Great public spaces are vital to communities. They provide places for social interaction, can improve health and wellbeing, and offer communities a sense of identity and character. Public spaces that support communities are of increasing importance as our cities and towns grow.
Streets, paths and plazas make up an essential part of our network of public spaces. Whether people use them for travelling, walking, cycling, outdoor dining, socialising or doing business, streets are crucial infrastructure for successful and healthy urban areas.
The award-winning $15 million Streets as Shared Spaces program launched in May 2020, as a pilot to enable improvements across NSW during COVID-19 and into the future. Piloting temporary interventions and pop-ups has allowed councils, the community and stakeholders to trial innovative ideas that test and build the case for more permanent changes.
Following the success of the first round of Streets as Shared Spaces and Your High Street programs, the department is offering a further round of funding for Streets as Shared Spaces.
The program supports the Premier's Priority to increase walkable access to quality open, green and public space in urban areas.
About the program
The second round of Streets as Shared Spaces is a $20 million grant program that is open to all councils across NSW. Expressions of interest are now closed.
The program will provide successful councils with up to $500,000 in grant funding to deliver trials that test permanent changes that strengthen the amenity, accessibility and economic vitality of a high street and surrounding area, taking a place-based approach. The program will fund projects that contribute to the economic vitality of the street and surrounding area, recognising that great high streets can act as an anchor or attractor for business and people.
These trials should support immediate community needs and test and build the case for more permanent changes that positively impact local economies and community health and wellbeing.
The objectives of the program are to:
provide more and better public space that improves walkability and connection, enables day and night activity, and increases footfall
drive collaboration and partnerships between local government and another sector, whether public, private, civic or community, taking a place-based approach
establish and commence delivery of projects by April 2022
enable long-term changes through trialling innovative and creative approaches, partnerships and engagement.
The NSW Government funded 43 councils to deliver 51 temporary demonstration and pilot projects to support the community and test ideas for more permanent improvements to local streets, paths and public spaces.
Grants were available for:
short-term, quick response projects or programs that test, pilot or incubate changes to streets in line with the objectives of the program (‘Category 1’)
medium-term pilot projects that improve or activate streets as shared public spaces (‘Category 2’)
All category 1 projects are now complete and category 2 projects are underway.
The Your High Street grant program supports councils across NSW to make permanent improvements to the amenity and functionality of their High Streets. The program recognises the importance of public spaces in strategic centres to support community and economic recovery.