The accessibility of Central Square is important for both environmental and social reasons. The city centre location and excellent public transport links ensures that the area will be heavily populated. The environment created by the Masterplan will result in a new civic square which sits between the Grade II Listed Central Station and the new BBC Wales Broadcasting House. These and other buildings in the Masterplan will each be built to the latest DDA requirements and based on the principles of inclusive access for all.
The public realm and hard and soft landscaping is being designed by Hyland Edgar Driver who also designed the Hayes/SD2 public realm. This will ensure a high level of continuity and unity which can link together the series of high quality spaces that Cardiff is now developing. Diverse Cymru have assisted in informing a strategy for inclusive access and have held a workshop with the various user groups who represent the impaired. This has helped to shape the public realm strategy and the continued involvement of these groups is welcomed as the detail of these spaces is distilled.
Key elements of the strategy include:
- de-clutter the spaces of street furniture, rather, providing this in clear ‘zones’ that do not stray across pedestrian desire lines
- provide legible useable routes using natural materials,
- providing lighting and planting to waymark,
- signpost and delineate character and use areas within the public realm.
Street furniture will be located in carefully planned areas which allow free pedestrian movement and eliminate barriers. This will assist not only crowd management on event days, but also help wheelchair users and the visually impaired to navigate the area without hindrance.