Although a city, Sheffield is informally known as "the largest village in England", it is the biggest isolated city in the U.K. Sheffield has strong Industrial roots with a rich heritage in the manufacture of Iron and steel. It has emerged into a cosmopolitan and vibrant city, with a population estimated at around 555,500 people. 84% of employment in Sheffield is service based but Sheffield also has a large public sector base. This is a result of the city's two universities: Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield, and a growing health sector.
The largest employer of graduates from the University of Sheffield is the NHS. Some of the other top employers in Sheffield are RBS, Rolls Royce, Tesco and Atkins. The digital and creative industries are becoming an internationally significant part of Sheffield's growth.
Sheffield is known as the greenest city in Europe, there are an estimated two million trees in the city. Sheffield has over 200 parks and woodland areas, such as the 19 acre Sheffield Botanical Gardens. It has the highest ratio of trees to people in all of Europe with an estimated 2.5 million trees.
There are some regeneration projects underway such as the 'Heart of the City Project'. The city of Sheffield has a large shopping district within the city centre, as well as a large indoor shopping centre Meadowhall, which is home to a wide variety of retailers, restaurants and a cinema complex. In 2011 it was announced that Sheffield will become an enterprise zone, which will help small businesses in the region to increase economic growth.
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