Phil Bale is leader of Cardiff Council and is currently guiding the city as it links with neighbouring boroughs to bid for a City Deal. He talks to New Start about super-regions, time banking and building Cardiff’s social economy.
September 2015 - NewStart
Wales has a deep tradition for community initiatives, from developing the early model for the NHS to today’s booming social enterprise industry. But can community participation be the driver of local economic change?
We believe a new era of citizen engagement is needed; we need to address the problems that a large, cumbersome state has been a component of, however well meaning its rhetoric may be. In Wales, in particular, we need input from those outside traditional party politics; we need greater civil society.
Wales’ new economic development will be more akin to a successful coral reef. A coral reef thrives when its individual coral polyps are left to develop in their own way. We need to allow each of our communities to be the best it can be, and not some limp copycat of somewhere else. We encourage our children not to compare themselves with others, and yet with our communities, for too long, we’ve tried to be things we’re not.
ISSUE 533: SEPTEMBER 2015
*NEW START IN CARDIFF AND SOUTH WALES*
Rejecting the ‘managed decline’ approach to post-industrial areas, Dr Mark Lang and Professor David Adamson developed the Deep Place study as a route map to sustainable communities.
There are no shortages of social initiatives across south Wales, with locals giving their time and energy to help improve the places they live in, drawing on the country’s strong community traditions. Here are ten of the best:
The Wales economy is certainly tricky, with former coalfield communities and very rural areas, skills shortages and ill-health. More than anywhere else, they need to rethink the way that regeneration will happen. They have been wedded to big, ineffective regeneration for too long, and it’s time to try something else.
Over the last almost 60 years the way people live has changed, the technology we have in our homes was inconceivable in the post war years, the size and structure of households has evolved and people live longer with many more active years after retirement. The way that homes are designed perhaps has not kept up with these changes: there is a mismatch between what is available and what people aspire to.
Brisbane’s inner city is one of only a few places in the world where there is an industry in literally moving houses. This is because the traditional ‘Queenslander’, as it is called, is made of weatherboard, squats on stumps, and can be lifted intact onto the back of an articulated lorry and carted to its next location.