York Central isn’t just a UK Parliamentary constituency, it’s also the name given to ‘a large brownfield site to the west of the city’s railway station’.
As a place it has been covered on these pages many times over the years, under different names.
It might have been better, to avoid confusion, if this area of land had kept its old name of the York Teardrop (describing the shape of the piece of land) — but clearly a more dynamic-sounding and cheerful name was needed, and now we’re stuck with it.
It’s not really that central at all … But anyway …
I wrote about the plans for York Central a while back. Hoped that whatever was made from this area would be a positive addition, to benefit residents, something we could feel connected to and proud of.
The signs weren’t looking good on that.
Recently, in November this year, York Central by Allies and Morrison was named ‘best masterplan’ at the 2019 Architects Journal awards:
According to the judges, this 46ha scheme has the bone structure to become better than King’s Cross – the multi-award-winning placemaking poster boy also masterplanned by Allies and Morrison and with which it has numerous parallels.
The plan covers a large brownfield site next to the city’s historic core which radiates from York’s railway station and railyards and incorporates the National Railway Museum, which is the scheme’s main cultural anchor. The project aims to deliver a new park, central gallery, up to 2,500 homes and 100,000m2 of offices, shops and hotels.
Us and our brownfield bone structure, we might be better than that London …
Most interesting, perhaps, is this part of the text:
It will provide a framework for sustainable urban and economic development and create a compact urban extension that is imbued with ‘Yorkness’.
I’m not sure I could refer to ‘Yorkness’ so confidently, even after half a century of living here and experiencing it.
Never mind me and my minor Yorkie gripes, they’ve won an award, and many people seemed very happy about it. (Though other responses on Twitter made it clear that many local residents are far from happy about the award.)
… but, locally, doesn’t look like it’s connecting to many of the people who live here, to Yorkness, Yorkites, Yorkies, still.
. . . . .