PEOPLE in Swansea can have their say on plans to double the amount of greenery in Swansea city centre, as “staggering” redevelopment gathers pace.
The council has already spoken to some residents and businesses about its green infrastructure proposals, which will go out to full consultation following a cabinet decision on October 17.
The aim is to increase the amount of greenery in the city’s central area from 13% to 26% by 2030 and increase tree canopy cover by 25% by 2044.
The Labour administration wants to create a green artery between the High Street railway station and Swansea Marina and will encourage developers to play their part.
“This is really to be welcomed,” said cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, Cllr Robert Francis-Davies.
“The amount of redevelopment within the city and county of Swansea is staggering.
“It’s important that we maintain and enhance the green infrastructure.”
Areas of lawn are springing up on the new-look Kingsway, and a park will be created alongside the new indoor arena, off Oystermouth Road.
Cllr David Hopkins, cabinet member for delivery and performance, said developers and the private sector were grasping the green infrastructure message, while Cllr Mark Child, cabinet member for care, health and ageing well, said: “It’s best for people’s wellbeing to live within 400m to 500m of open space.
“It is often at a premium in a city centre.”
The draft green infrastructure strategy said Swansea required significant post-war reconstruction but was left with “a legacy of spaces dominated by sealed surfaces, including many large car parks”.
The feedback from residents so far, it said, was that nature was valued and would increase the number of time people spent in the city centre if it was present.
Castle Square, which the council wants to make more green as part of a wholesale revamp, was the most frequently cited public space by respondents.
Green areas, added the draft strategy, helped people’s well-being, while just the sight of vegetation lowered blood pressure.
It also said maintenance plans were needed to ensure that trees and shrubs were watered.
Council leader Rob Stewart said doing nothing and leaving the city centre as a predominantly concrete area would be the easiest option.
The ongoing regeneration, he said, would make Swansea “a place for people to enjoy”.