Great streets, avenues, boulevards, squares and plazas, pavements, passages, galleries and bicycle paths 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. Vibrant streets generate positive social, economic, cultural and environmental outcomes.
Our streets have become a focal point during the pandemic. Communities across NSW are using streets differently, to ensure safe physical distancing 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 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, is supporting delivery of this Premier’s Priority, and helping to create better places to live and work.
New initiatives during COVID-19
In early 2020 the NSW Government announced the Streets as Shared Spaces program with a $15 million budget to make improvements to benefit communities during COVID-19. Forty eight successful temporary projects were announced in August 2020 to improve safety and amenity with better lighting, art, furniture, greenery, additional public space and more. The program won the Greater Sydney Commission Planning Awards’ Chief Commissioner’s Award in October 2020.
Building on the success of this award-winning program, Your High Street was announced in November 2020, with new funding of $15 million. Projects will boost high street economic recovery, increase footfall and improve safety. Grants of up to $1 million will support delivery of completed projects by May 2022.
As part of the Government’s response to the pandemic, we asked the community to provide feedback on the use and value of importance of public spaces. Respondents confirmed their use of public places and green open spaces had increased. The survey findings were released in the Public Spaces Streets as Shared Spaces Engagement Report (PDF 4.1 MB).
Building on this work, the NSW Government launched a refreshed Public Space during COVID-19 survey to explore how the use of public spaces, including high streets, might have changed as the pandemic continues. This 10-minute survey will provide insights to inform future programs and initiatives delivered by the NSW Government.
- Streets as shared places for people - Ideas and opportunities (PDF 2.5 MB)
- Temporary street interventions - case studies (PDF 1.3 MB)
- Great Public Spaces Toolkit
- Government Architect NSW - Better Streets (PDF 640.1 KB)
- Government Architect NSW – Movement and Place (PDF 5.4 MB)
- NACTO - Streets for Pandemic Response & Recovery
- Committee for Sydney – Reclaiming Sydney’s High Streets (PDF 4.3 MB)
- Transport for NSW - NSW Street Treatments for COVID Recovery (PDF 2.0 MB)
- Your High Street - Transforming your High Street case studies (PDF 815.9 KB)