Breathing new life into the city’s laneways

We’re enlivening forgotten spaces and helping support the Covid recovery.

A new laneways revitalisation plan will transform inner-city lanes and underused spaces.

We’re prioritising the laneways activation program to draw people back into the city, help create a lively, engaging and prosperous city centre, and further support post-pandemic recovery measures.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the revitalisation program will give a new lease of life to forgotten spaces in the centre of Sydney.

“We first unveiled our laneways program in 2007 and since then 26 laneways have been brought to life with bars, restaurants, retail outlets and acclaimed art installations,” the Lord Mayor said.

Angel Place

“Much-loved spaces such as Angel Place, Ash Street, Tank Stream Way and Penfold Lane and Hosking Place are just some of the wonderful examples of this dramatic inner-city rejuvenation.

“We’ve seen residents, workers and visitors embrace a revitalised small bar and dining culture in locations including Temperance, Sussex and York lanes. Today there are around 90 small bars in our local area and much of that is thanks to business operators embracing Sydney’s laneway opportunities.

Market Row

“Alongside our planning rules, this success has encouraged the private sector to follow, with wonderful revitalisations and restorations in Skittle Lane, Loftus Lane, Wynyard Lane and Underwood Street among the 6 laneway conversions completed by private developers.

“Now that work has finished on the light rail project, we can get to work on completing our vision for a city that is people focused and business friendly, drawing together city workers, residents, visitors, entertainers, artists and the hospitality sector.

George Street south

“The need to accommodate physical distancing while encouraging a return to the city centre makes the latest steps in our laneways revitalisation program an ideal investment in our city’s future.”

We identified 10 future priority projects for revitalisation over the next 10 years from 2022.

St Laurence Lane

With a new light rail stop in Rawson Place at the end of the laneway, upgrade works to St Laurence Lane and improved lighting will provide opportunities for local business and encourage people to explore the area on foot.

Curtin Place and Hamilton and Little Hunter streets

Part of the laneway running off George Street has recently been upgraded and converted to a shared zone as part of the development at 280 George Street. Together with Hamilton and Little Hunter streets, it forms a laneway network and pedestrian connections between George and Pitt streets.

Barlow Street

Between George Street and Parker Lane, Barlow Street is currently home to a temporary artwork by the artist collective Dirt Witches. It was installed in January 2021 as part of a temporary laneway art and alfresco activation program to encourage and support a return to the city centre after the 2020 lockdown. The small banksia forest has received overwhelming support from the public with more than a dozen requests to retain a permanent closure.

The extension of the George Street pedestrianisation south to Central station provides an ideal opportunity to create a permanent landscape installation in the western section of Barlow Street.

Barlow Street. Credit: Jessica Lindsay

Randle Lane, York Lane and Wynyard Lane

These inner-city laneways have been earmarked for revitalisation once redevelopment works around Wynyard railway station and the construction of the new Metro station at Central are complete.

Randle Lane runs next to the new Metro pedestrian portal on the eastern side of Central station and will have high foot traffic in the area, while York and Wynyard lanes are next to the upgraded development at Wynyard station.

These lanes are an opportunity to create new connections for people walking in the city centre and new opportunities for local businesses.

Underwood and Dalley streets

Located in the Quay West Quarter, development and revitalisation of these small streets will support public domain improvements throughout the precinct.

The laneways and public domain upgrades will be completed in stages and coordinated with major developments and domain upgrades.

The works were unanimously endorsed by Council on Monday 20 September.

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