As part of a program to attract people back into Sydney’s forgotten spaces, the city is transforming one of its laneways with 120 floating birdcages, cobblestones and outdoor dining.

Work in Angel Place includes new granite paving, new decorative and street lighting, raised kerb extensions to calm traffic and a new stormwater system.

The upgrade will make it a safer pedestrian link to the popular City Recital Hall, George Street, Martin Place and the laneway life on Ash Street.

The popular art project Forgotten Songs — which includes the installation of 120 birdcages suspended in the sky — will return to Angel Place permanently. The artwork was created for the City’s By George laneways project by Michael Thomas Hill, Dr Richard Major, Richard Wong and David Towey.

The birdcages float above the laneway echoing the sounds of birds that lived in the Tank Stream area before the City’s growth forced them to the outer fringes of suburbia and towards extinction.

Sydney’s Mayor Clover Moore said: “Angel Place is one of our secret gems, a laneway that’s fallen between the cracks of surrounding high rises. It’s a pocket with so much potential.

“We are recapturing that magic and finding imaginative, creative ways to open it up — as you race along the cobblestones in search of a little place to eat or shop, you’ll hear these empty cages echoing with the sounds of the birds that once flew through Sydney’s centre.

“It will be a dramatic contrast to the regular noise most people associate with the city.

“Laneways are ideal places for small bars and cafes, pop-up outlets, galleries and new retail spaces - the sort of places that make Sydney more interesting.”

The Angel Place transformation is part a $9m program to open up and bring people back to the City’s laneways.