Grangetown Safe Play Lanes

Cardiff Council, Cardiff University and Grange Pavilion are working with residents to improve lanes in Grangetown to create welcoming, safe and green spaces.

In recent years has there been a concerted effort to clean up the lanes and alleyways in Cardiff. Until recently, many instances of fly-tipping went unreported and lanes became often impassable, un-appealing, and unsafe spaces not just for children, but for all residents. There has been a marked improvement in lanes/alleyways cleared of fly-tipping, with better reporting, better reactive measures, and more importantly, improvement in preventative measures. These include pedestrianised lanes to stop vehicles from dumping rubbish, and overall greater vigilance and reporting systems implemented by Cardiff Council.

The above improvements have created the conditions for going a step further; creating Child Friendly play spaces. Cardiff Council and partners in Grangetown have the opportunity to pilot a transformation project in some of Grangetown’s rear lanes, to create safe and fun spaces for children and communities to connect and play, ensuring Article 31 (right to rest, leisure, and play) of the UNCRC is enabled and embodied in Cardiff communities.

The overall objective is to create fun, safe spaces for children and residents to enjoy, by reclaiming the space and making the environment more welcoming and safe. This project will focus on Grangetown as a pilot, with a view to wider expansion if successful.




  1. To transform a number of lanes in Grangetown into Child Friendly spaces for play and recreation.
  2. To empower residents and improve community cohesion through intergenerational action.
  3. To create more spatial play equality in Grangetown.
  4. Children have more safe spaces to play in.


  • Liaise with local residents and community organisations on shaping the project.
  • Local arts organisations and individuals will contribute to the overall look and feel of the play lanes.
  • Community Gateway will create a toolkit for wider application in the city.
  • Grangetown Youth Forum are consulted throughout the project build.
  • Resident to identify potential lanes for development.
  • School workshops / activity sheets to discover children’s ideas of play and recreation, and to begin designing play lanes.


  • A number of lanes become safer and a more child friendly environment.
  • Increase opportunity for children to play safely.
  • Families worry less when children are playing.
  • Anti-social behaviours are reduced.

School Activity Sheets

Students in the Cardiff University Welsh School of Architecture Year Five Value Unit have designed a series of worksheets for schools and parents to use with children to help create designs for the lanes, including some fun activities like word searches. To download them, click on the link below:

School Workshop Activities Sheets

Lane nominations

We received 27 nominations for 20 lanes throughout Grangetown and established a resident-led oversight committee to develop the criteria for lane selection.

Residents who nominated a lane were asked to answer six questions and send in a photograph of the lane in question. This enabled the oversight committee get a clearer picture of the lanes and their possibilities for transformation:

  1. What is the name of your lane and which two streets does it intersect?
  2. Is your lane gated or open access?
  3. Does your lane require vehicle access?
  4. Are there any commercial properties on your lane?
  5. Do the houses on your street have back gardens?
  6. What is your nearest play area?

We also asked Grangetown resident to send us photos of ‘concrete corners’ or disused spaces in Grangetown that may be ideal for small transformation projects.  If you see or know of such a space, please take a photograph and either email it to or pop it on Twitter, tagging @CommunityGtwy and using the hashtag #GtownPlayLanes

Here is the latest map of nominated lanes, kindly created by Welsh School of Architecture student, Alex Felton:

Pilot Lanes

On the 16th of March, oversight committee members visited each of the lanes and assessed them against a decision-making criteria which included access to nearby green space or parks, vehicular access and commercial requirements.

As a result of the assessment, two lanes were selected as part of the pilot scheme:

  1. Stockland St & Penhevad St
  2. Mardy St & Dinas St

Students from the Welsh School of Architecture and our creative partner, Art Shell, distributed creative packs and will hold interactive workshops with residents of the two chosen lanes in July 2021 to develop ideas for the lane.

Each of the other lanes nominated will receive a mini transformation kit in the summer to help residents spruce up their lane. We will also create and distribute practical DIY toolkits listing the approval processes, key contacts, supply chain, costs and timings of the two pilot lane transformations to enable their re-creation across Grangetown.  We will look for additional funding and in-kind donations to support future projects.


Research Project

As a partner in the project, Cardiff University would like to carry out research about the difference improving lanes might make to residents living next to the lane. We would be delighted if you would participate by completing the survey listed below:

Any participation in surveys, interviews or workshops will be voluntary.


For more information on the project, please contact