Cardiff has come a long way since it was granted city status in 1905. Now made up of 29 electoral wards, Cardiff is divided into several communities, some of which are long-established and historical parts of the city, and others which are more recent.
Rhiwbina is one of Cardiff’s newer communities. Now an established part of the city, until the 20th century the area it was built on was mostly rural. Its development into a residential suburb began in 1912 based on a masterplan by Sir Raymond Unwin – one of the leading architects of the original garden city movement which also inspired Plasdŵr – and continued until 1923 when it became known as Rhiwbina Garden Village. In 1976, Rhiwbina was designated as a Conservation Area to protect its architectural and historic interest. In 2018, the ONS estimated it was home to around 11,500 people as well as its own high street with shops, cafes and other facilities.
200 years ago, Penarth was one of five parishes in the Hundred of Dinas Powys, which had a combined population of just over 300. It was little more than a village when, in 1853, Earl of Plymouth Estate purchased the manor lands which would later be developed to help create the seaside town Penarth is today. The Plymouth Estate office retained control over the planning, building and development of the new town and Penarth soon became self-sufficient with its own shops and community facilities. A large part of the town has been designated a Conservation Area to protect its Victorian and Edwardian architecture, as well as its gardens and open spaces. In the 2001 census, Penarth recorded a population of 20,396, with many of its residents working four miles away in Cardiff. Earl of Plymouth Estate also owns the land Plasdŵr is being built on and has a similar vision for a sustainable and self-sufficient community with green space at its heart.
At one time, many of the places we now accept as integral parts of the city were new developments, which have become established communities in their own right as Cardiff has grown. Over the next 20 years, Cardiff is projected to grow faster than any other UK city apart from London, with 73,000 people expected to move to the city over the next 20 years. The vision for Plasdŵr, as it takes shape over the next 20+ years, is for it to become another of Cardiff’s established new communities, providing much-needed homes and facilities to support that growth.
Like Rhiwbina and Penarth, Plasdŵr will bring its own individual character to the city. Each of its five neighbourhoods will have a distinct look and feel, inspired by the natural landscape and heritage of the area. Green space will also feature heavily with parks, playgrounds, recreation grounds, woodland and wetland making up around 40% of the whole development. New schools, shops, offices and other facilities will ensure residents can access everything they need on their doorstep creating a self-sufficient and sustainable community.