A NSW Government website

Vibrant streets generate positive social, economic, cultural and environmental outcomes. Great streets, avenues, boulevards, squares and plazas, pavements, passages and galleries are our towns’ and cities’ connectors. In our urban areas, they provide places where people can walk, ride a bike and socialise, activities that add vitality to neighbourhoods, creating better places to live.

As public spaces, our streets have become a focal point during the pandemic. Communities across NSW are using streets differently, to ensure safe physical distancing to walk between green open space, and the ability to exercise and enjoy an outdoor lifestyle.

The Greener Public Spaces Premier’s Priority was announced in 2019. It aims to increase the proportion of homes in urban areas across NSW within 10 minutes’ walk of quality green, open and public space by 10 per cent by 2023.

Improving streets to become places where people can walk, ride a bike, socialise and add vitality to neighbourhoods supports this Premier’s Priority and helps to create better places to live and work.

Supporting community and economic recovery with great streets

Man walking up restaurant arcade

In early 2020 the NSW Government announced the $15 million Streets as Shared Spaces Program to deliver temporary demonstration and pilot projects to support the community and test ideas for more permanent improvements to local streets, paths and public spaces.

The program won the Greater Sydney Commission Planning Awards’ Chief Commissioner’s Award in October 2020.

Building on the strength of the Streets as Shared Spaces program, the $15 million Your High Street Program was announced in November 2020. Projects will boost high street economic recovery, improve comfort and amenity and increase footfall.

Community insight

Community feedback shapes the way we think about, plan for and create great public spaces.

In 2020 and 2021, we conducted the Public spaces during COVID-19 survey to understand how people were using public space, what types of public space the community valued most, and how the community felt about public spaces. In 2020, we presented the findings from that year’s survey and other engagement activities in the Public Spaces: Streets as Shared Spaces Engagement Report (PDF 3.5Mb), identifying an evidence base to understand use of public space early in the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the second report Public spaces during COVID-19: Adapting to the new normal (PDF 3.6Mb), we present the findings from the 2020 survey and 2021 survey, which took place while COVID-19 restrictions had been eased.

Insights from both surveys will support the department’s work in guiding the creation and evaluation of great public spaces.

For more information

Sign up to receive updates or contact the team: PublicSpace@planning.nsw.gov.au