Reflecting on the River in Sheffield

Prof. Manvita Baradi from CEPT University, India discusses the river with delegates

The Arts Tower was host to the Reflecting on the River international research workshop as well as its very own river on Thursday 9 June. 

The network, led by the Department of Landscape’s Dr Nicola Dempsey is an international research collaboration with Professor Manvita Baradi and Dr Mercy Samuel at CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India. This free workshop aimed to explore what urban rivers mean in 21st century cities.

Manvita and Mercy presented findings with fellow Reflecting on the River networker Dr Claudia Martinez about the research they had been doing in Ahmedabad this year. Their opening presentations looked at how urbanisation processes have changed the Sabarmati River and affected its local residents and users.

Professor Mariana Correia and Dr David Viana from Escola Superior Gallaecia, Portugal joined the Reflecting on the River team to present European ideas on rivers, cultural heritage and the impact of rapid urbanisation.

Delegates populate the river with memories!

The 60+ workshop delegates included water and riparian experts and professionals, academics, community groups and students came from as far away as India, Portugal, Sweden, Cardiff, London, Liverpool Manchester and Sheffield. Delegates worked in groups to answer some of the key questions of the day including ‘...are rivers a part of the city or are they invisible?’ and ‘how do the myths and stories tally with the realities of urban rivers?’ Our magnificent river was created by Alison Somerset-Ward to capture recollections and memories as part of the day’s examination of rivers and their cultural meanings.

The Reflecting on the River network is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Indian Council of Historical Research.