Botany Road vision. Image: City of Sydney, Concept by Studio Zanardo, Gallagher Studio & MAKO Architecture
The City of Sydney has released a new study that will help the City progress development of its new long-term strategic plan, Sustainable Sydney 2050, towards a “more attractive and liveable city”.
Quality public spaces
Based on international best practice and data tracking, Public Space and Public Life by urban design firm Gehl, the analysis furthers its vision of a city centre that puts people first with new quality public spaces. This includes three major new squares and more room for walking, cycling and relaxing.
“We’re looking beyond traffic and basic infrastructure to create a city people want to live, visit, work and spend time in,” said lord mayor Clover Moore.
“The pandemic has thrown a spotlight on how critical quality outdoor public space and active transport links are. It has also shown that through strong partnerships between all levels of government, businesses and the community, we can transform our city.
She continued: “Cities need to be enjoyable to walk through and relax in. More quality public space, or outdoor living rooms where people can meet and socialise, supports a healthier, more equitable and economically viable city centre.”
In 2007 the City commissioned Gehl to help it progress on this path, and among the many recommendations it has carried through in the 14 years since include: 80,000 square metres of public space has been added to the City’s footprint; George Street is now a pedestrian boulevard; a light rail corridor was built with space for people to walk and sit; and lively city centre laneways are buzzing with diners and artworks.
“More quality public space, or outdoor living rooms where people can meet and socialise, supports a healthier, more equitable and economically viable city centre”
The new study outlines several issues facing the city centre. These include: cars dominating the streets; buses using too many roads; crowded footpaths; and the need to complete the City’s separated bike network. The report focuses on environmental sustainability and climate action, increasing space for walking and cycling and making the city welcoming for all.