My wallpaper theme this week sees me return to posting photos closer to home, of distinctive images taken in and around Cardiff. Europe’s youngest capital city, Cardiff is an eclectic mix of the occasionally ancient, the Victorian and Georgian, and the mostly incongruous architecture of the last twenty years.
As an exile from that greenest of cities, Sheffield, one of the things that I really appreciate about Cardiff is just how much parkland there is right in the heart of the city centre. As the heavy industry that was strip-mining the valleys to the north began to die out, some of the wealth earned was spent on fantastic open spaces to rival (indeed, imho, they exceed) the royal parks of London. Bute Park in particular stretches for some distance to the north; the perfect getaway on a busy lunchtime.
Unfortunately, those in charge of modern planning in the city are not so inclined. When the St Davids 2 shopping centre was created, the site of a former car park (sandwiched between the Traders Tavern, the Cineworld Cinema and the Cardiff International Arena) was landscaped into a modest but extremely welcome green space. In June 2011, local city planners granted permission for this green space to be replaced by Admiral’s new headquarters building, a building that has been described as “awful” and a “missed opportunity” by the very planners who gave the final approval.
It isn’t as if there isn’t plenty of brownfield land to build on in Cardiff, especially to the immediate south of the main railway line where <a href="http://www.walesonline.co.uk/cardiffonline/cardiff-news/2011/07/04/city-of-london-launch-event-for-cardiff-s-central-business-district-development-91466-28987111/"the proposed business district will be.
If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.