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2.2 Sheffield Today

Connect Sheffield

‘Connect Sheffield’ is an access and legibility strategy for the city centre, with its foundation in the Koetter Kim Masterplan. It is one of the recommendations of the Masterplan Transport Improvements Strategy, which includes public transport schemes (bus routes and mini-midi interchanges to create a user focused system), access loops, car parks and their management, and public realm improvements associated with the above.

Connect Sheffield is ‘an organising concept to develop a world class design identity and delivery framework for information, communication and movement projects within the public realm’. With an emphasis on ‘user centred design and world class quality’ it will help set Sheffield apart from its competitors, while retaining its industrial heritage. The ‘Building Blocks’ of this study are:

  • Way Finding, Signing and Information Strategy
    A city wide signing strategy focussing on all forms of vehicular movement. The Strategy will give priority to improving information for vehicular users on key radial routes, the inner ring road, access loops and links to car parks incorporating V.M.S for parking availability and congestion warnings. The city centre has been subdivided into 4 ‘districts’, which are the City Centre, Sheaf Valley, Don Riverside and the West End (which extends across the IRR to include the University and Hospital Campus). Once within these districts, information will be provided relating to the quarters – their attractions, destinations and car parks. A consistent nomenclature schedule has been developed. A new pedestrian signing system is proposed which replaces existing signposts by new volumetric ‘hubs’ capable of carrying more information as well as audio and digital equipment inside.

  • Sheffield Map Suite
    An up-to-date and consistent map suite for Sheffield City Centre, as an information design resource.

  • Product Design Strategy
    A bespoke, identifiable range of pedestrian signs/bus posts which will go hand in hand with the Connect Sheffield way finding and information graphic elements.

  • Brand and Identity Strategy
    A unique graphic and information kit of parts, including a new Sheffield Sans’ font, iconography, colour palette, mapping concepts and an image bank specifically for Sheffield.

  • Urban Design Projects
    Several ‘early opportunity’ projects have been identified by Connect Sheffield. These include:
    • Updating the maps displayed in the JC Decaux public information units, to ensure a more pedestrian focused information system.
    • Creating a clear printed city centre map primarily for pedestrians.
    • Redesigning the content of the Display Information Units (DIU) at the supertram stops, with emphasis on stop-specific information.
    • Upgrading Arundel Gate NCP to improve the pedestrian environment experience, and way finding systems.
    • Introducing Variable Message Signing (VMS) serving Charter Row car parks as a demonstration project.
    • Rationalising and removing street furniture as a pilot project in the Cathedral Quarter, to promote a clutter free pedestrian environment.
    • Developing a ‘digital gateway’ to Sheffield, with a Public Dataweb, and ‘Interface and Location Strategy’ for kiosks in the city centre.
    • Exploring the concept of themed trails, to encourage people to explore and stay longer in the city centre.
    • Sheaf Square/Howard Street/Heart of the City/Barkers Pool as a critical sequence of pedestrian signing.

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