Cardiff Breakfast Club 31st October – Tim Williams, Committee for Sydney

Posted: November 5, 2014 in Cardiff Breakfast Club
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Tim Williams, CEO, Committee for Sydney

Tim Williams, CEO, Committee for Sydney

This month’s Breakfast Club was another busy meeting and we were joined by guest speaker Tim Williams, CEO of the Committee for Sydney. Against the backdrop of Cardiff Bay, Tim gave an insightful and forward thinking talk on Cardiff’s future as a World City.

The Committee for Sydney is an independent think tank with members from all sectors of the city, and is recognised as one of the world’s leading urban renewal thinkers. Before moving to Australia in 2010, Tim was the senior Special Advisor to a number of UK cabinet ministers in the Department of Communities and Local Government, and also previously served as CEO of Thames Gateway Partnership.

Speaking on the first annual World Cities Day, Tim began his talk to the Breakfast Club by discussing global trends in relation to city growth and the significance that they have for city regeneration. He explained how in recent years people have been flocking to cities in what can be seen as the biggest demographic event since the baby boom. Contrary to the past, people are now trading off large homes in the suburbs in favour of homes close to city centres and all that the city can offer. This change can be effectively summed up by the slogan; “Smaller Homes, Shared Spaces, Bigger Lifestyles” and it is absolutely vital that this is considered when planning the future of developing cities such as Cardiff.

Tim also explained that female graduates are redesigning cities in a way which has never been seen before. According to Tim, 25-34 year olds are the key demographic to attract to cities in order to ensure their economic future and this is something that he believes Cardiff is already succeeding in doing.

Breakfast ClubTim believes that public transport development needs to be at the heart of city expansion. He was keen to stress his opinion that the “metro is a vital project” to connect Cardiff and the Valleys and to provide relief for the overused M4 corridor. According to Tim, more road space equals more cars and the proposed M4 relief road is not a sustainable solution to Cardiff’s congestion or accessibility problems. ‘Walkable’ Urban development is ‘becoming the market’ and this is something that Cardiff needs to be aware of and invest in.

Tim concluded his talk by stating that devolution to the Welsh Assembly is essential, but of equal importance is devolution from the Welsh Assembly to the city itself. Cardiff needs to have more power to make effective decisions for itself. Tim strongly believes that “Cardiff’s momentum is real and we need to unleash it further”.

The next Breakfast Club will be held on 19th November with guest speaker Ben Rule, Operations Director of First Great Western. For further information and booking details, please contact or phone 02920 549597.

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