AN architectural initiative to improve down-at-heel streets and public spaces in London, such as Tottenham Court Road, was this week launched by Camden council.
Top of the agenda is the improvement of two of the borough's most congested areas – in front of King's Cross and St Pancras stations and around Centre Point tower on Tottenham Court Road – and the development of an information centre for the regeneration around King's Cross.

The council's recently appointed environment director, Peter Bishop, plans to tackle urban design issues in collaboration with bodies such as CABE, the Architecture Foundation and the Bartlett School of Architecture.

He said: "We are actively seeking to improve the look and feel of public spaces and create beautiful, accessible places."

  The Greater London Authority's architecture and urbanism unit, headed by Lord Rogers, is co-ordinating the projects at King's Cross and Centre Point. Rickie Burdett, one of the four-man unit, said it would draw up a detailed brief for the sites before launching design competitions. For the King's Cross information centre, the Architecture Foundation plans to launch a separate competition in March.

Other Camden design initiatives include planting trees, improving Regent's Canal, and setting up an architectural awards scheme.

n Camden's first housing scheme to comply with the 50% affordable housing target promoted by London mayor Ken Livingstone has won planning consent. The 110-dwelling scheme is to be developed by Network Housing Association and Regime, and will be designed by KSR Architects.