Whilst attempting to articulate my first impressions of Sheffield, I feel there is only one substantial comment I can stand by; 'this isn't what I expected'. In fact, this comment goes to show that whilst we can develop a basic understanding of a place through the media, our set readings for the subject, word of mouth and more, I needed to see and experience Sheffield for myself to create my own opinion. An example would include how the vast majority of the stories I heard about Sheffield influenced my understanding of Sheffield as an industrial, concrete jungle polluted and overrun by steel manufacturing with inadequate attempts to revitalise the area. Nevertheless, the aesthetic qualities, interactive street fronts, cultural hubs and rich heritage values derived from building character beg to differ. Furthermore, there is a strong up and coming presence revolving around music, street art, urban design, leisure, local consumerism etc. Finally, I found out that Sheffield has more trees per a person than almost any city in Europe - not exactly the polluted industrial concrete jungle I was expecting.
I feel that the two Trevors' lecture on helping students to understand how they interpret their experiences could not have come at a more suitable time during the study tour. Indeed, I agree with the message of the lecture that 'you need to be confronted before you readjust yourself'. After being exposed to and confronted by Sheffield, my opinion is readjusting.- Isaac Sharp (Bachelor of Urban, Rural and Environmental Planning)