City economy

Welcoming more people to safely enjoy our city in summer

Outdoor dining and events in new open spaces will attract more people and support Sydney’s economic recovery

Outdoor dining Sydney CBD

We’re working with the NSW Government on a vision to create a 24-hour alfresco city that will kick-start our city’s recovery from the economic impact of the pandemic.

We’ve spent the last decade installing high-quality street paving, supporting small bars and creating a pedestrian spine up George Street.

Now, by working with the state government to cut through remaining red tape, we’re ready to activate laneways, footpaths and high streets. It’s part of our long-held vision of a city with boulevards that host outdoor dining and live performance.

Alongside plans for live music and later trading, we’re excited to invite you back to the city for a wonderful – and Covid-safe – summer.

Our focus is to reactivate the city centre and local precincts with outdoor dining and bars, late night trading, live music, and cultural institutions staying open in the evening.

Together with the state government we will create a streamlined process that will make it easier for businesses to take up outdoor dining in reclaimed spaces and laneways.

Outdoor dining in Barrack Street
Outdoor dining in Barrack Street

“Over the last decade we have proposed the light rail and helped create a pleasant, people-friendly George Street, we have paved laneways and campaigned for small bars,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“Now it is more important than ever that we build on this by increasing our outdoor dining and culture opportunities to make our city even more special.

“We must work together to get life back into our city centre while ensuring the safety of residents, workers and visitors.”

The City of Sydney is working with businesses along Sydney high streets, in laneways and in the city centre to identify parking spots, traffic lanes and footpaths for outdoor dining. Areas include Pitt, Barrack and Crown streets and Tankstream and Wilmot lanes.

“We need to allow and encourage businesses to operate outdoors, and we need to support our creative and cultural life to activate and draw people back to our city, safely,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We want to ensure our city businesses survive, and create new opportunities to thrive in the long term.”

A streamlined free application process for outdoor dining is expected to start in December 2020.

Published 22 September 2020, updated 10 April 2024