It’s time to heed German lesson

From: David Slater


Along with many Sheffield city enthusiasts from both public and private sectors I attended a lecture entitles Europe’s Greenest City, hosted by Sheffield Hallam University, organised by the Academy of Urbanism and presented by Prof Wulf Daseking, Head of Urban Planning for the southern German city of Freiburg .

I do hope that the Lord Mayor, senior city planning officers and officials and the rest of the audience were listening attentively to Prof Daseking’s main messages that he repeated several times during the lecture

1. That Sheffield is a city that is too focused on its centre and must consider sustainable developments across the whole of the city

2. That development should be focused along the tram routes that run into the suburbs and that walking and cycling be encouraged to have priority over the car. Indeed, that the tram routes should be extended.

3. That huge inner-city centre developments (in our case the hopelessly out of date Sevenstone) are not the way forward and that city centres should be about people and spaces. Development of modern place can be in other districts around the edge of centre

4. That we should adopt the idea that a strong independent Mayor who can drive development is far better suited to leading a city than our current system of party politics-led cities.

Decisions that have been made by many in Sheffield over the years contradict these words of wisdom and I do hope that those who attended will read the Freiburg brochure and urge Sheffield to learn from Germany.