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Forgotten Spaces Sheffield 2011: Shortlist – ‘Life is a beach’ by Ark D M

Life is a beach when we make use of forgotten spaces which have been with us all the time. Opening up rivers for local people’s pleasure will open up minds

Water has been the starting point for human settlement from the dawn of civilisation. Human interaction around water becomes paths and then streets. Under each city is a memory of what originally drew it there.

Nothing is as powerful a metaphor for the modern city’s disregard for human needs as a culverted river. People pass by a section of river each day, forgotten behind tattered fencing, unaware of its potential.

Opening up the river and the space beside it gives back a connection to the water and the possibility of new social interactions for people from diverse local communities.

The space can be somewhere to meet between the city and home, a small park, where people can just enjoy the play of light on water. It can be a performance space or an outdoor cinema. It can be a café or a place for people to vend local crafts.

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