Sheffield narrowly misses out on European City of the Year but launches new campaign website for the city

Sheffield narrowly misses out on European City of the Year but launches new campaign website for the city

27 November 2019

Sheffield narrowly missed out on being crowned European City of the Year by the Academy of Urbanism at the Urbanism Awards Ceremony in London last night (Wednesday 27 November). A three way battle between the South Yorkshire city, Porto and Utrecht was ultimately won by XXXX.

The Academy of Urbanism is a politically independent, not-for-profit organisation that brings together both the current and next generation of urban leaders, thinkers and practitioners. The academy’s annual Urbanism Awards celebrate outstanding examples of good urbanism across the UK, Ireland and Europe, by recognising the best, most enduring or improved urban environments.

The Academy or Urbanism commended Sheffield by saying: "Like all other UK core cities, Sheffield has relatively low economic power compared with most European OECD core cities, but the city has increasingly compensated by using the power of a combination of its unique environment, heritage, culture and, above all else, its people."

Earlier this year, Sheffield welcomed a delegation from the Academy of Urbanism to learn more about the city’s innovations in urban development and meet a host of individuals at forefront of these flagship innovations. The delegation met with people from private, public, voluntary and third sectors to give a representation that is as true as possible to the make-up of the city.

During the visit they took in an extensive tour of the city to see a wide variety of city projects, initiatives and organisations. These spanned from new developments like Kollider to those still underway like Parkhill; from The Heeley Development Trust to Lady Cannings mountain bike trail in the Peak District; from Kelham Island to the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre; cultural immersion throughout the city; and from Hallam University's Advanced Wellness Research Centre to the iconic Cutler's Hall and city Cathedral.

Over the last few years, Sheffield has seen resurgence as a destination with urbanism, foreign investment, culture and booming new sectors flourishing in spite of austerity. Progressive developments such as Heart of the City II and Grey to Green have attracted international attention, as increasingly the city is being looked to as an example of sustainable regeneration with climate change resilience in-built as part of the urban environment.

On being shortlisted, Martin McKervey, Chair of the Sheffield Property Association said:

“It is a true honour for Sheffield to have been shortlisted for the prestigious European City of the Year. It gives further recognition to Sheffield’s growing profile as a destination for not only our prestigious heritage in manufacturing and culture, but also for the flourishing new sectors of digital technology, child health technology and world-leading applied research by both the Universities. 

"While in the past, Sheffield has perhaps been overshadowed by other Northern cities or eclipsed completely by London, awards such as this prove our position as a contender on the international stage.”

To coincide with the awards event, a new showcase What Makes Sheffield website ( launched on Wednesday 27th November, which is a campaign platform to drive awareness and change perceptions of Sheffield. It celebrates the amazing stories of inventiveness present throughout all parts of the city, and shines a spotlight on the individuals forging a new future for the city. 

The website has been created by Marketing Sheffield, the city’s official destination organisation and part of the Council’s City Growth Department. Explaining the vision behind the new website Edward Highfield, Director of City Growth, Sheffield City Council, said: 

“Research tells us the true value of any place is the people who form it and that couldn’t be truer in Sheffield. It’s this that has become the defining theme of our Sheffield brand and the new What Makes Sheffield site, in that ‘Sheffield makes people, and people make Sheffield’.

“By sharing these stories, we hope to showcase to external audiences the city’s transformation and drive further investment here, as well as demonstrate why we are a fantastic place to live, work and visit. But more than that, it's about showing what we contribute to the world and how as a collection of people the city is helping to solve some of the most significant problems we face - locally, regionally, nationally and on a global scale.

“To have come this close to being European City of the Year just spurs us on more, and we now have a huge opportunity to demonstrate our credentials in this respect."

Visit the new What Makes Sheffield website at: