Cardiff A-Z: O is for OPENCities

What better way to kick off 2015 in Cardiff than to celebrate all that makes the city uniquely special?

I’m now halfway through my A-Z exploration so I decided to sum up what I’ve discovered so far. During this summing up I also uncovered the city’s involvement in the European-wide OPENCities project so I’m sharing this with you as well. Here goes:

OPENCities is a British Council project set up to examine the future role of urban spaces. Cardiff has had a pivotal role in this project since it began in 2008. I’ll explain why.

First of all, why openness matters

By 2050 two thirds of the world’s population will live in cities. This urban expansion will be caused by mass migration. OPENCities examines how cities can embrace their migrant populations and offer new opportunities for all.

A bilingual sign for the City of Cardiff


“Openness is the capacity of a city to attract international populations and to enable them to contribute to the future success of the city”

What makes Cardiff especially important?

First off it’s the youngest capital city in Western Europe. Since the 19th Century when the city become a major importer of coal from the valleys its population expanded tenfold. It has welcome new residents from all over the world, who have made a valuable contribution towards the city’s economy and culture. Cardiff is indeed a vibrant multicultural hub of which all its citizens can be proud.

As well as examining the patterns of migrant populations, the OPENCities project has investigated how cities such as Cardiff can raise its profile internationally. The longterm plan is make Cardiff an even more attractive place for people of all ages and backgrounds to live and work than it is now.

In the picture – What will the future of Cardiff look like?


“By 2020…Cardiff will be a world class European capital city with an exceptional quality of life and at the heart of a thriving city region.”

In my explorations of Cardiff for my A-Z series I have indeed experienced a culturally diverse city, as my photo gallery demonstrates. Here’s to a good 2015 for you all, and Enjoy!

Arcades provide a cafe culture as well as shops


Green areas provide rest and relaxation within the City centre
Different eras of history co-exist in harmony. The 19th Century clock tower at Cardiff Castle as seen from the Medieval Keep.
Daleks, who have made their home in Cardiff Bay
Cardiff University students dig for Iron Age remains at Caerau Hill Fort
Visitors enjoy the sunshine outside Rhyd-Y-Car Terrace, an exhibit which takes you through 200 years of Welsh history.
The Shree Swaminarayan Temple within Grangetown demonstrates the diversity of religions catered for in Cardiff.


Brains beer, as celebrated in The Hennessys’ song ‘Cardiff Born, Cardiff Bred’.
Ianto’s shrine at Mermaid Quay is on the tourist trail for international visitors.
St John the Baptist Church provides an open door policy within the heart of the City.
Roath Park – one of the favourite places for Christian Amadeo, the brains behind ‘I Loves the ‘Diff’
Visitors gather to be spooked by ghost stories in Llandaff.
Visitors can experience the view through the players’ entrance while on the Millennium Stadium tour.
National and international exhibits can be viewed alongside each other at the National Museum, Cardiff


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.