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Thinking differently about a city and its surrounding areas

8 May 2015

The Cardiff City Region

In its first published briefing, Professor Gillian Bristow's City Region Exchange project has defined what the 'city region' idea means and explored some of the challenges and opportunities which surround the development of the Cardiff Capital Region.

The briefing states that for the successful development of a city region, a key question will be to decide what its strategic objectives are. Whether, for example, to prioritise economic growth, or instead pursue the development of healthier and connected communities, or foster a low carbon agenda based on environmental transformation.

The briefing also highlighted that the Cardiff Capital Region is in a unique situation due to Cardiff's position as a capital city, a coastal region and also a region characterised by significant differences between the prosperous coastal zone around Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan and the more disadvantaged areas of the South Wales Valleys.

'geography of a city'

"The city region idea is in essence a different way of thinking about the geography of a city and its surrounding areas, and one which is defined by an understanding of how it actually functions in practice – namely through the economic flows and wider relationships and interdependencies that variously connect the people and places within it" said Professor Bristow.

"The challenge is ultimately to convert these processes and understanding as to how the region functions, into practical plans that support its integrated development".

Professor Bristow concluded "The next steps for us will be to further support the development of the Cardiff Capital Region through a series of pilot engagement projects. These are intended to enhance engagement between the University and key players in the Region, and to improve the available evidence base for policy decisions."

Flagship engagement project

The City Region Exchange is one of Cardiff University's flagship engagement projects and was launched at the Senedd by the Welsh Government's First Minister Carwyn Jones AM in November 2014.

Otherwise known as the Transforming Communities programme, the projects work with communities in Cardiff, Wales and beyond in areas including health, education and wellbeing.

This includes connecting communities through hyperlocal websites, building community engagement models in Cardiff and Merthyr, and working with the Welsh Government to help achieve the UN's Millennium Development Goals.

City Region Exchange - Briefing 1

City Region Exchange Briefing Note 1 - What are city-regions?

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