MAUD Exhibition: Studio Live/Work

MA Urban Design students at the University of Sheffield recently held an exhibition of their projects exploring community-led regeneration in Sheffield city centre. Convened by Sheffield CLT members Jon Orlek and Alex Maxwell, the studio looked at CLTs, self-build, co-housing and artist-led development as alternative strategies to the developer-driven, retail-focused ‘Heart of the City’ masterplan currently being implemented in Sheffield. The project culminated in a public exhibition at DINA where academics, professionals and members of the public were invited to comment on the proposals, a few of which can be seen below.


Work in Progress: a community-led (re)inhabitation of Leah’s Yard



Growing up in the cities: exploring family and child-friendly development in the city centre



Balancing ‘We’ & ‘Me’: privacy and community in a co-housing and co-working development


Group #5 – 5 steps towards women-led urban development

With this projects students’ look at Wicker multicultural environment and look at the communities’ women to reinterpret their role and use of public spaces. They propose workshops, collective cooking, and playground activities to gather women to public spaces. The second step would be to gather funding towards more permanent structures and long-term projects like growing food at the railway bridge, the construction of permanent structure for the families, in order to also create jobs and foster the local economy.   

Group #4 – Community led Housing in Wicker

a- The group first analysed the local situation, highlighting the issues and potentials and then designed a tailored project that in the short term would see the development of a community center, a riverside coffee and a communal kitchen. The plan would later include affordable school, a community park and a housing area.

b- With this project the student focused on the waterfront zone, putting forward a project of reactivation. Her plan included a commercial and leisure area, a community park and gym and cultural spaces.

Group #3 – “Live & work” in the heart of city

The group’s idea developed around the question: “would you like to ‘live and work’ in the city centre?” This simple question draws the attention to the issues of rent affordability that often make inaccessible the city centre, forcing people and companies to move away. They also underlined the existence of empty unused buildings in the city centre, raising awareness regarding the gradual decency and abandonment of central areas. The group proposes a working and living environment – the Fargate ‘Co-studio’ – as an alternative of community re-appropriation of the city centre.

Group #2 – Wellington Street: Dynamic, Energetic, Collective

The motto of the group was: “proposing a phased community-led development for Wellington street, to achieve its potentials as a thriving city centre with identity, vitality and diversity”

The group underlined the central position of Wellington Street as its main potential: they looked at the existing network and outlined future possible partnerships to gather funding for the renovation of the area. They proposed a more attracting green park and the car park to be turned into a complex of affordable houses.

Exhibition: “A Walk into the Future. Exploring community-­led development in Sheffield City Centre” at Sheffield Railway Station until June 13

If you did not have the chance to see the installations of MA Urban Design Students around Sheffield on Tuesday 17 of May, you have the possibility to see some highlights displayed at the Sheffield Railway station (in front of Mark & Spenser) until June 13.

The exhibition will walk you through the different visions the students produced for five different areas of Sheffield city centre. The aim is to challenge the idea we have of our city and finding creative and affordable ways of taking ownership of abandoned or neglected city spaces, through community-led projects.

Do not miss this opportunity to see Sheffield from another perspective and do get in touch if you have any comments and if you would like to get involved!

Visit to the MA Urban Design Students’ installation


On Tuesday 17 of May the installation of the MA Urban Design Students: “A Walk into the Future. Exploring community-­led development in Sheffield City Centre” took place in various locations across Sheffield city centre. Each group was assigned a specific area of the city and on Tuesday they displayed their plans for the local regeneration; open to explain their visions, answer questions and receive suggestions by local people passing by. It was a great opportunity to exchange ideas and to spread the aims and ideas behind Community Land Trusts.

We visited the five sites of the students’ installation and we asked them about their projects: it was a unique chance to re-think the city and experience it from a different perspective. A lot of exciting ideas for our Sheffield CLT!

Full report about each group will follow!


Five design projects for Sheffield City Centre: a community-led approach

The exhibition: “A Walk into the Future. Exploring community-­led development in Sheffield City Centre” on Tuesday the 17th of May 2016 will display the proposals of MA Urban Design Students within the Sheffield CLT, Studio Polpo ans SSoA collaborative project titled:“Re-appropriating the post-industrial landscape through community-led development”.

Group #1 – More diversity, less isolation

In the Devonshire Quarter we are have explored how a diverse range of people and groups can come together to form a community. This community-­led approach will consist of Sheffield CLT, Studio Polpo and local residents with a focus on mixed­-income housing and historic heritage regeneration in the short term, and achieving diversity of functions, stakeholders, and activities in the long term.

17 May 2016, 12:00­-14:00, S3 7UQ (near the Stoked tiles)


Group #2 – Wellington Street: Dynamic, Energetic, Collective

This interactive and informative event will showcase our proposal for community led development in the heart of the city, and we’d love to hear, see and discuss your ideas. The project is exploring the ways a Community Land Trust could enable Wellington Street to fulfill its potential as a vibrant street with its own unique identity, within a city centre Sheffield is proud of.

17 May 2016, 14.00-­17:00, Devonshire Green (near the skate park)

 site 2section

Group #3 – “Live & work” in the heart of city

This project focuses on a considerable number of vacant spaces on upper floor of Fargate, which is the heart of Sheffield. Based on a series of Community-­Led strategies, we propose a ‘Live & Work’ pattern to re-­appropriate the vacant spaces in Fargate Court. The proposals aim to provide flexible spaces for graduates to live and work in Sheffield City Centre.

17 May 2016, 11:00-­17:00, In the vicinity of intersection of Fargate and High street


Group #4 – Community led Housing in Wicker

The Wicker area has been missing good affordable housing for decades. We are proposing a ten-­year community led housing strategy in the Wicker Riverside area. Let us know your opinion in an event this Tuesday morning at the Riverside Park.

17 May 2016, from 10:00 to 13:00: River Don Footbridge, Wicker, Nursery St, Sheffield S3; from 14:00 to 17:00: Corner of Wicker and Willey Street, 50 Wicker, Sheffield S3 8JB


Group #5 – 5 steps towards women-­led urban development

This project proposes strategies to establish a community land trust, which builds houses and public spaces in the borders of Burngreave, Wicker and Darnall, on both sides of the railway. It considers the community’s women as the starting point of the organisation, reinterpreting their roles in the public spaces.

17 May 2016, a tour will take place from 11:30 to 12:00 (tbc) to explain the project, with billboards around the Wicker Arches. From 15:00 to 17:00, all parts will be exhibited together in the Tesco (near Spital Hill)

billboard step1_2 final

Exhibition: “A Walk into the Future. Exploring community-­led development in Sheffield City Centre” – 17.05.2016


The collaboration of Sheffield CLT and Studio Polpo with the School of Architecture at the Sheffield University (SSoA) on the six week project “Re-appropriating the post-industrial landscape through community-led development” has produced some very interesting ideas for community led developments in Sheffield City Centre. Last week we announced the presentation of the five proposals by MA Urban Design Students with great designs for a future Sheffield CLT. The aim of the project is to explore the potential of community-­led approaches to the regeneration of the city’s central areas. Each group investigated a particular zone of the city and suggested design strategies for community-led urban transformation.

On Tuesday the 17th of May the five proposals will be displayed across Sheffield City Centre in an exhibition titled “A Walk into the Future. Exploring community­-led development in Sheffield City Centre”.

More information about the projects and the programme will follow soon.