What would a green city look like?

Cycling campaigners have designed a greener future for Sheffield’s streets in striking animations that have gone viral online.

By Molly Williams
Tuesday, 11 June, 2019, 17:01
What Ecclesall Road would look like if it were more cycle-friendly. By Sam Wakeling

Sam Wakeling, a designer who is also a member of Cycle Sheffield, created several eye-catching animations showing how some of the city’s most popular streets could look if they were more climate-friendly. 

The images show less cars, more trees, lanes for cycling and wider paths for walking.

Mr Wakeling said: “Our aim is to create spaces where anyone can cycle despite age or ability.

“I wanted to help people look at the streets we see every day and imagine what it would look like if it was more cycle friendly. It’s worked really well, people have really got behind it.”

They received hundreds of likes and retweets on the social media site Twitter and sparked debate.

He said there were ‘too many good reasons’ to invest in cycle infrastructure including reducing pollution, improving physical and mental health and reducing accidents on the roads.

How Division Street could look with greener infrastructure

Mr Wakeling added: “Every part of our health system is creaking under the weight of inactivity.

“The cost to do it would be quite small compared to the cost of building wider roads for cars, which just creates more problems.

“Someone said the other day it looks as though I pasted Dutch cycle infrastructure onto Sheffield streets. Which is proof that this does exist we just don’t have it here yet.”

He said the city could raise funds by implementing the Workplace Parking Levy – which is already used in Nottingham. In the meantime, Mr Wakeling said an emergency network of cycling and walking could be made ‘very quickly and cheaply’ using bollards and parking suspensions before paving it over years. 

He said he was open to suggestions to redesign other parts of the city and said he enjoys the challenge of more difficult areas.

Cycle Sheffield said the next step is trying to convince Sheffield City Council to invest in the infrastructure and work with them on ideas.