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
Sheffield CLT was recently featured in local newspaper The Star, with founding members Cristina and Rupert speaking about the importance of including local citizens in the development process rather than leaving it to profit-seeking companies to shape the city.
“Are we going to be creating real neighbourhoods or just boxes, with little communal space, where most people don’t even know the person living next door? Is it really OK to run to outside developers and for Sheffield’s homes to be held by absentee landlords? We don’t think so. We think we need to find a way to do it ourselves.
A Community Land Trust would let local people choose the type of homes they think are needed in their city. It would enable them to get involved with the buildings in which they live, making them more likely to engage long-term with the community. It’s healthy, it’s interactive and it’s an economically stable way of doing things.”
Read the full story here.
As we are moving forward, we will be soon applying for the support offered by the CLT Network and to other grants available for projects aiming to deliver affordable houses to the community. In order to start this journey we will need to have a strong steering committee to start taking decisions, negotiate with the council and the community.
The many vacant buildings and plots in the city offer great potential for a CLT in Sheffield: their regeneration would benefit the community as a whole, in a bottom-up project where the community takes the lead and has its voice heard.
If you are passionate about your city and think that Sheffield deserves an exciting project like this, we would be happy to have you on board.
More news is coming soon: feel free to get in touch by email at email@example.com, Twitter at @SheffieldCLT
, Facebook at SheffieldCLT
or to pop up for a visit at Studio Polpo
‘s offices in the Union Street Co-Working space.
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.
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!