Council appoint Arup to renovate Cardiff’s digital infrastructure

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Arup has been appointed to support Cardiff city’s plan for its reopening, investigating opportunities to improve access to open space, digital infrastructure, air quality and active travel

Arup firm is developing a strategy that addresses both the immediate challenges around reopening the city centre and the longer-term opportunities to improve public space in the city as we move out of lockdown.

The strategy will initially focus on ways to bring people back into the city and support the reopening of businesses, taking social distancing into account.

The concept for the immediate strategy centres on accentuating the city’s welcoming nature, with new spaces for pedestrians and the construction of welcome gateways to provide information, orientation and sanitation. There will be flexibility in the measures used to ensure that the widest range of different business needs can be met.

Enhancing Cardiff’s infrastructure

The longer-term strategy will aim to enhance the city centre experience, maintaining and building on its vibrancy and economic resilience. The council will consult with city partners and residents to inform its plans – existing options include the creation of a ‘loop’ of green public space around the city, repurposed streets that prioritise pedestrians and cyclists, consolidated logistics, and servicing linked to enhanced digital infrastructure and monitoring.

Arup is now looking at how the first phase will be implemented, and the initial strategy will be presented to the council cabinet for approval next month.

Recovery plan

Sophie Camburn, director, Integrated City Planning, said: “Our team has brought together a range of expertise to create a strategy that will help the council respond to challenges and opportunities as they prepare to begin the gradual process of reopening the city centre.

“We have looked at how Cardiff can use its civic pride, creative capacity and underlying assets to respond to immediate practical needs, medium-term tactical changes and strategic opportunities to deliver long term resilience and a future-fit City Centre.”

Cardiff Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: “We are all living in extraordinary times and as the council continues to respond to the current issues during this pandemic, we also have to plan on how we are going to recover from this crisis once the lockdown has been lifted.”

“We now have to look at how we can remodel the public space in the city centre and implement effective plans to ensure that social distancing measures can be maintained for everyone’s safety. Not only that – we have to find ways of making the city a great place to visit again, despite any restrictions which may have to be imposed”

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