Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. With some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base. The population of the City of Sheffield is 569,700 (mid-2015 est.) and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the Core Cities Group. Sheffield is the third largest English district by population. The metropolitan population of Sheffield is 1,569,000.
In the 19th century, Sheffield gained an international reputation for steel production. Known as the Steel City, many innovations were developed locally, including crucible and stainless steel, fuelling an almost tenfold increase in the population in the Industrial Revolution. Sheffield received its municipal charter in 1843, becoming the City of Sheffield in 1893. International competition in iron and steel caused a decline in these industries in the 1970s and 1980s, coinciding with the collapse of coal mining in the area.
The 21st century has seen extensive redevelopment in Sheffield along with other British cities. Sheffield's gross value added (GVA) has increased by 60% since 1997, standing at £9.2 billion in 2007. The economy has experienced steady growth averaging around 5% annually, greater than that of the broader region of Yorkshire and the Humber.
The city is in the eastern foothills of the Pennines, and the valleys of the River Don and its four tributaries, the Loxley, the Porter Brook, the Rivelin and the Sheaf. 61% of Sheffield's entire area is green space, and a third of the city lies within the Peak District national park. There are more than 250 parks, woodlands and gardens in the city, with an often quoted estimated 2 million trees, and claims of Sheffield having the highest ratio of trees to people of any city in Europe.
The city has a long sporting heritage, and is home to the world's oldest football club, Sheffield F.C. Games between the two professional clubs, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, are known as the Steel City derby. The city is also home to the World Snooker Championship.
Sheffield is located at 53°23′N 1°28′W. It lies directly beside Rotherham, from which it is separated largely by the M1 motorway. Although Barnsley Metropolitan Borough also borders Sheffield to the north, the town itself is a few miles further away. The southern and western borders of the city are shared with Derbyshire; in the first half of the 20th century Sheffield extended its borders south into Derbyshire, annexing a number of villages, including Totley, Dore and the area now known as Mosborough Townships. Directly to the west of the city are the Peak District National Park and the Pennine hill range, while the lowlands of the South Yorkshire Coalfield lie to the east.
Sheffield is a geographically diverse city. The city nestles in a natural amphitheatre created by several hills forming the eastern foothills of the Pennines, and the confluence of five rivers: Don, Sheaf, Rivelin, Loxley and Porter. As such, much of the city is built on hillsides with views into the city centre or out to the countryside. Blake Street, in the S6 postcode area is the third steepest residential street England, with a gradient of 16.6°. The city's lowest point is just 29 metres (95 ft) above sea level near Blackburn Meadows, while some parts of the city are at over 500 metres (1,640 ft); the highest point being 548 metres (1,798 ft) at High Stones, near Margery Hill. However, 79% of the housing in the city is between 100 and 200 metres (330 and 660 ft) above sea level.
Estimated to contain over two million trees, Sheffield has more trees per person than any other city in Europe, and according to Sheffield City Council, it is England's greenest city, a claim that was reinforced when it won the 2005 Entente Florale competition. It has over 170 woodlands (covering 10.91 sq mi or 28.3 km2), 78 public parks (covering 7.07 sq mi or 18.3 km2) and 10 public gardens. Added to the 52.0 square miles (134.7 km2) of national park and 4.20 square miles (10.9 km2) of water this means that 61% of the city is greenspace. Despite this, about 64% of Sheffield householders live further than 300 metres (328 yd) from their nearest greenspace, although access is better in less affluent neighbourhoods across the city. Since 2012 there have been disputes between the city council and residents over the fate of the city's 36,000 highway trees, with 2000 having been felled by October 2015 as part of the £2 billion Streets Ahead road improvement scheme.
Sheffield also has a very wide variety of habitat, comparing favourably with any city in the United Kingdom: urban, parkland and woodland, agricultural and arable land, moors, meadows and freshwater-based habitats. There are six areas within the city that are designated as sites of special scientific interest. The present city boundaries were set in 1974 (with slight modification in 1994), when the former county borough of Sheffield merged with Stocksbridge Urban District and two parishes from the Wortley Rural District. This area includes a significant part of the countryside surrounding the main urban region. Roughly a third of Sheffield lies in the Peak District National Park. No other English city included parts of a national park within its boundary, until the creation in March 2010 of the South Downs National Park, part of which lies within Brighton and Hove.
Sheffield has two universities, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. The two combined bring about 60,000 students to the city every year. Sheffield University was established in 1897 as University College Sheffield and became the University of Sheffield in 1905.
Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) is a university on two sites in Sheffield. City Campus is located in the city centre, close to Sheffield railway station, and Collegiate Crescent Campus is about two miles away, adjacent to Ecclesall Road in south-west Sheffield. The university is the third largest in the UK, with more than 37,000 students (of whom over 4,000 are international students), 4,170 staff and 747 courses. Sheffield Hallam University's history goes back to 1843 with the establishment of the Sheffield School of Design. During the 1960s several independent colleges (including the School of Design) joined to become Sheffield Polytechnic (Sheffield City Polytechnic from 1976) and was finally renamed Sheffield Hallam University in 1992.
Sheffield has three main further education providers, The Sheffield College, Longley Park Sixth Form College and Chapeltown Academy. The Sheffield College is organised on a federal basis and was originally created from the merger of six colleges around the city, since reduced to just four: Sheffield City (formerly Castle) near the city centre, Hillsborough, serving the north of the city and Norton and Peaks to the south. Sheffield made the shortlist for the first city to be designated UK City of Culture, but in July 2010 it was announced that Derry had been selected. The Sheffield Walk of Fame in the City Centre honours famous Sheffield residents past and present in a similar way to the Hollywood version. Sheffield also had its own Ferris Wheel known as the Wheel of Sheffield, located atop Fargate shopping precinct. The Wheel was dismantled in October 2010 and moved to London's Hyde Park. Heeley City Farm and Graves Park are home to Sheffield's two farm animal collections, both of which are fully open to the public.
There are about 1,100 listed buildings in Sheffield (including the whole of the Sheffield postal district). Of these, only five are Grade I listed. Fifty-nine are Grade II*, but the overwhelming majority are listed as Grade II. Compared to other English cities, Sheffield has few buildings with the highest Grade I listing: Liverpool, for example, has 26 Grade I listed buildings. This situation led the noted architecture historian Nikolaus Pevsner, writing in 1959, to comment that the city was "architecturally a miserable disappointment", with no pre-19th-century buildings of any distinction. By contrast, in November 2007, Sheffield's Peace and Winter Gardens beat London's South Bank to gain the Royal Institute of British Architects' Academy of Urbanism "Great Place" Award, as an "outstanding example of how cities can be improved, to make urban spaces as attractive and accessible as possible". In the summer of 2016 a public art event across the city occurred called the Herd of Sheffield which raised £410,000 for the Sheffield Childrens Hospital.
Sheffield's museums are managed by two distinct organisations. Museums Sheffield manages the Weston Park Museum (a Grade II* listed Building), Millennium Galleries and Graves Art Gallery. Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust manages the museums dedicated to Sheffield's industrial heritage of which there are three. Kelham Island Museum (located just to the North of the city centre) showcases the city's history of steel manufacturing. Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet (in the south of the city) is a Grade I Listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Shepherd Wheel (in the south-East of the city) is a former water-powered grinding workshop, Grade II listed and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.