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Sheffield: The Outdoor City

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Sheffield: The Outdoor City

Friday 28 July 2017

Sheffield is a city on the edge of the Peak District, it's a city with a landscape made of seven hills, five rivers and countless green parks.

Ancient woodlands, winding valleys and wildlife are all in reaching distance from the city centre - Sheffield is a gateway to the outdoors.

It's therefore no surprise that a report conducted in 2014 by Sheffield Hallam University's Sport Industry Research Centre (Everything grows outside – including jobs and the economy), found that the city has the highest household spend on outdoor equipment in the country, and that outdoor recreation in the city generated £53 million annually and created more than 1,500 full-time jobs.

Following this report The City of Steel is rebranding itself as the UK’s Outdoor City to promote tourism and investment in the South Yorkshire capital, as well as encourage people to live a healthier way of life.

It is the proximity between city living and outdoor pursuits that gives Sheffield its unique identity as The Outdoor City. Runners, walkers, cyclists and climbers flock here for the world class climbing (Stanage Edge is hailed by the climbing community as Britain’s best gritstone crag), our countryside strolls, picturesque hikes and Tour de France worthy cycle routes. 

Sheffield Hallam University is truly a part of The Outdoor City. We have the UK's first cross disciplinary research group looking at the growing sector of outdoor recreation. We bring together healthcare professionals, economists, social and sports scientists, ecologists, engineers, behavioural change and tourism experts in the Outdoor Recreational Research Group which is currently working with one of the UK's biggest land and property developers, Harworth Estates, to develop the country's first 'Active Town' - where opportunities to incorporate physical activity into daily life will be part of initial site plans.

The project fits with the aims of the University's new, £14 million Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre based at the Olympic Legacy Park, the former site of the Don Valley stadium, which will bring together a range of expertise to create innovations to improve the health of the nation.

One current research project is encouraging more people with visual impairments to participate in parkrun - a global exercise enterprise which sees about 80,000 people gather in parks across the UK to run, jog or walk five kilometres every Sunday morning.

Look around you and take in the view – across Sheffield’s vibrant city centre or out over the Peak District, its glorious back garden.

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