The NSW Government will contribute $1 million to help the City of Sydney create an additional 9,000m2 of public space for pedestrians in the heart of the city.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the proposed works would extend and permanently convert pedestrian areas at the southern end of George Street.

“The CBD and South East light rail has changed not just how we get around the city, but how we experience the city. It has created more space for pedestrians and provided a calmer, more appealing environment for workers, visitors and residents,” the Lord Mayor said.

“By creating people-friendly spaces along and around the light rail corridor, we’re delivering our long-held vision of a world-class civic spine in the city centre, while also assisting with Covid-19 recovery.

“As people cautiously return to the city while seeking to maintain physical distancing, wider footpaths and more space will be critical. These new spaces will help businesses operate, attract visitors back into the city centre and ensure everyone can move around the city safely.

“The southern end of the city and Chinatown have always been lively areas, and an expanded and engaging public realm will help to stimulate the local economy. Extending public space will also encourage walking through the city, which contributes to a healthy community and neighbourhood.”

The project is funded by the NSW Government’s Places To Love program, which partners the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment with councils across NSW to explore ways to unlock or activate public space.

The pedestrian-friendly streetscape upgrades are expected to attract more footfall for businesses over time and provide more space for people to congregate responsibly while maintaining physical distancing.  It will support local businesses such as cafés and store owners, potentially allowing them to trade out onto the public domain in the short term, while attracting investment in the long term.

(Image courtesy: City of Sydney)