Designers look set to shape part of a £7m regeneration initiative for Camden Town, north London, as the organisation behind the plans outlines its vision for the area.
The proposals, by Camden Town Unlimited, aim to enhance the pedestrian experience and ‘reinforce the Camden Town identity through the design of streets and spaces’. The plans have been announced for public consultation, with the hope of implementing them by 2011, in time for the 2012 London Olympics.
Under the plans for the scheme, key features will include quality public spaces, new street furniture, trees, improved signage and wayfinding, and a 9m lighting column, which will double as a public art installation. This fitting will aim to create an iconic landmark at a key point of arrival for most visitors to the area just outside Camden Town Tube station.
If proposals are approved, designers will be invited to tender for relevant work within the next year. ‘We have launched the visual stage,’ says Simon Pitkeathley, chief executive of Camden Town Unlimited. ‘And we are trying to gather interested parties. This is what Camden needs. There will be improved street lighting, street furniture, carriageways, pavements, trees, signage and wayfinding. We are working towards it being implemented in time for the Olympics.’
Landscape design group Gillespies, which is working in conjunction with the Camden Town Unlimited, has summarised its own key focus, which is to revamp the current traffic system and reconfigure some of the larger carriageways to create the more high quality public spaces.
According to the organisers, a lack of regeneration and investment in recent years has meant that Camden Town has become inconvenient to pedestrians and the area is in desperate need of improvement.
The move follows similar plans for London’s West End by the New West End Company to upgrade street furniture, signage and wayfinding, and lighting in the area bounded by Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street. Tenders will launch
• The plans will see changes to Camden streets including Britannia Junction, Cobden Junction, Camden High Street and Parkway, including streets around Camden Town and Mornington Crescent Tube stations
• The five key objectives are to establish high quality landmark gateways, improve the pedestrian experience, connect the north and south of Camden High Street, create high quality public spaces, and reinforce a cohesive Camden Town identity through the design of streets and spaces