Shops top tour schedule

One of the afternoon activities was a city centre tour led by Wayne Reynolds, a planner at Cardiff Council and Young Planners Cymru South Wales events manager.

Cardiff has recently been catapulted into the UK's top six shopping destinations due to the St David's development.

Delegates were met by Stephen Madeley of Land Securities, who provided an introduction to the development, its current visitor numbers, annual expenditure and the day-to-day challenges of running a large shopping centre.

This was followed by a debate on the role of the adjoining arcades and streets in the Hayes area and other parts of the city. Delegates explored the public art, public realm improvements and new BREEAM excellent rated library in The Hayes.

Insights were given on the choice of materials, the meaning behind the public art and the urban design principles of the new space.

The so-called "city of arcades" boasts the highest concentration of Victorian, Edwardian and contemporary indoor shopping arcades of any UK city. To conclude the tour delegates were asked to compare new and old shopping experiences and discuss the lessons which can be learnt from both perspectives.

One young planner said: "The way in which St David's has complemented the historical arcades is excellent. Together they make for an all-around shopping experience that is unique to Cardiff."

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