A NSW Government website

Places to Love is a program of demonstration projects that trial improving walkable access to, and the quality of, local public space. The program is a collaboration between the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and a number of pilot councils across NSW to trial temporary changes that can inform and guide future upgrades to public space.

The demonstration projects are a way to quickly test how to make public spaces more vibrant and active using trials, pop-ups and semi-permanent changes to test ideas and build the case for longer-term change. Once complete, each project will develop a detailed case study that will be shared in the Great Public Spaces Toolkit.

We're working closely with six councils – five from Sydney and one from regional NSW:

  1. Blacktown City Council
  2. Burwood City Council
  3. City of Sydney
  4. Liverpool City Council
  5. Penrith City Council
  6. Wagga Wagga City Council

A rolling program of Places to Love demonstration projects with other councils is planned in future years. To find out more about the Places to Love program see the frequently asked questions.

Blacktown City Council

The Heart of Blacktown

Blacktown city centre is undergoing rapid change, with a growing population and major projects that mark a new era for living, education and employment within the city centre. Located in the richly diverse centre of Blacktown’s Patrick Street precinct, this project sees council co-design a Place Identity and Place Framework with the community and stakeholders. These documents will be shared once finalised.

The project will set a road map for activities, events and development in Blacktown, to create a city centre that reflects the area’s unique qualities and responds to the needs and aspirations of the local community. Several pop-up activations in the precinct will test the findings. It is planned for completion in late 2021.

Council have begun pop-up trials, including a temporary parklet

Council have begun pop-up trials including a temporary parklet.

Burwood Council

A vibrant new linear plaza connecting people to the library and community hub

The Burwood project is located in the inner west of Sydney. A community naming competition of an existing laneway resulted in Hornsey Lane being renamed to Unity Place. The project builds on council's strategic plan for a network of vibrant laneways that are walkable, reflect local culture and have great food.

The Unity Place project included three large murals, landscaping, smart poles and seating along a new pedestrian link that connects Burwood's upgraded library, community hub and council chambers to the town centre. At the launch Community Day, there was an outdoor library pop-up, community group dancers and musicians, new sculptures, as well as a vibrant night market.

Hornsey Lane renamed as Unity Place, a place to bring people together.

City of Sydney

Supporting creation of a world-class boulevard for people

The southern section of George Street was transformed into a continuous pedestrian boulevard. This project reimagined the street as a place for people and created space for residents and visitors to physically distance during the pandemic. The project included temporary furniture and landscaping, along with colourful street painting.

Council has worked closely with the NSW Government to temporarily close this section of George Street to vehicles. Building on the evidence collected during the temporary closure, the Government is also supporting Council’s plans for a permanent closure, to help create one of the world’s best pedestrian boulevards.

George Street temporary seating featuring colourful street-art

George Street temporary seating featuring colourful street-art

Liverpool City Council

Transforming a service vehicle laneway into a place for people

Liverpool is undergoing an exciting process of urban renewal. The Railway Street Service Lane project will improve access to, and quality of, a service road that has low amenity yet high pedestrian use. The project will give the laneway a makeover: transforming it with art, colour, planter boxes full of trees and flowers, shade umbrellas and seating. The project aims to improve walkability and transform the street into a place for the community and visitors to enjoy. The project is planned for completion in late 2021.

Artist impresison of Railway Street Service Lane

Artist impression of Railway Street Service Lane c/o Liverpool City Council

Penrith City Council

Activating the community’s vision for Kingswood

The ‘Live, Work, Play Grid’ project has created a better connected and active neighbourhood in Kingswood. Council has worked together with the local community and businesses to co-design public space improvements along a 1.2 km pedestrian walking trail. The project aims to improve the area’s safety and walkability by upgrading places where the community can interact and gather. In September 2020, a night walk engagement with local women was hosted where the women shared their experiences and co-designed ways to improve safety in their neighbourhood.

The improvements include playful wayfinding, creative lighting, new seating, tree planters embellished by a local artist, garden planters painted by the community, a handball court and a badminton net. From April to May 2021 a free activation program delivered the community’s vision for Kingswood and offered art workshops, community gardening sessions, urban nature tours, picnics, movie nights and night walks with women.

Wagga Wagga City Council

Reimagining Wagga Wagga’s city centre

The drought, bushfires and COVID-19 have created many challenges for regional NSW. This project is an opportunity to help the city centre of Wagga Wagga bounce back. From December 2020 to June 2021, the project will transform Baylis and Fitzmaurice Streets in the city centre into places for the community with art, lighting, temporary furniture, mini-dining pop ups, creative laneway treatments and music.

The project will culminate in a launch at the 2021 Lost Lanes festival in June, supporting the night-time economic activity, connecting the community with local businesses and fostering community pride. It will also feed into the wider Live Local, Be Local activation plan for the city centre. The project is planned for completion in mid-2021.

Public art delivered under the Project

Public art delivered under the Project
Credit: Wagga Wagga City Council

My Favourite Places

This will be a summer like no other and we can enjoy our great outdoors lifestyle by exploring less-travelled places in our local neighbourhood. There is a wealth of alternative options when iconic destinations become too crowded.

We encourage everyone to walk or cycle to local public spaces and rediscover their local area. We’ve captured some great examples of hidden gems from a range of NSW councils are found in The New Local PDF, 2469.7 KB.

Great Public Spaces: Where we're investing in your community

Explore the map to discover places to love and where NSW Government is investing through council grants to create great public spaces.