Remarkably, Sheffield’s city center has been tremendously changed for the past several years. The attraction of foreign investors rose and the investment paid for itself. Speaking of the investments and profits, it is necessary to say that traveling and sightseeing are nowadays one of the most prestigious and profitable industries. The project Heart of the City has been developed to attract tourists and investors’ attention first of all and, of course, serve its title. It is today a big urban configuration that amazes with its beauty, uniqueness, and design. Moreover, there is a Masterplan prepared in 2000 that speculates on more successful and efficient use of the project built. This essay will incorporate the perspectives the Masterplan reviews and prove the report Sheffield’s “Remaking the Heart of the City” to contain some inaccuracies in drawing the economic conclusions after building and launching the project.
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Back in 1997 there were eh debates and discussions started on the subject of re-asserting Sheffield’s role as an economic driver (Digaetano, 1999). The discussion’s mainly centered around the Heart of the City project in 1997, whereas in 2000 Sheffield’s City Centre Master Plan showcased a good deal of opportunities to develop the project further in order to reveal the potential of the city and return the cultural, civic, and historical value. When the questions of the city’s value and further financial and cultural issues came up the center was also thought of as a wonderful object of entertainment and shopping. Besides, the role of public open spaces had to be taken into consideration and be thoroughly examined as well as the pedestrian routes.
Transportation System Drawback
To understand one of the main drawbacks, though not the one that cannot be changed, it has to be noticed that the geographical position is somewhat inconvenient. Sheffield is situated on the Eastern flank of the Pennines along the river Don. It is important to understand that the topography of the area is steep and therefore it made it hard for communications before the railway road was built because the city was literally isolated from the outside trade (Winkler, 2010). Unfortunately, this kind of isolation remained until nowadays within the entire place. However, the city’s water transport is likely to promote efficient connections to the rest of the country. Thus, in contrast to the report submitted, it is important to mention ‘Sheffield City Region Transport Strategy 2011-2026’. It is designed to develop the transportation, provide access for people to get job opportunities, and attract investors. Moreover, the new transportation strategy strives to rethink already established ways of transportation achievements and create air quality transport systems, also help people get physically active, keep fit, and lower carbon emissions (South Yorkshire Local Transport Plan, 2011).
In a word, the location of the city center has long been an issue of transportation problems and at the same time of Great Britain’s pride. The Pennines have been providing the country with building materials and stone paving, which is so characteristic of the local image because the products of Stokehall and Johnson Wellfield are used in city center’s civic buildings: Town Hall, City Hall. As such, the Heart of the City project must be regarded not as the finished successful project but rather a long way of improvements to be made to eliminate many drawbacks among which is the unhealthy transportation system, and for the purpose of celebrating the country’s resources and making a wise use of them.
The Heart of the City Masterplan Inconsistency
Interestingly, the public domain remains one of the most debatable issues within the Heart of the City project. Of course, it has been thought of as the center of cultural, social life; however, it is also a hub of business realities. The report ‘Remaking the Heart of the City’ states that the project sets a very high standard as per the development of public realm. However, this statement needs elaboration. Factually, the public realm undergoes negative impact by private and commercial developments. The City Masterplan conveys that there are many award-winning public spaces and they are open to all. However, as the matter of fact, they appear to foremost reason for such discrimination is that the Sheffiled’s city centre public spaces happen to be the oSheffield’sillanccentermes, 2007). People are under control of different guidelines that outline the types of behaviors which the private and commercial developments generated to be either acceptable or not. Moreoevr, they suggest the people to behave the way which isMoreoveronding to the type of activity a specific private development holds. ‘Local economic prosperity and investment are, in part, predicated on attractive urban spaces that may drive responses that clear or bar undesirable users.’ (DiGaetano and Lawless,51 p 1840). Nevertheless, it has to be remembered that the public spaces are from any perspective the public domain since the area occupied is an open space. Therefore, even thinking about the authorities’ offices and taking into consideration the private sector’s ownership, the policies should be generated according to the comfort and sensitivity of the citizens, whereas today it is all up to the concept of those to whom it is marketable (Knight Frank, 2005).The rights of citizens should be followed strictly as per their freedoms of expression. Moreover, it has to be mentioned here that when talking about such discomfort of people for whom the Heart of the City was created, the concept of the entire project seems to fail. In order not to debunk the myth of the project that was designed and implemented for the people, it is necessary to create a friendly atmosphere that will be available to foreign investors also.
The project Heart of the City is a unique and expensive step forward to new developments and achievements in the urban sphere. There has been a crucial amount of work done, which, of course, signifies partial success achieved. However, as per the report, many drawbacks were not mentioned. The city center of Sheffield is certainly a great historical and infrastructural site, however, there are many developments within the project that will take place. Among those are taking care of the cit residence by means of developing safe and air clean transportation, which of course will make it easier to get around Sheffield. As per the existing problems, unfortunately the city public spaces project part was not counted for all citizens’ comfort as the private and commercial organizations’ policies play a great role. This is the reason why open public spaces and conduct there may become a real pitfall further. This misunderstanding may result, for example in refusal of people to attend the cafes, which contradicts the prior concept of the project, which was meant to satisfy public demands.
Digaetano, A. and Lawless, P. (1999) ‘Urban Governance and Industrial Decline: Governing structures and the policy agenda’, Urban Affairs Review, vol 34, no 4.
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Holmes, K. and Beebeejaun, Y. (2007). “City centre masterplanning and cultural spaces: A case study of Sheffield”. Journal of Retail and Leisure Property Volume 6, Number 1, 2007 , pp. 29-46(18).
Knight Frank L.L.P. (2005) Sheffield Central Area Activity Report,2005. Web.
South Yorkshire Local Transport Plan. 2011. Sheffield City Region Transport Strategy 2011-2026. Web.
Winkler, A. (2010). Sheffield City Report. Centre for Analysis of social exclusion.