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 for walking, cycling, gathering, for seeing and being seen and provide a sense of character in our neighbourhoods, and shape the way we go about our lives.

As public spaces, our streets have become a focal point during the pandemic as places for people, not just as corridors for movement. Communities across NSW are using streets differently, from exercise to dining.

Reimagining our streets as places where people can walk, ride a bike, socialise and add vitality to our neighbourhoods and cities supports the Premier's Priority to increase walkable access to quality open, green and public space in urban areas.

Re-imagining our streets

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 later that year.

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

In October 2021, the NSW Government announced The Festival of Place…in your streets program under the $66 million Alfresco Restart Package.

The program provides re-energised and more, better and activated public space to support community wellbeing and economic recovery, revitalising public spaces across the state and paving the way for longer-term changes to the way we use our streets.

This initiative will see more streets reimagined as places for people, whether that’s new walking paths, turning asphalt into art, providing pop-up parklets, or trialling and testing new ways to create safer, walkable and more vibrant streets.

Our streets programs are complemented by NSW Government’s efforts to make outdoor dining easier, including planning changes to remove the need for development applications in certain circumstances and a fast-track process to change liquor licence boundaries.

Streets as Shared Spaces

We're supporting councils to trial projects that test permanent changes to their high streets.

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Your High Street

We're working with councils across NSW to make permanent improvements to the amenity and functionality of their high streets.

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Open Streets

We supported councils in Greater Sydney most impacted by lockdowns to open streets for community events and activities, re-energising streets and supporting economic recovery in local centres.

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Summer Night Fund

We supported councils to put on free and safe activations and events, creating opportunities for people to connect and bring The Festival of Place to you – wherever you are in NSW.

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Community Insight

Community feedback shapes the way we think about, plan for and create great public spaces. The Public Spaces during COVID-19 surveys show us how people were using and appreciating public space during the pandemic.

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NSW Guide to Walkable Public Space

This guide outlines the characteristics of walkable public spaces, with ideas and opportunities to help create public spaces that you can easily walk to and from, within, and through, while enhancing the experience.

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For more information

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