Greener Grangetown has won the Roy Edwards Award at the ICE Wales Awards 2019, which recently took place at the Marriot Hotel in Cardiff.
The innovative project catches, cleans and diverts over 40,000 square meters of rainwater run-off directly into the River Taff, rather than pumping the water over eight kilometers through the Vale of Glamorgan for treatment, before being pumped into the sea.
The scheme collects surface water from roofs and roads from twelve residential streets in Grangetown. Channeling and filtering it through over 100 rain gardens before draining to the river Taff. Through the scheme, significant improvements have been made to the public realm as well as the creation of the first ‘bicycle street’ along Taff Embankment.
By diverting run-off water into the rain gardens, plants and new trees soak up the water which is filtered through the soil and the roots which catch and break down the pollutants.
Specific types of trees and plants which are mostly native to Wales and all UK sourced, have been chosen to fit a number of criteria. They are durable, require little maintenance, are pollutant tolerant and have the ability to adapt to very wet or dry conditions.
Greener Grangetown is a joint venture delivered by Cardiff Council; Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water; Natural Resources Wales; Arup; ERH Communications and Civil Engineering Ltd with additional financial support from the Landfill Communities Fund.
Cllr Michael Michael, Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Environment and Recycling, said:
“This is an innovative project which deserves the recognition that it is receiving.
“Without even knowing the purpose of the scheme and the significant benefits that it brings, the new planting has created an increased sense of community spirit in the area and has visually improved the streets of Grangetown.127 new trees have been planted, as well as 1,700 square meters of new green space. In time, as the plants and trees grow and spread, Grangetown will be even greener that it is now.
“Taff Embankment, which is part of the scheme, is also part of the Taff Trail and has now been completed, connecting Cardiff Bay to the city centre. As well as this initiative, improvements have also been made to vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist safety at 14 road junctions which are part of the scheme.