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Regeneration sees city lead the way on going green

SWANSEA Council and Natural Resources Wales are helping show how cities can aspire to become greener and more inviting places to live and work.

Kingsway_green

They have teamed-up to develop a strategy that will increase biodiversity in the city centre, combat Climate Emergency and make Swansea a more pleasant place to live in, work and visit.

Delegates from across Wales attended an event in Cardiff on Wednesday looking at how London became the first National Park City in the world and how Swansea is aspiring to follow in its footsteps.

Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council said: "Swansea is undergoing a once in a generation regeneration and as the city is rebuilt, we will deliver a greener more beautiful natural environment for everyone to enjoy, but more importantly one that keeps us healthy.

"New 'green lungs' will be created across Swansea as we work with Natural Resources Wales to create what could be Wales's first national park city with new green public areas, woodlands and other nature supporting spaces."

"We know there is lots of work to but we are determined Swansea will lead the way in Wales."  

Fran Rolfe, sustainable places officer at NRW, said: "We came together with Swansea Council realising that we needed to have a strategic approach to urban greening across the city centre.

"We've had a phenomenal mandate from the community saying 'we want to bring nature back into our space.

"Bringing wellbeing into how we develop urban space is so important."

Delegates were at the conference to listen and learn as well as to share their experience of how cities like Swansea are trying to change their environment for the better.

A huge amount of regeneration is taking place in Swansea and as part of this the council and NRW are working with residents and businesses to make Swansea greener.

It will increase biodiversity in the city centre, combat Climate Emergency and make Swansea a more pleasant place to live in, work and visit.

Green cover in the city is currently estimated at 13 per cent but the aim is to increase this to 26 per cent by 2030.

The strategy, approved by the council's cabinet, will be going out to public consultation shortly. It includes the desire to attain National Park City status.

These are cities where people and nature are better connected, are rich in wildlife and where every child and young person benefits from exploring, playing and learning outdoors.

They have high-quality green spaces and good air quality.

Swansea city centre is undergoing major regeneration and 170 new trees are being planted as part of the £12m upgrade of The Kingsway.

The 3,500 capacity digital arena, part of the £120m Swansea Central Phase One scheme, will see a new coastal parkland created above a multi-story car park.

Other major projects are planned - and the new strategy will guide developers on how nature can be integrated into their designs including vertical wall gardens, urban allotments and further more trees.

Two of the city's main housing associations have pledged to take part with Coastal Group planning a green roof on their office block in the city centre and Pobl providing more greenery in its developments.

The strategy explores the benefits and cost-effectiveness of green infrastructure in terms of flood-risk reduction, cleaner air and water, reductions in noise, gains in biodiversity and reduced CO2 emissions.

Widespread community engagement will begin this year and will include pop-up sessions in the city centre and activity on social media.

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