Sheffield Places Project

In the UK, recent budget cuts to local authorities have led to severe funding reductions for place-keeping. There is increased pressure on community groups, private sector, public sector and third party organisations to work in partnership to provide services previously provided by local authorities. This includes green and open space management.

We need to understand more about place-keeping in practice. Better place-keeping can attract people to our green and open spaces which in turn can improve people’s health and wellbeing.

Researchers at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Landscape are examining how cross-sector partnerships in the city of Sheffield work on the ground. The project (funded by the ESRC) brings together individuals and groups involved in green and open space management to exchange ideas about partnerships in practice.

In these times of austerity, we need to increase the awareness and profile of place keeping, to protect and retain what is special and unique about our green and open spaces.

The project setting

Sheffield is one of the greenest cities in the UK, with over 200 public parks and gardens. Residents are passionate about their green spaces – this is evident through the numerous ‘Friends of’ parks groups actively involved in green space management.

Between January and February this year we interviewed people from areas in the North and South-East of Sheffield about their parks. We are currently writing this up to be published at a later date. We also recently held a place-keeping conference bringing together academics, practitioners and interested groups for a day of interesting and inspiring talks - for feedback click here.