Conference Review

The Urban Wildscapes conference was held on 7th September 2007 in the conference facilities at SCEDU, (the Sheffield Community Enterprise Development Unit), an appropriately post-industrial venue situated right on the banks of the River Don, Sheffield’s longest urban wildscape. The conference brought together 11 different speakers from different academic disciplines and areas of practice to examine the histories, meanings, functions and futures of urban wildscapes, namely Chris Baines, Tim Edensor, Catharine Ward Thompson, Christopher Woodward, Ian D Rotherham, Steve Hinchliffe, Andreas Langer, Catherine Dee, John Deller, Helen Morse Palmer and Marion Shoard. Their contributions were grouped into 3 conference sessions entitled ‘Danger-Adventure’, ‘Nature-Nurture’ and ‘Junkyard-Paradise’.

The conference was attended by around 80 delegates from all over the UK and beyond, with similarly varied backgrounds and interests. The conference presentations were the catalyst for the publication of an innovative, illustrated e-book entitled Urban Wildscapes, accessible from this web site. The book puts forwards a series of different perspectives on urban wildscapes, explores the challenges they currently face and puts forward some suggestions for future action. We hope it will provoke or inspire further debate, research and intervention to explore, investigate, utilise and protect this essential form of urban landscape.