Monday 11 December 2023

Reimagining Cardiff

 Every day on my drive home from work, I end up stuck in a traffic jam right next to where they are building a brand new tram/metro station. Set to open sometime in 2024 the new tramline will take people right into the city centre, just like it did years ago. Every time I look at it I wonder what Cardiff looked like years ago. I actually asked my grandparents but I got a swift telling off and was promptly reminded that they weren't actually born when the trams finished in Cardiff. 

Chums have used AI to create images of our landmarks from our past to reimagine what they would look like now so I am able to imagine what the new trams will look like. The landmarks included in the Chums campaign are Liverpool Overhead Railway, Dome of Discovery and Skylon in London, Trams on Queen Street in Cardiff, Portobello Pool in Edinburgh and Margate Jetty in Kent. You can see the campaign here The Cities of our Past Reimagined.

I absolutely love the reimagined image of Cardiff. The tram and image itself look really modern against some of the old buildings still seen in Cardiff city centre. Tram usage took a decline in Cardiff with the popularity of using a bus and therefore the last tram line closed in 1936 so it's crazy to think that this image could be an accurate representation of what Queen Street would look like if they were still in use now. I'll have to take a photo next year when they eventually open up again and compare it to this AI imagined image. 

How fantastic does the reimagined Portobello Pool look? It actually looks like a holiday destination and reminds me of the outdoor swimming pools in Australia. The pool was demolished back in 1978 and replaced with an indoor leisure centre and a football pitch. I imagine if this was opened now as it looks in this AI image then it would be incredibly popular. Shame about the Great British Weather though, although I'm told cold water swimming and ice dipping is very on trend at the moment.  

Margate Jetty was only demolished in 1998. It's a shame as this AI imagine portraying what it could be like if it was still standing now is beautiful. I can imagine it bustling with people eating ice-creams during the summer months.

After seeing the reimagined Waterfront Railway in Liverpool, I think they should reopen it. It looks great and i'm sure it would bring back happy memories from the people that used it before when it was fondly known as 'The Docker's Umbrella'.

This reimagined image of the Dome of Discovery in London does not look out of place with the actual modern skyline we see today. There are many futuristic looking buildings in London so this AI creation is pretty accurate. 

It's amazing how the innovative technology in AI can allow us to see what we have never been able to. I think the fantastic technology will be helpful in school lessons such as History. It will allow children to visualise what they can't see to help with their imagination. 

What do you think of the images created? Do you remember any of the original landmarks in the various cities? What parts of your city would you like to see reimagined using AI technology?

*This post was written by myself in collaboration with Chums. All words and views are my own.*


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