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 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 partner councils across Sydney and regional NSW in a rolling program of Places to Love demonstration projects.

In 2020/21 we partnered with:

  1. Blacktown City Council
  2. Burwood 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.

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 this richly diverse city centre, 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 early 2022.

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 project is located within a high density area of Sydney’s inner-west. It builds on council's strategic plan for a network of walkable vibrant laneways activated with local culture and food. The project was completed in 2021 and created a new pedestrian link connecting Burwood's upgraded library, community hub and council chambers to the town centre.

Community engagement for the project included a competition to rename the lane, changing from Hornsey Lane to Unity Place.

The Unity Place project included three large murals to reflect the community and ongoing Aboriginal culture, as well as landscaping, seating, smart poles, banners and decorative lighting.

The new lane was celebrated with a Community Day, with an outdoor library pop-up, community group dancers and musicians, temporary sculptures, and a vibrant night market. Unity Place is a place that brings people together.

City of Sydney

Trial to help transform a street into one of the world’s great boulevards

This demonstration project took place along the southern section of George Street. In 2020, City of Sydney temporarily tested the closure of the street to vehicles. It did this through installing vehicle barricades, new seating, a vibrant road painting installation and engagement with local business and community.

This created a place for people that allowed physical distancing and catalysed support for the evolution into a permanent change to the street, creating a green, car-free corridor for people. In 2021, informed by the success of the trial, council began the permanent pedestrianisation of this section of the street.

George Street, City of Sydney

George Street project included repurposed seating and colourful paint.

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 both access and quality of this public space, as the  service road has low amenity and high pedestrian use.

The project will transform the laneway with vibrant art created through community engagement, and express the area’s cultural diversity. Colourful road design, planter boxes with trees and flowers, seating and umbrellas for shade will improve walkability and transform the street into a place for the community and visitors to enjoy. The project is planned for completion in mid-2022.

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 worked together with the local community and businesses to co-design public space improvements along a 1.2 km pedestrian walking trail. The project aimed 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 project was delivered in early 2021 with improvements including 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. It culminated in a free activation program which 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

This project provided an opportunity to help the city centre of Wagga Wagga bounce back from challenges such as COVID-19, while supporting Council’s wider Live Local, Be Local activation plan for the city centre. From December 2020 to June 2021, the project transformed Baylis and Fitzmaurice Streets in the city centre into places for the community with public art, lighting, temporary furniture, mini-dining pop ups, creative laneway treatments and music.

The project culminated in a launch at the June 2021 Lost Lanes festival, which had thousands of people in attendance, supporting the night-time economic activity, connecting the community with local businesses and fostering community pride.

Lost Lanes Festival. Credit: Matt Beaver for DPIE

Lost Lanes Festival
Credit: Matt Beaver for DPIE
More information on the 21/22 partner councils' projects will be made available soon.

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.