleet River, traversed through Bloomsbury, St Pancras, and Kings Cross - from Tavistock Square to Old St Pancras churchyard, to Wollstonecraft's tombstone.

Short Wollstonecraft biography for participants;
Mary Wollstonecraft, born in Spitalfields, London, grew up with her parents and siblings in Epping Forest, Barking, Beverley Yorkshire, Hoxton, and Laugharne Wales. In 1774 she befriended Fanny Blood and in 1778 began her first job as paid companion to Mrs Sarah Dawson, in Windsor and Bath. In 1781 she returned to nurse her mother - who died in 1782. In 1783 Wollstonecraft started her second job, establishing a dissenting Girls School in Islington, where teachers included her lifelong friend Fanny, and her sisters Eliza and Everina.

In 1787 Wollstonecraft published her first work, Thoughts on the Education of Daughters. In 1789-90 The Female Reader, Young Grandison and Elements of Morality for the Use of Children all appeared, and Wollstonecraft became romantically involved with Henri Fuseli.
1791 saw publication of the second edition of Original Stories from Real Life, and Wollstonecraft began writing A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, published 1792. Wollstonecraft's lover Fuseli, his wife and Wollstonecraft came to crisis.

In 1793 Wollstonecraft informally married Gilbert Imlay and had her first daughter with him in 1794, after which he left her, and she repeatedly attempted suicide, latterly in the Thames. In 1796 Wollstonecraft published Letters Written During a Short Residence in Norway Denmark and Sweden. She began an affair with William Godwin, and began writing The Wrongs of Woman. In 1797 Wollstonecraft and Godwin married, their daughter Mary (Shelley) was born, and 10 days after the birth, Wollstonecraft died of septicaemia. Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman were published in 1798. Wollstonecraft's remains at Old St Pancras were later moved with Godwin's to a grave with Mary Shelley at St Peter's Church in Bournemouth.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Wollstonecraft Walk

To celebrate 27 April 1759, the birth of Mary Wollstonecraft in Spitalfields, London

The walk on 26 April 2009 traversed Bloomsbury, St Pancras, and Kings Cross - from Tavistock Square to Old St Pancras churchyard, to Wollstonecraft's tombstone.

1. Gandhi's statute (Fredda Brilliant)
2. BMA House by Lutyens
3. The Place Centre for Contemporary Dance Flaxman Terrace - (accessible)
4. St Pancras New Church - NeoClassical
5. Camden Town Hall - 1930s Landmark for Borough of St Pancras
6. St Pancras - the origins, Borough and Station
7. Argyle Square Kings Cross
8. St Chads Well Kings Cross, by the Fleet River
9. Regent Quarter regeneration
10. Kings Cross Station rapidly changing
11. Platform 9 3/4 - Hogwarts Express
12. German Gymnasium
13. Camley Street Reserve - Nature in Kings Cross and the Regents Canal
14. Old St Pancras Church - return to Wollstonecrafts tombstone memorial

1. Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was a prominent political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian independence movement. He was the pioneer of satyagraha—resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, firmly founded upon ahimsa or total non-violence—which led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. He is commonly known around the world as Mahatma Gandhi.

Tavistock Square is uniquely significant. Statue of Gandhi by British sculptor Fredda Brilliant, was gifted to London by the Indian High Commissioner in Britain in 1967, installed in 1968, and unveiled by the Labour prime minister of the day, Harold Wilson. (
There is also a memorial to conscientious objectors (unveiled in 1995), busts of Virginia Woolf and Dame Louisa Aldrich-Blake as well as a cherry tree planted in 1967 in memory of the victims of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima.

2. BMA
BMA House, a grade II listed building, was originally designed for the Theosophical Society before the First World War. Sir Edwin Lutyens' wife, a theosophist, introduced him to the Society's President Mrs Annie Besant who subsequently commissioned Lutyens to design a headquarters for the Society.

3. The Place Flaxman Terrace - (accessible)
The Place is the UK’s premier centre for contemporary dance, uniting training, creation and performance in one unique building. Working with dancers from age 5 upwards, The Place brings new talent into the dance profession and guides artists through their careers. The Place’s activities include London Contemporary Dance School, Richard Alston Dance Company, The Place Prize and the Robin Howard Dance Theatre, together with pioneering education, outreach and professional development projects.

4. St Pancras New Church
The church is on Euston Road, in the northern boundary of Bloomsbury. It was built as a new principal church for the parish of St Pancras, which once stretched almost from Oxford Street to Highgate. The Old Church became a chapel of ease (and now has its own separate parish). During the 19th century many further churches were built to serve the burgeoning population of the original parish, and by 1890 it had been divided into 33 ecclesiastical parishes.
The steps of the church were one of several sites used for floral tributes after the 7 July 2005 London bombings.

5. Camden Town Hall
Camden Town Hall is the town hall for the London Borough of Camden, located along Euston Road (opposite the main front of St Pancras railway station) and Judd Street to its rear. It was built on the site of Georgian terrace housing in the 1930s in the neoclassical style and extended in the 1970s

6. St Pancras
Saint Pancras, the saint martyred c.304 AD
St Pancras was originally a medieval parish which ran from close to what is now Oxford Street north as far as Highgate, and from what is now Regent's Park in the west to the road now known as York Way in the east, boundaries which take in much of the current London Borough of Camden, including the central part of it. However, as the choice of name for the borough suggests, St Pancras has lost its status as the central settlement in the area. The district now encompassed by the term "St Pancras" is not easy to define, and usage of St Pancras as a place name fairly limited.,_London

7. Argyle Square
The Argyle Square Sound Trail was a participating feature in The London Architecture Biennale 2006, which ran from June 16-25 2006

Battle Bridge The area was previously a village known as Battle Bridge which was an ancient crossing of the River Fleet. The original name of the bridge was Broad Ford Bridge.,_London

8. St Chads Well
St Chad's Well stood near the 'Battle Bridge', an ancient arched bridge which crossed the Fleet. The area surrounding the bridge was called Battle Bridge until 1836 when a statue of King George IV was erected at the meeting of what are now Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross Road and York Way, thus Battle Bridge became the 'King's Cross'. The strongest tradition associated with Battle Bridge is that the name commemorated the final battle between the British led by Boudicca, and the Romans. Boudicca and 80,000 Britons are said to have been slaughtered here.

9. Regent Quarter
"King's Cross is set to become one of London’s liveliest urban areas, with its business and residential communities diversifying in response to regeneration and investment."

"Regent Quarter is a major new development in the area, boasting a refreshing mix of refurbished Georgian and Victorian buildings and state of the art new construction. Providing space to suit all tastes, preferences, and uses, offering large scale, high specification office buildings and smaller studio-style offices."

10. Kings Cross Station
King's Cross station is a major railway terminus opened in 1852. The station is located on the edge of Central London, on junction of the A501 Euston Road and York Way, in the Kings Cross district and within the London Borough of Camden on the border of the London Borough of Islington.

King's Cross forms the southern terminus of the East Coast Main Line, one of the UK's major railway backbones. Immediately to the west is St Pancras station, the terminus for international Eurostar trains, and the two stations share King's Cross St. Pancras tube station on the London Underground network.

Website about efforts by the local community to keep the streets of Kings Cross in London clean and live-able. See also

11. Platform 9 3/4
The ride on the Hogwarts Express starts from King's Cross railway station platform 9 3/4, which is invisible to Muggle eyes and is reached by walking through the barrier between platforms 9 and 10.

12. German Gymnasium (51° 31' 56.45" N, 0° 7' 32" W)
The German Gymnasium is in Pancras Road, London close to the new international railway station of St Pancras. It was constructed in 1864-65 for the German Gymnastics Society, a sporting association established in London in 1861 by Ernst Ravenstein. The German Gymnasium was designed by Edward A Gruning and built by Piper and Wheeler.
Laminated roof timbers showing cast iron fillets and supporting brickwork.,_London

13. Camley Street Reserve
Camley Street Natural Park is an urban nature reserve near King's Cross in central London and within the London Borough of Camden. Comprising 0.8 hectares (2 acres) of land on the banks of the Regent's Canal – near St Pancras Lock, the park is a sanctuary for wildlife and an education centre. It is run by the London Wildlife Trust. A visitors' centre caters for casual visitors and school parties, though tours must be booked. A variety of habitats co-exist in the park's small environs, including wetlands, meadow and woodland, which attract insects, amphibians, birds, and at least six species of mammals - not counting homo sapiens!

14. Old St Pancras Church
St Pancras Old Church is a parish church on Pancras Road in the London Borough of Camden. It is believed to be one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in London and in England, although the building itself is largely Victorian. It forms part of the Church of England and is dedicated to St Pancras, a Roman martyr. The surrounding area and its international railway station are named for the church and parish.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, St Pancras was famous for its cemeteries, and as well as the grave yard of Old St Pancras Church, it also contained the church yard cemeteries of St James's Church, Piccadilly, St Giles in the Fields, St. Andrew's, Holborn, St. George's Church, Bloomsbury, and St George the Martyr Holborn.[4] These were all closed under the Extramural Interment Act in 1854, and so the parish bought new land near East Finchley, so that burials could take place far away from the city at the new St Pancras Cemetery.[5] These deserted cemeteries were left alone for over thirty years until the building of the Midland Railway, meaning bodies and graves had to be removed. The famous author Thomas Hardy was involved in removing many of the graves whilst he was studying architecture. Particularly, he added a number of stones around a tree, now known as Hardy's Tree. [6]. The cemeteries were later disturbed in 2002 - 2003 for construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, but much more care was given to the removal of remains, than in the 19th Century.

Mary Wollstonecraft
Mary Wollstonecraft 27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797 was an eighteenth-century British writer, philosopher, and feminist. During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children's book. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason.

She was buried at Old Saint Pancras Churchyard, and a memorial to her was constructed there, though both her and Godwin's remains were later moved to Bournemouth. Her tombstone reads, "Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: Born 27 April 1759: Died 10 September 1797."

Mary_Wollstonecraft (wikipedia)
Mary Wollstonecraft twitter
Kings Cross

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Student Living Eco-Fair

Living Streets South Camden and Kings Cross was invited to an Eco-Fair at the imposing-looking NIDO student housing at 200 Pentonville Road. The fair coordinator, geography enthusiast and environmentalist Anup Patel and another other resident assistant Nili received us with a tour of the building facilities and display room.

On the stall, Lisa Tang and I discussed a draft constitution for Living Steets South Camden and Kings Cross. Student-residents including Sara, Madison, Anna and Carla showed interest in arranging a walking audit and neighbourhood orientation tour for new Nido residents in June. Suggestions included confidence building for women walking at night, and learning about cultural landmarks, to complement the existing student orientation, which touches mainly on hospital, emergency and how to procure an oyster card.

A male visitor to the stall complained he found difficulty waking up early enough to allow time to walk to Uni near Regents Park - we later discussed the merits of walking along Euston Road in comparison to a route taking in Bloombury and Fitzrovia Squares, Tavistock, Gordon, Fitzroy etc., and walking with friends.

An amusing insight into resident life - and communication between neighbouring students in these towers of single occupancy apartment rooms - came from overhearing from two women entering the lift together; "would you skype me later on?"...

Radical Islington Walk

A large group of local people came out for walk around the area, from Copenhagen Street, through Amwell Street to Penton Square, Percy Circus, Clerkenwell Green, Spafields, Finsbury Town Hall, and to Myddleton Square and finally the Angel Inn, where connections between Dhadabai Naoroji, Mahatma Ghandi and Mary Wollstonecraft were discussed.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Living Streets

An exploratory initial meeting was held at Kings Place by the Regents Canal on 23 February. A group of interested residents held the informal meeting with the London Co-ordinator of Living Streets, Alasdair, with view to reviving a Camden branch of Living Streets. One of us, Gregory, also attended later the annual supporters conference where ideas about developing campaigns were modelled and shared, along with some walking audit practice.

We share a common aim to help make South Camden more accessible for pedestrians and human powered transport. We'd like to start by encouraging relevant authorities to work to join up existing pathways, so that people can walk and cycle more freely, pleasantly and safely. A particular focus of concern is the newly regenerating streetscape in and around Kings Cross and St Pancras stations.

We would like developers, TFL and Camden and Islington councils to work to establish routes between the south and north of Euston Road (A501), and east from York Way to St Pancras Way / Pancras Road, and to Euston Station at the west. Although we have not yet delved into technical discussions about transport and crossings, as previous Camden Living Streets activists have done, we share a passion to work to create a more conducive urban environment for people, of all ages and abilities, who want to walk to school, to work, for recreation etc.

Through Living Streets, we hope to connect some of the many stakeholder groups and government agencies, by establishing a simple line of communication with the pedestrian residents of the area.

Some of us will take an easy walk on Sunday afternoon 26 April at 4pm from Ghandi's memorial at Tavistock Square and we would be happy to meet anyone interested there.

(see also: