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14 May 2009

A New Heart for Somers Town

Convened by Esther Caplin at Edith Neville School on April 27th this afternoon conference gathered a superb range of participants - architects, artists, educators, secondary school pupils, Kings Cross developers, Camden Council officers and Councillors, urban planners and community voices- to look at what made Somerstown a distinctly interesting pocket of a neighbourhood and creative opportunities for creating a new 'heart' for it.  Sandwiched between 2 large railway stations, Euston and St Pancras, this residential enclave is faced with neighbouring redevelopment and a growing range of national and international ranking neighbours. The area has special qualities: pedestrianised areas, green spaces, a market, cultural diversity, family friendly environments and, along with a heritage of 20th century social housing,  a rich local history of immigration and cohesion. After excellent scene-setting by Jon Snow, Charles Landry and others I (Lucy Neal) sat on a table to discuss culture and creativity. Other tables discussed education, the public realm and physical links and economic development. The Mary Neal Project was mentioned on a number of occasions as a recent example of Somers Town heritage waiting to brought to light. An exciting living trace of all the seeds the Project has sown to date!