Free and publicly accessible libraries, galleries, community centres, showgrounds and museums are key to our community’s vitality, and are of increasing importance as our cities grow. Through telling our diverse stories and being places for everyone, they contribute to our heritage, identity, and local character.
Within their buildings, grounds and virtual spaces, public facilities provide places for everybody to gather, share ideas, engage in cultural experiences and learn. They are constantly evolving, including through growing online spaces for culture, learning and connection.
While planning your visit, be sure to contact the venue or check their website to confirm if they are open and what (if any) restrictions are in place. Some venues may have sections which remain closed, or capacity limits meaning you might be required to book online before arriving, or wait before being able to enter.
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment manages a number of leading public facilities for the community to enjoy. These spaces allow us to explore and celebrate our customs, traditions and stories:
- The Calyx in the Royal Botanic Gardens
- The Pavilion and Amphitheatre in the Western Sydney Parklands
- The Rocks Discovery Museum
- Sports facilities at Sydney Olympic Park
- The Station in Newcastle
More information on ideas and opportunities to help create great public facilities can be found in our Great Public Spaces Guide.
We have partnered with the State Library of NSW, the NSW Department of Customer Service’s Behavioural Insights Unit, the Australian Library Information Association and the NSW Public Libraries Association.
The partner group worked with 4 councils on a 12-month project aiming to increase access to their local libraries’ services in response to COVID-19.
The 4 councils included Bega Valley Shire Council, City of Sydney, Northern Beaches Council, and Wagga Wagga City Council who were all applying a behavioural approach specific to their local circumstances. There are 15 public libraries across the 4 councils that provide library services to over 230,000 members.
The Using behavioural insights to increase access to public libraries report (PDF, 7 MB) captures the results of this innovative project delivered between peak bodies, local government, and cross-departmental agencies.
The stronger our online communities grow, the more resilient these important public spaces will be in the future.
In response to COVID-19, many public facilities have created online content, offering exciting and engaging activities for all ages. Find out more at: