The first feeling I get when I think about King’s Cross is excitement. It was where I changed trains on the way home from university, giving me a brief glimpse of London each time I surfaced. It was rough around the edges back in 1999, but gave me a passage home – and the edges looked exciting, too, from where I was standing at least. Since then, I’ve come out of the tube there to meet people at huge corporations, to attend quirky conferences, to watch football matches with friends, to meet up with old friends and much else besides.
The place still teems with life and edginess, but it’s definitely changed and become more sanitised. I think this reflects how our society has polarised. The nice, affluent bits are a lot more visible, and the edges are still there just more hidden away. This creates some really interesting business opportunities for all kinds of companies, alongside social responsibility.
The place still teems with life and edginess, but it’s definitely changed and become more sanitised.John Bee (40), Managing Director, White Space Strategy
In 2030, I’d like to think the area will be a visible centre for the green revolution that the country (and planet) so badly needs. I actually think there’s an outside chance this could happen – people and companies of all types have opened their eyes to the need for this revolution, and the penny’s just dropping on how big an economic opportunity this is, too. What better place for a green innovation hub than King’s Cross St Pancras – Paris Gare Du Nord – Brussels Midi/Zuid – Amsterdam CS – Berlin Central. Europe’s green parties will push governments in this kind of direction, as will its Millennial and Generation Z population.
Will King’s Cross also be a part of the social revolution the United Kingdom also badly needs? I think this is a lot less likely – the sizeable local homeless population is testament to this. If the organisations and business leaders working in the area focus on this challenge, though, anything is possible.
Read Whiteboard Magazine’s feature section on King’s Cross here: what do changes in this part of London say about future innovation and growth of the UK more generally?