The City of Sydney has released its blueprint for what it believes will rejuvenate the harbour city as it emerges from the pandemic.
The blueprint includes new public spaces, green avenues, slow streets, revitalised laneways and a Pitt Street promenade that will be implemented in the short term future. The public domain projects are designed to rejuvenate the city centre, support businesses and create a post-pandemic destination city.
The three public domain plans for Town Hall, City South and Chinatown precincts were all approved in a council meeting earlier this week, with a shortlist of projects also ready to be delivered. The city is ready to begin a $5 million infrastructure overhaul in Chinatown, with a $10 million upgrade of Belmore Park, located near Central Station, another major project.
A concept design of the redeveloped Belmore Park.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore says the ambitious public domain plans build on the City’s success in transforming the CBD, street by street.
“The work the City has done on George Street is transformational. Long gone are the conga-lines of buses on the clogged city street, replaced instead by light rail and a beautiful tree-lined pedestrian boulevard right through the centre of our City,” she says.
“We’re now well underway in extending that pedestrianisation on George Street between Town Hall and Central, to provide even more space for people to walk, dine outdoors and enjoy busking and activations.
“These plans for Town Hall, the City’s south and Chinatown are our blueprint for creating the next set of wonderful new and renewed public spaces in critical locations.
“We’re prioritising walking, bike riding and public transport through these areas, so we can return space to people, give businesses more room to operate outdoors and green our city with more tree cover and plantings.
A concept design of the City of Sydney's Central Square redevelopment.
“We first outlined our vision for a lively and engaging city centre in our Sustainable Sydney 2030 plan. The pandemic has shown just how important our public spaces in the heart of our city are to provide solace, as well as room to move, meet with friends and dine outdoors.
“As we accelerate our plans to create a more connected and walkable city, the importance of seizing every opportunity to create new public spaces is at the front of mind.
“None of this work will happen overnight, but these plans will guide how the City, State Government and building owners can align our investment and make the most of opportunities to transform our City as they arise in the coming years.”
Over the next six months, the City of Sydney will work on detailed scoping, design and feasibility studies for a range of projects for the short, medium and long term.
Expanded details of the blueprint for the Town Hall, City South and Chinatown precincts are below.
Chinatown public domain plan
The Dixon Street Mall is set to be revived, with plans for new seating and lighting, and a refurbishment of the famed Dixon Street gates. On Quay Street, there are plans for further footpath widening, tree planting, lighting and furniture upgrades as well as space for outdoor dining.
City South public domain
In preparation for the Tech Centre precinct, City of Sydney has created an interim plan that progresses the design development of Belmore Park and provides the basis for further stakeholder consultation to develop a coordinated plan for Tech Central. Planned improvements of the 2.1 hectare Belmore Park will create a safe, welcoming place, improve activation opportunities and provide a better connection to Central station. Initial designs expand park edges to surrounding streets of Eddy Ave, Hay Street and Pitt Street and establish a central activity area, reposition the bandstand to the heart of the park and add new trees, park furniture, upgraded lighting and pathways.
Town Hall Public domain plan
Recommended project priorities for stakeholder consultation, feasibility and design development include:
Town Hall Square
A key project of Sustainable Sydney 2030 is a new Town Hall Square opposite Sydney Town Hall, on a site now predominantly occupied by the Woolworths building. A new square is at the heart of Sydney’s future civic centre, imagined as a contemporary space for public life and civic activity.
St Andrews Cathedral and Town Hall provide a significant backdrop to the square that offers a quiet place for local workers, visitors and shoppers. Proposed plans include upgrading paving, furniture and lighting consistent with George Street, with improved access to the underground shopping arcade and surrounding streets.
Park and Druitt streets
The completion of the new Metro Station in Pitt Street changes the future role of Park and Druitt streets, with the opportunity to create a new green avenue and accommodate a large increase in people walking. By encouraging vehicles to use the Cross City Tunnel, the surface could be transformed into a traffic-calmed avenue with more space for trees, people, public and active transport. This would complete the northern edge to the future Town Hall Square.