Cardiff in 2020: A Liberal vision

December 29, 2010 6 Comments »
Cardiff in 2020: A Liberal vision

roath basin bbc village

Over the past 20 years Cardiff has been transformed. The city is now one of the most economically competitive and culturally vibrant in the UK and has grown into its role as the political, commercial and cultural capital of Wales.

As we move towards 2020 Cardiff is entering a new economic era. Globalisation will continue, but public and private investment will be restricted. Climate change will affect everyone. Ultimately, a country’s success will depend on the proper functioning of its cities, and Wales is no different.

Cardiff is currently one of the most competitive cities in the UK and people who live and work here enjoy a good quality of life which is unique to the city.

The city’s population has grown considerably and there are more than 37,000 more people living in Cardiff today compared with 15 years ago. This growth is expected to continue and by 2020 we need to make sure that the city has responded accordingly, providing for the expected growth in population, whilst retaining Cardiff’s character and quality of life.

This includes the need to provide new homes for an increasing population and offer a range and choice of opportunities so that family needs and affordability issues can be met.

One of the key challenges facing Cardiff is reducing the gaps in inequality across the city – especially in the area of health.

Overall, general health in Cardiff is a little better than the all-Wales average but the city still has an estimated 60,000 people living in deprivation, with a shocking 11.6 years gap in life expectancy between different geographical areas of Cardiff

We need to work closely with partners across the city, from health services to the voluntary sector, through to the city’s businesses to make sure than not only do we have the best healthcare, but we are also at the forefront of preventing ill-health.

It is also important we all work together to meet the needs of the growing numbers of senior citizens and help them live independently.

Cardiff is uniquely positioned to lead recovery in Wales, but we know we need to make some changes to meet these new challenges.

Heading towards 2020 a new Central Business District (CBD) will be a key project in this new era of development in Cardiff, creating in the city centre a sustainable investment location for UK and international businesses.

This new CBD will put in place the business infrastructure to compliment the existing city centre leisure and retail assets and create Wales’ most sustainable and accessible business location. This will allow Cardiff and Wales to attract investment as a smart alternative to London.

In addition, developments like the new drama production village at Roath Basin and Cardiff University’s ‘knowledge campus’ at Maindy Road are pointers to a new economy based on ideas and creativity. This will require the city to have super-fast broadband and the Council will need to work closely with telecommunication companies to achieve this aspiration.

We need to be working towards ensuring that the city has the skills required by businesses, as well as giving our residents the education and training that enables them to reach their full potential. At the moment Cardiff has more graduates per head than any of the English Core Cities. However, at the same time, almost 30,000 people of working age in Cardiff have no qualifications. We need to make sure that over the next ten years those people with low or no skills are given the platform to develop.

Another area which is central to the city’s vision for the future is sustainable development. The successful cities of the future will be those who adapt to and mitigate the causes of climate change.

Reducing our carbon emissions has all sorts of benefits for Cardiff and by 2020 the city should be reaping the rewards in the push to make our businesses energy efficient and therefore more competitive.

Local energy generation will be increasingly important and steps in this direction are already being taken by the council. By 2020 the city will be well on its way to achieving a recycling rate of 70% of municipal waste.

Councils will also need to look how they spend their money to secure services more locally. This has a huge impact in terms of sustainability and business efficiency.

I also hope that by 2020 that we will be much closer to seeing the introduction of High Speed Rail and improvements to public transport will not only have improved the environment but also enhanced quality of life throughout the city-region.

Having seen the progress that Cardiff has made during my time as Leader I am very excited for the future of this city.

At the moment we are in the very early stages of preparing a new Local Development Plan (LDP) for Cardiff that will contain a vision together with a framework to deliver it that will set out what sort of city Cardiff will be by 2026.

We are currently consulting on what the LDP should be about and so to pre-empt that consultation by setting in stone at this stage a fully detailed vision would be wrong. I want to hear and take on board what people are saying before going into full detail.

However the Cardiff of the future must strike the right balance by meeting evidenced economic and social needs but in a way that is co-ordinated, sustainable and has full regard to Cardiff’s environmental qualities, including by giving consideration to the protection where practicable of the green lungs on the edge of the city.

By 2020 we hope to achieve the right balance that creates sustainable neighbourhoods within a sustainable city lying at the heart of a sustainable city-region, with a degree of future growth and prosperity being shared with surrounding authorities.

What do you think of Rodney Berman’s comments? Is he right? How do you think the city should develop? Let us know in the comments below

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  1. Richard Jerrett December 29, 2010 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    A sustainable cardiff should have a circular rail network, the link between coryton and radyr should finally be made. This would cut down on the need for road journeys in the north west of cardiff.

    • Ivor the Engine January 4, 2011 at 4:46 am - Reply

      You already have that Richard, maybe it would better if you actually spent some money advertising it. Or even better create a new rapid transit system incorporating both Cardiff Bus and trains. However you would have to work with Arriva trains, or even create a greater Cardiff Train company.

  2. Anne Greagsby January 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Rodney Berman has no idea of what a sustainable city is. He is supporting and promoting INCINERATION for Cardiffs Rubbish through Prosiect 'Gwyrdd' 'Green' Incinerator. After false claims this was "technology neutral" the 4 chosen solutions are Incinerator or incinerator or incinerator or incinerator.
    If the Local energy generation he refers too is to be from incineration then that is a lie.
    If there was a real commitment to recycling then 'zero-waste' could be largely achieved by 2020.
    Flanders' already achieved 75% recycling. In Italy 2000 communities signed up and 200 of them already reaching 70%. Bermans claim to be leading in sustainability is rendered nonsensical by deferring 70% recycling to the long-term – not even by 2015 or 2020, but only by 2025 do they aim to reach 70%.

    • Gwilym Owen February 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm - Reply

      Interesting how you fail to mention the fact that he inherited a city with a virtually non-existent coordinated recycling plan from the previous administration; the fact that it was only under Berman's council that we got universal access to recycling across the city; the recycling facilities that have been opened since, including the big plant at Lamby Way.

      Also, so good of you to compare apples with pears, last time I looked we were living in the UK and not Belgium or Italy, perhaps the reason why you don't compare us with other places in the UK is because I'm willing to bet that Cardiff is already well ahead of the curve despite being hamstrung by a standing start by the Lib Dem's predecessors. Of course, admitting that would shoot your argument down in flames, so I can see why you'd wish to keep that quiet…

  3. Anne Greagsby January 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    A truly sustainable City would put Pedestrians, Cyclists and buses first. However Cardiff is promoting Car Travel by recently building more city centre car parks, a massive bridge for articulated lorries into Bute Park, Created a Bus Box than makes Bus travel more difficult and allows more cars into the city centre. Cllr Berman should practice what he preaches – get his fellow cllrs out of their cars and stop free parking for Council staff particularly in our Parks. Cllr Berman should stop pretending to be GREEN.

  4. Gwilym Owen February 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Cardiff is already moving to put pedestrians, cyclists and buses first. One would have to be blind not to have noticed the massive city centre pedestrianisation of several streets, including the High St! In fact, the reason the whole mess of the High St and St Mary's street has taken so long is that the Lib Dem minority council had to go into coalition with Plaid to stop their plans for those streets from being continually blocked. As it is, and I'm sure you'll agree, the Lib Dem's original plans for pedestrianising those streets and removing private car access have already been massively watered down because of opposition from the other parties.

    As for cycling, I can think of many improvements (though not fast enough for my liking!), including many more bicycle locking facilities; the oybike scheme (possibly suffering from the irony that Cardiff is already easy to get around and everyone already has a bike!); the opening of a circular route around the whole bay, including the new Pont Y Werin bridge so people can commute from Penarth. There's even a nice new bridge into Bute Park for improved bike and pedestrian access.

    Buses have benefited from a number of extra bus lanes being installed, upgrades to their fleet improving their size on busy routes and reducing emissions. Also there's the new park and ride schemes that have been built – so yes new car parks have been built out of town putting buses first.

    As for more city car parks, whilst you are correct in a way, I can also think of at least two that you failed to mention that were knocked down to make way for the new St Davids 2 complex – so that sounds more like maintaining the status quo, if you ask me.

    Yours, a cyclist.

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