European Green City
This section acts as a concise and informative introduction to "Sheffield's Green Commitment", a report formulated by "Sheffield Green Commission" with the goal of making Sheffield a more sustainable, interconnected city
About Sheffield's Green Commitment
The ‘European Green City’ vision would see Sheffield’s green elements, both in the city centre and surrounding landscapes, become a distinctive part of the city’s identity, and its attractiveness. It seeks a well-designed formal and informal landscape that is sustainable and delivers benefits in its biodiversity. It would see a focus on green space, which would be game-changing for both people and wildlife, and a branding of Sheffield as an ‘outdoor city’.
The commission hopes that nature, both in Sheffield and the surrounding countryside, will be valued intrinsically, as well as for its many benefits (e.g. health, social, economic) for the residents of the city. Residents would also recognise the environmental benefits of natural features such as flood mitigation, air quality mitigation, noise reduction, CO² capture, and urban cooling.
This vision intends to capitalise on the fact that Sheffield is a major urban city, yet 1/3 of its area falls within the Peak District National Park, and it is the most wooded city per capita in all of Europe, with an estimated 4.5 million trees. The commission wishes to ensure equal access to quality green space across the entire city, both for people and wildlife, and also to ensure that the green spaces – parks, hills, woodland, moorland, rivers and canals – are well-maintained and protected, to the highest degree. This extra care and investment in the city’s green infrastructure would attract talented individuals, as well as economic benefits and extra investments to the local outdoor industries.
It is recommended that this vision is incorporated into local planning and strategic documents in the long-term, for at least 150 years, as much of Sheffield’s green landscape we currently enjoy is the legacy of the Victorians. Residential design guides should be written to accommodate green networks in the city, emphasising that contact with nature and the outdoors is greatly beneficial to physical and mental health and general wellbeing.
Sheffield already has an impressive reputation as a green city, with its vast woodland coverage, its 83 parks and green spaces, its 70 green roofs and 150 miles of rivers and streams. It has multiple initiatives underway for climate-change adaptation, such as a partnership with the Environment Agency to improve water quality and alleviate flood risks in the city. A Local Plan is being developed to ensure new and sufficient green spaces in the city, re-greening the centre to maximise Sheffield’s potential as an outdoor city and give it an economic advantage.