Aberystwyth is officially a ‘Great Town’. It fought off stiff competition from the English towns of Beverley in Yorkshire and Bury in Lancashire to win the 2015 Great Town Award from the Academy of Urbanism.
According to The Academy, who described Aberystwyth as “a modest town that punches above its weight”, the town is a great example of how to manage economic development and sustainability in an isolated town with very poor links to other urban centres and facilities. It is a good example of very strong partnership and collaborative working between a number of agencies and the local community, including the cooperative response to disaster, as well as development. It is an exemplar of a symbiotic relationship between a small town and its university as well as an exemplar of night-time economy management, from which other towns and cities could learn. In addition it is a fine example of a town that is manifestly very proud of its cultural uniqueness, including the celebration of language and the National Library of Wales and its wonderful setting.
The Academy of Urbanism was formed in 2006 to advance understanding and practice of town planning, urbanism and regeneration through evidence based learning and inquiry, sharing this knowledge with the community and recording excellence through Awards.
The Awards, which celebrate and learn from great placemaking, cover five categories of scale, including European City of the Year and Great Town, Neighbourhood, Street and Place.
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