Sheffield Grey to Green

Transforming Sheffield’s Riverside Business District, this £3.6m scheme elevates 1.2 kilometres of redundant roads into functional, attractive new linear public spaces. Running from West Bar, near the Magistrate’s Court, through Castlegate to Exchange Street, the Sheffield Grey to Green Corridor features the longest retro-fit sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) in the UK, incorporating innovative perennial meadows, rain gardens and public art.

Winner of the Most Outstanding Project in the Sheffield Design Awards 2016

The Department of Landscape’s Professor Nigel Dunnett leads the University’s involvement in the scheme, which is a collaboration between Sheffield City Council, the University of Sheffield, Amey and Robert Bray Associates. Masters and level 3 undergraduate students in Nigel’s ecological design studio projects in 2014 gained first-hand experience of real-life projects, through helping to create many of the visuals for the scheme.

Professor Dunnett, said: “the Grey to Green project in Sheffield’s Riverside District is one of the most ambitious and visionary urban landscape projects in the country, further boosting Sheffield’s credentials as a green city. We are proud to bring our support and technical expertise to help make this a truly ground-breaking example to other cities in the UK, whilst also providing exciting opportunities for our students to become involved with real-life innovative and cutting-edge planning and design projects.”

Planting of trees, shrubs and bulbs around Snig Hill and Bridge St form the core of the vegetation design. This is complemented by the installation of five art features which resemble modern totem poles, revealing some of the area’s colourful and unexpected history. The 4.2m high poles made from stone and metal incorporate the stories of local people.

Councillor Leigh Bramall, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development said: “the new artwork features will provide the finishing touches to enhance this project in the Riverside area. The project will create an attractive setting for existing and new investment and jobs, an improvement in the city’s resilience to climate change as well as an enhanced public realm and connectivity of the area with the rest of the City Centre.”

Phase 1 of the scheme started in April 2015. Funding came from the new Sheffield City Region Investment Fund (SCRIF) – the first project funded from this pot – and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Phase 2 of the project encompassing the area between Castlegate and Exchange Street began the planning stage in 2016, and completion is subject to funding.

Images of Phase 1 July 2018



Nature in the city


Traffic passes by


Long flowering, variety of colour and structure are the essence of these plantings


The beauty of the plantings can mislead to forget that these are functional SuDS systems


The plantings are an essential part of the redevelopment of this area

More information on the Grey to Green project can be found here. 

Home. Top. Next research profile