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My/Your Cardiff Public Space: Bottom-Up Small Public Space Interventions

Cardiff’s public spaces such as streets, squares and alleys, outside the city centre are suffering from limited care, maintenance and management.

This is partly due to UK Government austerity policies, which have significantly reduced public sector expenditure in a wide range of public services, particularly local authorities.

Aims

  • Raising public awareness on the value of well-designed, built, used and managed public space.
  • Creating an inclusive campaign: involving and empowering local communities through education, training and capacity building to influence the upgrading of their public spaces.
  • Understanding Cardiff’s culture of public space through a public survey and/or consultation exercise to investigate how people care about public space and to explore the ways in which they use and experience it.
  • Developing a public space co-creation toolkit for practitioners, local governments, policy-makers and local communities.
  • Developing and stimulating creative art practices in public space.
  • Informing new and existing public realm policies with a view to enable bottom-up, temporary and informal small-scale interventions.

Detail

Benefits of providing a good quality public space infrastructure

Environmental benefits

  • Improving walkability and reducing car use and pollution

Social and cultural benefits

  • Boosting civic pride and enhances civic image
  • Strengthening community cohesion and empowerment
  • Increasing and further developing the creative sector
  • Enhancing the sense of safety and security in the city

Economic benefits

  • Creating an urban regeneration and place marketing dividend
  • Opening up new investment opportunities, raising confidence in development opportunities and attracting funding
  • Reducing public space’s management, maintenance, energy and security costs

Who benefits

  • Everyday users and local communities benefit from access to a better-quality environment and an improved range of amenities and facilities.
  • Local communities benefit by having a stake in the future development of their city and public spaces.
  • Public authorities benefit by meeting their clear obligation to deliver a well-designed, economically and socially viable environment and often by ripple effects to adjoining areas.
  • Developers and designers benefit because of the improved city image and enhanced streetscapes - they attract more investors and clients.

This is a joint venture from the School of Geography and Planning and the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University.

Event

Public talk about My/Your Cardiff Public Space Campaign, 28 February 2020, Public University Event, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff.

Advisory group

  • Christopher Martin, Specialist Urban Advisor, Co-founder and Director at Urban Movement, London and Trustee of Living Streets UK)
  • Dr Mike Biddulph (Urban Design Team Leader, Cardiff City Council).

Team