KING’S CROSS: A CRITICAL VIEW ON URBAN POLICIES

KING’S CROSS: A CRITICAL VIEW ON URBAN POLICIES

Submission ID:

110

King’s Cross, an urban project conceived in the late 1990’s, is subjected to a critical analysis in this paper. Concerned with aspects ranging from the environment to housing, mobility, and local development in the dynamics of contemporary cities, the Urban Projects research group studied this concrete case of territorial planning by using theoretical concepts to evaluate the effectiveness of sectoral policies. Knowing that extensive urban projects are defining elements for the construction of cities and that economic attractiveness does not necessarily entail the promotion of urbanity, the research aims to reflect on the redevelopment process of this particular hub rail infrastructure area in London which, to a certain extent, had previously become obsolete.
The aforementioned project attempts to avail the potential of the industrial reconversion space adjacent to one of the most relevant and historic intermodal transport integrations in Europe, with the goal of creating an efficiently articulated centrality that engages logic and function in the global city where it is implemented while also respecting local characteristics. Despite certain questionable matters – such as the insufficient volume of affordable housing produced – it showed an apparent effort to maintain a commitment to economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability, and social cohesion. After years of negotiations among different actors, including historical heritage agencies, shareholders, and civil society representatives, a complex, thorough chart of guidelines was designed, meeting the most diverse demands. This paper considers the relation between the plan and its execution by addressing the socio-environmental benefits and burdens associated to the interests of the financialized market. After all, is it possible for urban projects from the late 20th century to meet the demands of capitalism while simultaneously being advantageous to the city?

Corresponding Author

Nadia Somekh

Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie

Author #1:

Nadia Somekh

Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie

Author #2:

Guilherme Henrique Fatorelli Del’Arco

Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie

Author #3:

Fernanda de Abreu Moreira

Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie

Preferred Track

10. Urban analytics and city design

Second Preferred Track

6. Urban policies

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DINÂMIA'CET-Iscte

Centre for Socioeconomic and Territorial Studies

Avenida das Forças Armadas | Edifício ISCTE

Sala D316 1649-026 Lisbon

grandprojects.2021@gmail.com

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