Well in case you missed it, the latest EU Urban Audit results came out last week and attracted some considerable media interest! The survey provides an insight into what residents living in 79 European Cities really think about quality of life issues in the places where they live.
Perhaps of most interest was the survey revealed that across a number of indicators, residents in Cardiff are highly satisfied with life! Cardiff performs particularly well against other European capital cities, suggesting the City is also well placed to deliver on our vision of becoming Europe’s most Liveable Capital city.
According to the Survey, Cardiff is:
- The top UK city – and 5th European capital city – in terms of resident satisfaction with life
- Europe’s number 1 capital city for retail
- Europe’s number 1 capital city for air quality and noise levels
- One of Europe’s top 3 capital cities for green spaces, cultural facilities and efficient public services
- One of Europe’s top 5 capital cities for public spaces, health services and sports facilities
This is in part testimony to the sustained investment in the city’s sporting, leisure and cultural infrastructure in recent years.
The survey also usefully suggests areas for improvement, and we will work with partners to address these as part of our ongoing programme of work. If the city of Cardiff is to maintain these high satisfaction rates then we will also need to draw upon a more co-operative minded approach, as we design a city for people and deliver services with people.
Last week I was delighted to meet with Henry Englehardt, Chief Executive of Admiral Group plc, which is one of the most successful motor and home insurance firms in Europe.
Admiral launched in Cardiff just over 20 years ago in 1993 and now has over two million policyholders and over 3,500 employees. It is currently the only FTSE 100 listed company in Wales and floated on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. Admiral is also regularly listed in the Sunday Times “Best Companies to Work For”, demonstrating the strength and quality of the business (and no doubt also thanks to some pretty memorable staff parties in the Millennium Stadium from what I’m told!).
Henry also spoke recently at Venturefest Wales, an event which brought together entrepreneurs, investors and innovators to inspire business growth in Wales. Amongst the topics covered was his vision and values for what makes a successful company, with a strong emphasis on the culture of the organisation, something which I strongly agree with. This is why we are striving to refresh our own organisational values and to embed co-operation at the heart of our Council ethos, supporting an environment where people are more empowered to contribute towards the success of our city.
Admiral’s headquarters are based in Capital Tower, the tallest building in the city centre, and the firm continues to experience rapid growth. It has exciting plans to shortly move 3,000 of its staff into a new £60m 220,000 sq ft landmark HQ right in the heart of Cardiff’s Central Enterprise Zone. Proof, if any was needed, of Cardiff’s credentials as an attractive business destination – one where firms can thrive and go on to become major national and international success stories.
On Friday, Cardiff will be submitting its final Application to the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge Competition. I blogged about Cardiff’s submission reaching the final 21 (out of over 150 entrants) a few weeks ago.
Cardiff’s initial submission impressed the judges because it focused on increasing the productivity of Cardiff, by investing in people and delivering a programme of social innovation that enables people to address city issues.
Since reaching the final 21, delegates from Cardiff have been working with Bloomberg Philanthropies to further refine the bid ahead of final submission. Bloomberg Philanthropies was established by former Mayor of New York, Mike Bloomberg, and draws on his decades of experience as a leader in the public and private sectors to deliver real, meaningful, and lasting change around the world.
As part of this work with Bloomberg Philanthropies, the City of Cardiff has engaged with a number of other European cities to help develop each other’s ideas. If you have a spare five minutes, then it’s worth reading more about some of the innovative ideas being explored here. I know the Cardiff team have worked hard on what is a highly credible submission, one which if successful, would deliver real benefits here in Cardiff as well as for other cities right across the world.
Pob Lwc Caerdydd!