A new report highlights the challenges and opportunities presented by the South Wales Metro.
The “Metro and Me” report is led by Cardiff University’s School of Geography and Planning and has been authored by leading academics and regional figures, including Geraint Talfan Davies, co-founder of the Institute of Welsh Affairs and Carole-Anne Davie, Chief Executive of the Design Commission for Wales. It examines the planned Metro transport scheme and how it could improve regional planning, housing, economic development, design, green infrastructure and culture.
At a launch event in Cardiff on Monday (October 8th) at the Radisson Blu Hotel, supported by Capital Law and other partners, including Arup and IWA, the authors of the report and stakeholders from industry, civil society and government discussed the implications of this major infrastructure investment.
Speakers and delegates unpacked some of the many challenges and opportunities that the project raises. For example, what sort of homes does the region need? Where should we build them? What sort of economy do we want or will we get? And what sort of jobs and skills does that imply? How do we build a new future for the region whilst respecting and engaging all its communities?
Earlier this year, Welsh Government announced that KeolisAmey would replace Arriva as the operator of rail services in Wales. As well as running the next Wales and Borders franchise, KeolisAmey will also design and build the next phase of the Metro project, including the electrification of the core Valley Lines. And just last week First Minister Carwyn Jones confirmed £119million of EU funding has been secured to progress work on the Metro project.
Speaking about the report, Professor Mark Barry from Cardiff University, who wrote the foreword and contributed towards its creation, said: “As exemplified by the collection of essays in the “Metro and Me” publication, we must view the Metro as more than a transport project and as catalyst for change, so we can begin to develop a region fit for the 21st century and our future generations. I am optimistic that we can, and in fact, we don’t have a choice. We must.”
Chris Nott, Senior Partner at Capital Law, who supported the creation of the Metro & Me report, said at its launch: “The Metro could be a revolutionary development for South Wales and will allow the area to further contribute to the wider Welsh economy. For something so important, too few people are aware of what’s going on – the well-attended “Metro and Me” conference allowed people to find out more, whilst the accompanying publication debates the metro’s potential in more detail.”
You can read the Metro & Me report here.