Cardiff: The best city in the UK?

Recent research has suggested Cardiff is the best city in the UK to live in for young adults. Researchers, commissioned by Legal & General, spoke with more than 2,000 18-30 years olds across the UK, concluding Cardiff was the best city for young adults. Some of the major factors that helped them reach this decision were an average wage of £21,585, and 70 per cent of participants saying they both loved their job and were happy with their work-life balance.

Over the last decade Cardiff has developed massively. From the re-generation of Cardiff Bay to the opening of the new St David’s shopping centre, the city has truly earned its place on the map. The growing city is attractive to many employers with many businesses turning to Cardiff as their central location, including insurance giant Admiral who recently opened its brand new head quarters in the centre, creating hundreds of jobs.

Cardiff is playing host to more and more world events every year, especially in the world of sport. The Millennium Stadium is currently the site of several World Cup games and will host the semi finals. The Castle and City Hall welcomed world leaders as part of the highly anticipated NATO summit last year, and in 2016 Cardiff will host the World Half Marathon Championships. The development of the sports village in Cardiff Bay has brought an Olympic size swimming pool, ice rink and white water rafting centre. The capital clearly now has a variety of excellent venues, which makes it attractive to many events organisers.

Being a student city the nightlife is consistently busy and there is somewhere to party every night of the week. Drink prices are low in comparison to other UK cities, and the size of the city means that most things are within walking distance, saving money on taxi fares and avoiding the traffic of the roads.

As well as the lively activity of events and nightlife, calmness and tranquillity can be found in one of the many city parks and green spaces. Cardiff has more green space per person than any other city in the UK. Although Cardiff is an increasingly modern city, it retains lots of heritage and history. The 2,000 year old castle sits at the heart of the city, and many of the old shopping arcades remain occupied.

As well as all the great things the city has to offer, there are some issues that let it down. The crime rate is high in suburban and student areas, with frequent burglaries and drug use. And while there are many people living in luxury, a large amount of people live below the poverty line, with some of these places being run down with anti-social behaviour. Furthermore, sexual assaults have also recently grabbed the headlines in the city, raising question over the safety of the vast student population. Though these events are largely impressive, the transport links in an out of the city are not built to cope with the heavy influx of people. These are all discussions that are s increasingly in the news and something that the people of Cardiff are complaining about.

But the main question is, is it really as great as these polls are making it out to be? A survey conducted on over 40 young people who live in the city a range of questions about Cardiff. 70 per cent of the young people agreed with statement “Cardiff is the best city in the UK to live in.” But doesn’t this go to show how passionate young people feel about the city we live in? Participants believed the university was the city’s best asset, followed by shopping and restaurants.

Cardiff is a city that young people seem to grow a connection with. The small size means that people get to know the city very well in a short period of time, including the best places to go, the little quirks. The social atmosphere allows people to connect, while there are always big events happening in the city meaning it doesn’t actually ever stop. The city is a great place to live, but in order to grow, and attract more business the city will have to expand and change to cope with the flow of people. Then, we all hope, it will retain its title as “best city to live in in the UK.”

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