City News

Free public transport zones and 24-hour trading headline new vision for reimagined Sydney CBD

A 24-hour economy and shared streets make up part of a new vision for a reimagined CBD. Photo: City of Sydney.

By PATRICK MCKENZIE

The City of Sydney would have a key role to play in a future vision of a Sydney bolstered by resilience, creativity and inclusivity.

That’s according to a new report from the Committee for Sydney think tank and consulting group Arup, which proposes five major recommendations that would celebrate the city’s heritage and culture, recognise distinct precincts and their diverse uses and support agility and flexibility to help regenerate the CBD.

The report encourages an extensive partnership with the City in delivering its heritage and culture recommendations, including engaging the inner city’s Aboriginal community in decision making and the design of future spaces.

It also proposes increasing investment in Aboriginal-led research and businesses while creating permanent spaces for Aboriginal owned-and-operated enterprises in the Sydney CBD.

A spokesperson for Lord Mayor Clover Moore told The Sydney Morning Herald that the report’s recommendations aligned with council’s vision for the CBD and that it would be considered alongside existing projects.

NSW Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade Stuart Ayres welcomed the report’s recommendations, saying that it will help “harness and activate Sydney’s innate strengths and position our great city as one of the top five most liveable and innovative in the world by 2030”. 

Technology and creativity are at the forefront of the suggestions, as is an expansion of the city’s yearly Vivid festival, that would see “lighting activations” installed year-round.

Other practical suggestions include creating ‘shared streets’ to encourage more pedestrian movement, free public transport zones, a complete cycling network and widened footpaths.

“There is a lot at stake given Sydney’s outsized contribution to the national economy and collective performance … we are in a strong position to emerge from this pandemic thriving. What happens next is up to us,” Committee Co-Chairs David Harding and Gabriel Metcalf said in the report.

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