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Urban Design

Part 3: Strategic Guidance

There is an increased awareness of how the quality of our environment directly affects the quality of our lives. People today expect more in the design of the urban environment, having travelled and experienced many different types of cities. The quality of pedestrian experience, legibility and accessibility that citizens and visitors now expect of a city centre must be achieved in Sheffield if it is to become a ‘destination of choice’.

Recent projects in Sheffield have accomplished high standards of design, however this has occurred in isolated pockets. Every effort should be made to ensure that these achievements are used as a spring-board for the city’s comprehensive redevelopment .

In view of this, the aspirations of the Strategic Guidance are to:

  • Provide a framework for design innovation and excellence;
  • Demonstrate the city’s commitment to design quality that is of a standard commensurate with or superior to, its national and international counterparts;
  • Achieve a consistency and coherence in built form and spaces throughout the city centre, whilst maintaining the identity of its various character areas;
  • Enhance user comfort and convenience throughout the streets, spaces and lanes of the city centre;
  • Underpin the economic health and vibrancy of the city centre;
  • Raise the quality of the environment as a whole, including wider issues such as public safety and air quality;
  • Create a balance between all modes of transport;
  • Safeguard and enhance an urban environment that is distinctive to Sheffield and reflects its identity;
  • Promote a positive image for Sheffield as a confident and progressive city;
  • Create a safe and pleasant environment for public interaction and personal contact;
  • Foster a sense of inspiration, celebration and joy in the day to day experience of the city.

These aspirations promote a holistic approach to development which if successfully implemented will make a positive contribution to the long-term sustainability of Sheffield.

From the detailed analysis of Sheffield’s urban environment, guidance has been developed for elements which are key to the achievement of these aspirations:

  • Degrees of Intervention.
  • Urban Form and City Skyline.
  • The Public Realm.

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