A SERIES of proposals designed to boost Cardiff’s economy and improve the lives of residents as Wales comes out of lockdown has been revealed by Cardiff Council.
The strategy for a post COVID-19 recovery and renewal draws on a report prepared for the council by a world-leading expert on cities and urban management policies.
Report author, Dr Tim Williams, has worked across the globe for 20 years helping cities like London and Sydney develop urban strategies. His report – Taking Cardiff Forward After COVID-19 – was commissioned by the council to challenge its own thinking, and to act as an independent, critical friend.
Following the submission of Dr Williams’ report the council has prepared four reports of its own, which outline how Cardiff Council will work towards delivering recovery and renewal strategy for Cardiff which will:
Reimagine the city centre, creating a vibrant and welcoming place for everyone who visits and works there;
Help deliver new jobs and apprenticeships, boosting employment opportunities;
Deliver a ‘One Planet’ recovery that responds to the climate emergency; and will,
Work towards delivering better outcomes for children – especially the most deprived – as part of a ‘child-friendly recovery.
Cardiff Council’s Cabinet will consider the reports at its next meeting on Thursday, (May 20). If agreed the council will begin a conversation with residents and city stakeholders across the summer to gather their views on the proposals.
Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, said:
“The Covid-19 pandemic has presented the biggest challenge to public services and to the life of the city in a generation. Over the course of the crisis, this Council has played a key role in delivering vital services, particularly to the city’s most vulnerable residents.
“At the outset of the crisis, we brought our public and private sector partners together in order to lead a successful, whole-city response to the pandemic. Now it’s important we carry on the good work, shaping the future of Cardiff alongside those partners and the city’s residents as we look to safely re-open for business. We all hope this lockdown will be the last, but as the city emerges from the pandemic it is essential we do everything we can to ensure a speedy recovery that safeguards people’s jobs and livelihoods.
“Covid has and will continue to present challenges. There will likely be long-term economic and social impacts, but there will also be opportunities to rethink the way we want our city to grow and about the lives we want to lead in a post-Covid world.
“Already we have seen an acceleration of trends that were emerging before Covid – changes to the way we want to live, work, shop and spend our leisure time. Moving forward there will be opportunities to change the way we work, to make life more local, to reduce congestion, to take steps to clean the air we breathe and to improve the environment.
“This council is determined to deliver the best possible outcomes for all its residents. We have worked up plans which we believe will help Cardiff recover from the pandemic, plans which can benefit everyone who lives and works here. We want to start a new Capital Ambition conversation with citizens and city stakeholders on how we can shape and lead the recovery and renewal of Wales’ capital city. We want to build a new Cardiff, a city which works for everyone who lives in it, and which works for Wales. A city that will continue to grow and flourish as it has over the past 20 years. A great city to live in and one that can continue to power Wales’s economic success.”
Dr Williams said: “Cardiff entered this global crisis in good shape and it can emerge, with the right spirit, strategy, collaborations and innovation, even stronger. In so doing it can provide even more benefits for both its own community and that of the City Region.
“There’s an opportunity, galvanised by Covid-19, for Cardiff to become an exemplar for a city of its size. Building on its established and continuing strengths, the ambition it has to succeed, the skills and imagination of its people and the leadership it has already shown, Cardiff will not just ‘bounce-back – of that there is no doubt – it will ‘bounce forward’ as the council restarts what it can do but also rethinks what it needs to.”